For Forbes it was a ‘fundamental shift in workforce mentality’. For others it’s the Great Resignation. Whatever you want to call it, the changes in our industry brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic provide some startling figures.
The sheer scale of losses to the industry as people’s priorities, lifestyles or ambitions changed has made for a difficult time for in-house agencies recently, and altered the usual employer/talent dynamic completely. Despite your efforts to retain talent, you certainly won’t be alone if some of your team have decided their futures lie elsewhere.
In fact, this is one reason why agencies are turning to offshore teams. In doing so, they’re finding it easier to manage the industry’s characteristic peaks and troughs through long-term partnerships, and gaining access to specialist skills they may not have access to on a permanent basis, or at all. In-house agencies may not need certain specialist skills on a full-time basis, and by collaborating with offshore partners, they gain access to those skills as and when they need them.
If you’re looking into the feasibility of offshoring creative production at your agency, it’s understandable if it feels like a daunting step. But offshoring is efficient, profitable, quickly scalable, and keeps your in-house creative specialists free to work on what they’re good at instead of picking up repetitive tasks when things get busy.
Best practices for managing your offshore team
Lay down best practices from the start, and you’ll go a long way to ensuring a smooth relationship with offshore production teams:
- Set expectations early and don’t change them suddenly or repeatedly. You can’t play fast and loose with your clients’ brand equity or your agency’s reputation, so ensure your offshore team knows what’s expected of them, and hold them to those standards consistently.
- This includes agreeing communication channels, filename protocols, standard turnaround times etc. Smooth workflow relies on the mechanics of the collaboration as much as the production of the work itself, so it’s important both sides are working to the same standards in that regard.
- Build a culture where in-house and offshore teams don’t see each other as competition. You’ll get better, more consistent work if your creative production is done by one team, with one goal, even if they happen to be in multiple locations.
- Clearly define roles and responsibilities. Not only does this help with in-house teams not seeing offshore talent as competition, it makes for much smoother workflow and avoids doubling of effort.
- Make sure the offshore team has an in-depth understanding of the client. They’re not going to know your clients’ brands as well as your in-house team at the start, but can’t reasonably be held to the same standards if their knowledge remains a long way behind. So you need to catch them up and make sure they understand the work, and the clients, as well as possible.
Make sure you choose the right team – what should you be looking for?
There are a lot of misconceptions about offshoring, but done right it results in cost savings, shorter turnaround times and rapid scaling capabilities. We Are Amnet understand the challenges you’re facing, and we have the skills, experience and capacity to deal with them.
Our Smartshoring® model uses the best talent available wherever it may be, blending a hybrid model of in-country account managers and offshore expertise. Our teams have years of experience with clients based in the US and around the globe, so we’re used to the quality and turnaround demands that come with them.
If you’re looking to plug skill gaps with experienced specialists, save money, scale your capacity rapidly, or simply turn time-zone differences into an advantage by getting high-quality work done while you’re asleep, Smartshoring® works.
So whether you’ve had tried offshoring before, or you’re looking to move into offshoring for the first time, talk to us.