How Partnering Offshore Can Boost Productivity

The speed of adoption of companies who are looking to bring on offshore partners has accelerated in the past 12 months. As remote work increased due to the global pandemic, so has the willingness to utilise borderless talent for ongoing production support.

The offshore market has also matured, with 50 percent of agencies having an offshore partner for at least five years. And, with the same amount of work expected from ever-decreasing budgets, more and more in-house agencies are looking to work with offshore providers.

How do you go about finding the right partner and making that relationship successful? TKM in partnership with We Are Amnet conducted a field study to find out how such partnerships are achieved.

What creative production services can be sent offshore?

First, consider which services are the most efficient to send offshore. These are often repetitive tasks with clear guidelines and standards, such as:

• Artwork & retouching

• Content localisation (social, digital and video)

• PowerPoint decks and financial reports

• Short-form video and motion graphics

• Post-production work

• Animation and CGI

• Web/app development

This list is not exhaustive, of course, and may vary depending on your business model.

Finding an offshore partner.

Our survey data shows that many companies rely on recommendations and referrals to find a partner, though some utilise webinars or conferences and others are approached directly. Unfortunately, a lack of industry insight to support the decision-making process can be a challenge for many in-house agencies.

Selecting an offshore partner.

When asked about the most important factors in choosing an offshore partner, 65 percent of response sets included the level of expertise and capabilities available. Quality of existing work (42%), flexible and competitive pricing (38%), relevant case studies/industry experience (31%) and the hybrid model of in-country client services and offshore production hubs, better known as Smartshoring® (23%), also made the top five.

Interestingly, shared culture and vision was also selected by one in five participants and considered just as important as turn-around times (both 19%). This finding demonstrates the evolution of the offshore model, which has gone from a vendor relationship to one based on mutual growth and shared commercial success.

Enabling successful onboarding.

Some 69 percent of respondents indicated that communication, planning and regular reviews were among the most important onboarding success factors. This was followed by implementing rigorous SLAs and QA processes (54%).

Half of all responses positioned Smartshoring® as a critical onboarding success factor, relating to the blended model of in-country client services coupled with offshore production hubs. Smartshoring®, as an evolution of offshoring, continues to resonate as a model that enhances communication, mitigates cultural risk, and supports quality assurance.

Producing work in parallel also scored high, with 42% of respondents placing it in their top three. This predominantly relates to test work, or perhaps a more-engaged pilot, to ensure that ways of working, management of briefs and approvals, and quality KPIs are in place.

To find out more about how and why in-house agencies are selecting and building offshore partnerships, download the report here.

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