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The offshoring model for creative production has matured quickly, with the most progressive models such as Smartshoring® in particular delivering demonstrable results when implemented correctly. 

It’s critical to make informed decisions at every stage of the process to maximise the chances of a successful transition to offshoring.

For a smoother transition, efficient workflow, high-quality work and the maximum possible ROI over the long term, we’ve compiled some best practices that should be adhered to before, during and after a change to an offshoring model.

Considerations Before Offshoring

If the question “Why are we doing this?” seems too simplistic, it’s no less critical for that. 

A clear definition of your business or brand’s objectives is an absolutely essential starting point even in a partial transition to offshoring. Only by identifying what you want to achieve can you then consider which model will work best with your corporate culture and processes, your existing teams and your current circumstances, and to which territories you should offshore.

The same due diligence that you would apply to any major business decision should be applied in looking into your options here; if the supplier you’re considering will provide references, for example, give them a call.

Carefully evaluate their expertise, how they communicate in the initial exchanges, and their likely long-term financial stability. Ensure they have local managers in place, so you have somebody available to speak to when you need them. 

And remember that even once you’re at the point where you’ve chosen your offshoring partner, there are further decisions ahead of you.

Defining Roles, Responsibilities And Processes

A comprehensive onboarding process, clearly timetabled and with every stakeholder’s roles and responsibilities plainly defined, is your starting point once you’ve made the call on an offshoring partner.

Set down how the process will work in practice before any work begins: mundane but vital considerations such as purchase order protocols; KPIs such as timescales and turnaround on amendments; approvals processes and so on.

And it’s important to be realistic and think about what happens in the event of a problem or dispute between your organization and your offshoring partner. Establish how such issues will be resolved from the outset, and certainly before they arise.

Once The Partnership Is Underway

Any new business relationship takes time to bed in and build trust, and this is no different. 

In the very early stages, it’s advisable to offshore smaller, simpler projects as pilots to test that the processes, approvals and agreed timescales are working well. Project volume and complexity can rise as reciprocal trust builds.

Internally too, a move to offshoring will require ongoing management to ensure your own staff are on board. 

Demonstrate the benefits of the change to your team and get the key players in your in-house and offshore capacity talking to each other from the outset. Resistance to change is common, but shouldn’t be allowed to jeopardize the benefits of the process.

As the relationship matures, effective communication remains as significant as it was at the start.

The importance of appreciating and understanding cultural differences and communicating respectfully cannot be overstated in determining positive outcomes for your business. In that regard, feedback is vital—both with your internal teams and with the in-country managers of your offshoring partner.

Plan For Success

A successful and long-term offshoring partnership is exactly that—a partnership. 

Projects that are offshored, just as with in-house projects, have a greater chance of completion on time, to standard, and within budget, if they’re adequately planned and clear deadlines are laid down from the start.

If your organization regards its offshoring partners solely as an emergency service, turning to them only when it’s in a deep workload or turnaround hole, you’re not going to accrue the enormous potential benefits of offshoring.

Our report of offshore creative production for 2023 showed that savings of 40% across the board, and up to 80% on certain services such as digital banners and video post-production, were expected with the offshoring model.

As global pioneers in creative production and leaders in the Smartshoring® model—with over 20 years’ industry experience and 1,200 highly skilled staff around the world—we’re the ideal offshoring partner for creative production in any sector.

Get in touch today to discuss a pilot project, and discover what we can do for your business.

Saskia Johnson

Author Saskia Johnson

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