As the advertising landscape continues to evolve at a fast pace, the major challenge for any publisher and brand is to speedily and cost-efficiently produce a range of quality creatives. And to meet this expanded scope, scale, and speed, most of the marketers feel outsourcing fits perfectly into their scaling plan.
However, if we say the whole offshore outsourcing lifecycle is not challenging then it’s gonna be a lie. Offshore capabilities have certainly got more mature from the past two decades but it’s yet not free from challenges.
The responsibility of massive volumes of work, strict deadlines, cultural and language barriers, along with the requirement to keep costs down, can make outsourcing quite turbulent. Therefore, in spite of knowing the benefits of outsourcing creative ops, the decision to go ahead with it still poses a big question mark for many because of the challenges involved.
From our varied experience working with global publishers and brands, we understand that strategic collaboration and streamlined processes help save both time and money. The predefined workflows, clearly defined and mutually agreed SLAs and processes also leave less or rather no chances of revisions to reach the desired outcome quality real fast.
Solution: The transformed face of business collaboration
Managing an in-house creative ops team or working with an offshore team, either of them is undoubtedly a two-way street. To deliver successful profitable results, a collaborative framework is required that takes the business objectives into account and drives operations decisions with a focus on delivering on time and on quality.
Following five steps will help you to deliver your creative campaigns on time and with the least amount of iteration cycles when outsourcing your work.
1. Clearly defined workflows:
Devising a proper plan is the key to outsourcing. Efficient processes should be drafted, documented and implemented for the successful remote work to take place. As the old saying says, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. Through measuring the work that is supposed to be done, you can manage how efficiently it’s executed. Or else, you have no idea about where the obstacle in your team’s activity lies. So by defining the workflows, you review the obstacles and provision in the workarounds for a friction-free production.
There are three determinant points for making a workflow:
- The precise scope of the jobs being done
- Who is accountable for the various milestones of the job
- The time each job takes
2. A good creative brief
A good creative brief enables successful ‘first time right’ deliveries. The formation of a creative brief should be the collaboration between you and your outsourced partner. The act of committing the brief to paper strengthens the ideas and provides the essential information to deliver a successful project. It usually contains the project outline, target audience, and any additional info. Your creative brief will differ from one project to another.
A brief can be made exhaustive or narrow to capture the required information to work on the project. The probability to get ‘first time right’ increases dramatically is a good briefing process is in place.
Service level agreement is a commitment between you and your service provider and helps you manage various expectations related to the deliverables. It’s actually a conflict-prevention tool where scope, as well as priorities, are outlined so that any confusion can be easily managed.
SLA’s with predefined milestones are vital for the operations team to meet the client’s expectations consistently. The ultimate objective is to have predefined benchmarks for quality and efficiency, so both the parties use the same assessment criterion.
4. Cultural Barriers
Culture has often been quoted as one of the major barriers to successful offshore outsourcing. These cultural differences have an effect on interactions, communication, understanding, productivity, comfort, and commitment.
Technology in business processes has enabled us to overcome location and time zone barriers, however not– cultural differences. The solution to this is cultural sensitization and training to facilitate both parties to serve common business interest. For this, it’s imperative to create an environment where it is fine to ask questions for getting clarification on any ambiguity. Familiarization to common industry terminology before the start of the project is essential to avoid misunderstandings during production. Also, with reduced possibilities of conflicts and team dysfunction, time and money are eventually saved.
5. Quality Assurance
A good quality control process can accelerate the chances of ‘first time right’ delivery of projects. Setting up the proper quality assurance milestones within the production process will help you meet the predefined SLA’s with less friction and effort. QA is a continuous practice to ensure and improve performance, processes, and procedures to achieve maximum profitability. Proper and continuous communication of the processes reduce the chances of errors considerably.
Including these 5 steps while planning your outsourcing production projects will help you to get deliveries on time and on quality with the least amount of resistance.
Collaboration is a delicate matter with several nuances. The steps above have helped us hone our client engagement and develop successful offshore relationships along with producing profitable outcomes that are vital for any creative operations success.