Finding the perfect partner can take time, years in fact. There are a host of reasons why brands and in-house agencies (IHAs) are still looking for a production partner. You're worried about how the other one will feel. How will outsourcing impact an in-house team? What about external perceptions? Will your new partner appreciate your brand values?
In our March 2022 survey of IHAs in the UK, 62% of respondents said that quality of work was their biggest concern when outsourcing work. Unfortunately, there are plenty of outsourcing horror stories that have made the press. Even big brands have experienced outsourcing mishaps. Virgin Atlantic once outsourced their IT support to a vendor - it resulted in their systems crashing and 50,000 passengers being grounded! And even the world’s local bank, HSBC had a disaster in transcreation when their slogan “assume nothing'' was translated into “do nothing” in several countries! Horror aside, finding the right production partner is a valuable addition to your creative department.
Finding 'the one'
The process of searching for a partner is often reliant on networking, but finding partners through webinars and conferences can also be beneficial. Measure your potential production partner by considering:
- Cultural fit and shared vision
- Evidence of high-quality work
- Effective communication
- The ability to scale up resource
- Access to 24/7 studios and turnaround times
- Relevant industry experience and case studies
- Flexible and competitive pricing
- Availability of local onshore account managers
Many of the outsourcing horror stories revolved around a brand's lack of control. With a trusted production partner and process, you will still be in control. With EKCS, there’s the option to use MediaFerry, an award-winning, cloud-based workflow system that enables you to stay in control with a complete overview of your campaigns.
Stop worrying what others think
Many creative leaders worry about the effect of outsourcing on staff. Remember, creative production outsourcing is about enabling your staff to do more. It’s not about reducing headcount. Does your designer want to resize adverts or does your web developer create multiple banners? Locating the perfect production partner saves time. It enables your skilled in-house people to focus on their strengths; ideation, creativity, and design. Keeping creative in-house is fundamental to outsourcing success.
Take it slow
Start small by offering a production partner a small project or campaign. There is no need to hand over all your creative production overnight. Starting with a small project, enables you to know each other. Your new production partner to understand current ways of working, ironing out any issues that might only be noticed once the live work starts. In fact, that's how most of our clients have started, with small campaigns or outsourcing projects that have grown into long-term trusted partnerships.
In all good relationships communication is key
Communication on both sides is essential. Ensure regular reviews take place and set up a communication schedule to decide on the best times to contact each other. As satisfaction levels are steady among IHAs using offshore partners, and partnerships are developing based on trust, the offshore market is set for strong growth over the next couple of years.
The perfect match
No one wants to be working until midnight alone to meet those constant deadlines. If you’re looking for a production partner this February, download our free whitepaper. It covers what to look for in a production partner. And as that old saying goes, "it might be the start of a beautiful relationship…"