Finding the perfect partner can take time, years in fact. There are a host of reasons why brands and IHAs are still looking for a production partner. How will outsourcing impact an in-house team? What about external perceptions or how the production partner could interpret the brand? 

Production disasters

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 grounded! Then there is IBM who managed — or mismanaged — a project for the Australian state of Queensland. Expected to cost $6m, it ended up costing $1.2Bn! 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!  In reality, 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 & competitive pricing 
  • Availability of local onshore account managers 

Maintain control 

In the examples of outsourcing horrors, many disasters came down to lack of control by the brand. 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 which enables you to stay in control with a complete overview of your campaigns. 

Perceptions matter 

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 really 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. 

Get to know each other 

Start small by offering a production partner a small project or campaign. This enables you to know each other and the new partner to understand current ways of working, ironing out any issues that might only get 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. 

Your ongoing relationship – talking 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 five years. 

The perfect match 

If you’re looking for a production partner this February, download our free whitepaper. It covers what to look for in a production partner. It might just be the start of a beautiful relationship…

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