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Mar 27, 2023 3:05:00 PM | 6 Minutes read

Can I outsource creative production when I have a great in-house team?

Let’s face it, there are plenty of advantages to keeping production in-house. For starters, your creative team lives and breathes the brand. They have knowledge of the company and understand its culture. Your in-house agency team is far more invested in your business and its success than an outsourced partner. Plus, you don’t have to invest time onboarding them and ensuring culture fit. And, by keeping it in-house, you’re always in the loop about the latest campaigns. 

However, there is a high cost for full-time staff and creative freelancers. With the former, there are:

  • salaries
  • benefits
  • payroll
  • tax
  • annual leave allowances
  • hardware and software costs. 
With freelancers, there are the additional challenges of first finding them, aligning them with the brand, and keeping their hours within budget.

And when it comes to creative production, there are disadvantages.  

  • Skills gaps and expertise: It’s not realistic that your employees are always going to have the production skills you need, especially given the speed at which digital production is evolving. Hiring art workers or video editors leads to high spending; this can be avoided when you outsource.
  • Time-consuming: Production is a time-consuming process and can drain capacity. It can deviate the focus of your employees from more exciting creative tasks.
  • Pressure to meet deadlines: An in-house agency team can only do so much. With a time-critical campaign or company rebrand there might not be enough hours in the day. 


But outsourcing is a dirty word...

Outsourcing any work is a big deal and isn’t without risk. Perhaps your business has been burned before but it is safe to say, outsourcing has come a long way since the early days when typically IT work was undertaken offshore and call centres were set up. Nowadays, more brands and IHAs are outsourcing. In fact, the 2020 ‘State of the Market for Offshore Creative Production’ by TKM Consultants showed that 86% of agencies have been offshoring for at least two years.


And my in-house team is great! 

Of course, the words ‘outsourcing’ can cause concern for team members, but outsourcing today isn’t all about reducing full-time staff costs. Sure, you can save on freelancers and paying overtime, but outsourcing enables your department to do more interesting work. Creative production outsourcing is about enabling staff and your IHA to do more. Does your talented graduate graphic designer really want to resize print ads? Is your web developer excited each morning to create multiple banners? These talented creatives could be working on ideation and other creative elements.  

And if your in-house creatives are great, do you even have a big enough team? When EKCS conducted our Modern Challenges of an IHA survey, 51% of IHAs told us they didn't have enough creative staff!

Communication with your team is key early on in the process. If you're thinking of outsourcing don't keep it a secret. Have a discussion and a two-way conversation about how it could work.


FOMO by not outsourcing  

If you are wondering whether you are missing out by not outsourcing, consider all the benefits of modern production outsourcing. These include:

  • Using offshore partners who are working in different time zones is a huge advantage for a creative team. It helps take the pressure off when advertising campaigns need to be produced and delivered to tight deadlines. 
  • By outsourcing the production support to an external agency, you don’t just cut down substantial costs of ramping up a team but also gain control and flexibility.
  • Access to a bigger pool of talent. An offshore team has experience working with different clients and understands production challenges.


The hybrid mix

Offshoring creative production isn’t about handing over huge elements of work. Many in-house agencies operate a hybrid model when it comes to creative production outsourcing. Outsourcing should only account for a small portion of your budget, perhaps 5-15%, but having it on hand will come in handy at some point!

So, I could increase output without decreasing headcount? Absolutely!


Want to learn more? 

Join Robert Berkeley on Thursday, September 7th. In this free webinar from Henry Stewart, Robert will explore the age-old dilemma of having a great in-house team but needing to do more. And often do more for less! This webinar looks at the ways in which in-house teams can work alongside offshore teams. Robert invites you to share your in-house challenges, gives insight into how to embed teams and different outsourcing models such as the hybrid mix, and reveals how outsourcing creative production can enable in-house teams to think and behave more creatively.

Sign up now for the webinar: Why would I outsource if I have a fantastic team: Here's Why...
Register Now 
Thursday, September 7, 2023


To find out more about outsourcing and explore how it can help your team to solve production challenges

Download our FREE GUIDES. They look at the benefits of creative production outsourcing, what to consider in a production partner, and tips on how to get started with outsourcing.

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