Mark Twain once wrote ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ And, this is true of outsourcing. If you’re outsourcing production work for the first time it can be difficult to know where to start and what to outsource

Once you have selected your production partner, here are three tips to help get started: 

1. Pilot a Project 

Why not start with a small pilot project? This will ensure ways of working, brief and approvals management and quality KPIs are bedded in effectively. Whilst not essential, introducing a pilot project can be a great way for the new partner to understand current ways of working, ironing out any issues that might only get noticed once the live work starts. 

Collaboration is key during this stage of the outsourcing process. It is not just about signing off the services and giving a handover, but it is more about learning from the mistakes, mapping requirements and streamlining the delivery model to maximize ROI. Don’t forget a post-pilot debrief as it is here that both parties can discuss what worked well and what can be improved next time. 

2. Define clear processes, SLAs and share brand assets

As with any partnership, defining expectations and processes is key. Important areas to consider are setting up reporting lines – will there be one single point of contact within the offshore and onshore team, or will multiple staff be talking and collaborating. How will relationships and processes be managed? To enable your production partner to get up to speed, share brand guidelines, campaign assets and tone of voice, along with goals and objectives for your campaigns. 

Detailed service level agreements (SLAs) should include: 

  • the scope of work
  • details of how these services will be measured
  • the responsibilities of each party
  • turnaround times 
  • solutions options for any unintentional breach

3. Onboarding 

An effective onboarding strategy clearly outlines what, why, how, who and when questions so that there is no ambiguity. A client workshop to manage knowledge transfer relating to brand immersion, guidelines, expectations as well as roles and responsibilities can help. 

Ready. Set. Go! 

The right creative production partner will take time to understand the brand and the client brief. At EKCS, we have a discovery phase to understand client needs, brand and industry before we start on implementation. 

Your ongoing relationship

Communication on both sides is essential so ensure regular reviews take place and set up a proper communication schedule to decide on the best times to contact each other. As satisfaction levels are steady among IHAa using offshore partners and partnerships are developing based on trust, the offshore market is set for strong growth over the next five years. 

This content is taken from Chapter 8 of A Guide to Outsourcing for Creative Teams which looks at the hybrid approach of creative production outsourcing, what to look for in a production partner and how to measure the success of outsourcing. Download the free guide today.

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