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The access to expert and capable talent has developed in offshore studios over the last 20 years, and this coupled with savings of up to 80% has propelled the offshore creative production market forward.

Finding the right mix of in-house, offshore and agency is now an imperative for brands and agencies. These models are no longer seen as separate but as part of an ecosystem making use of advances in communication and technology to combine talent from across cities and continents.

The mature marketplace means that cost is no longer the dominant factor for success when choosing an offshore partner, so careful planning and consideration is needed.

Consider the business case

First consider why you are looking at offshoring creative production services. Increasing your profit margin, expanding your range of services, or needing more work done and faster. Whatever the reason, each has its unique set of factors to draw out and analyse.

What return on investment do you expect to get from your partnership? Will the work be turned around faster or take longer than with your existing team? The most important factors to consider are of course cost savings, time saved, and the quality of the work provided. In many cases your offshore provider will offer a pilot project so you can test all of these things and see how the two companies could work together.

Operations support

As with any outsourcing, the relationship will need to be managed, does your current team have enough time to dedicate to manage it? Yes, you will be saving time elsewhere in the business but as with any relationship it will need time to be nurtured into an easy and fluid partnership.

Aligning company culture

This is more crucial than you might imagine. Is your company built on flexible and agile processes? Are you used to making quick decisions and moving fast when an opportunity arises? If so, you will need a partner who also aligns with those traits, it is then easy to build up a trusting relationship built on the foundations of shared goals and initiatives. Helping to grow both businesses together.

Language is also important, if you are working across continents, even if you share the same language there are many industry specific words and phrases which could differ, be sure to consider this and create a common phrasebook which everyone agrees to use.

Manage the time difference effectively

Get it right and you essentially have staff working 24hrs a day, meaning a much quicker turnaround time. Get it wrong and you could have delays in production and a slower schedule. Offshore companies are used to working in shifts and changing their hours to suit the client, so decide what is most important to you, being able to communicate in your working hours, having a team working through (your) night for you or perhaps a bit of both?

Smartshoring® an evolution of the offshoring model

We Are Amnet has evolved offshoring into a more agile and streamlined approach called Smartshoring.  Where agencies make use of the best talent, wherever they may be, and have access to in-country client services. So, you get access to a skilled workforce not constrained by location with all the benefits of local account management.

Getting the balance between in-house and offshore

Using an in-house and an offshore team are not mutually exclusive. Finding the balance between maximising the time and skills of your existing staff with the additional strengths an offshore team could bring are essential.

Some companies still assume bringing in offshore help means redundances, that is absolutely not the case. An offshore team can expand your existing services, manage campaign peaks and troughs, allowing your existing staff to concentrate on the creative they enjoy, leaving the more repetitive tasks to their offshore partners.

Define clear processes and SLAs

As with most partnerships defining expectations and processes is key. Important things to consider are setting up reporting lines, will there be one single point of contact within the organisation or will multiple people be talking and collaborating, and how will these relationships be managed?

Detailed service level agreements that are clear and concise are vital. They should not only include a description of the services to be provided but also how these services will be measured, the responsibilities of each party and the solutions or potential penalties for a breach.

Services that are ideal to send offshore

Generally, services which are most efficiently sent offshore are those which are repetitive, have clear guidelines and standards such as:

  • Artwork & retouching
  • Content localisation (social, digital & video)
  • PowerPoint & financial reports
  • Short form video & motion graphics
  • Post-production
  • Animation & CGI
  • Web/app development

This list is not exhaustive and could of course vary depending on your business model. However, these services are ideal to send offshore because there are clear guidelines and standards to be followed. This then leaves more time for your in-house team or agency to focus on strategy, campaign creation, designing the assets and basically doing what they are best at.

We Are Amnet provide quality and progressive Smartshoring services, helping you to grow your business, your profits and increase your speed to market. Contact us for a pilot today.

Saskia Johnson

Author Saskia Johnson

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