Should I Outsource When I Have a Great In-House Team?

computer at a desk

To outsource, or not to outsource? It’s a question many in-house agencies (IHAs) ask themselves. After all, there are many plus points to keeping creative production in-house. Your team lives and breathes the brand. They have unique knowledge and they are also more invested in the business. Right?

If that’s the case, why do IHAF’s findings show that 85% of IHAs outsource some portion of their work to external providers?

Could it be that outsourcing production enables IHAs to focus on what they do best, rather than worry about mundane and non-essential tasks? IHAs that can remain focused on their core mission are more efficient and more creative.

However great your team is, it’s unlikely that your employees will always have the production skills you need. The Great Resignation has resulted in some IHAs losing key expertise.

An EKCS survey in November 2021 revealed over half of IHAs in the US don’t have enough creative staff. Yet hiring full-time employees and freelancers comes with complexity and costs. Outsourcing can provide access to a wider talent pool.

Meeting deadlines

Meeting deadlines is one of the biggest challenges for 51% of IHAs, according to the EKCS survey, The Modern Challenges of an IHA. For in-housers, time is often consumed by company obligations and competing priorities. As a result, meeting deadlines can create added pressure and late-into-the-evening work.

Working with an off-shore partner who works in different time zones is an advantage for many creative teams.

team viewing a laptop screen and discussing

What about my great team?

The term outsourcing still conjures fears and worries for some staff. So, making the decision to outsource any portion of the work is likely to raise concerns.

Nowadays, outsourcing isn’t all about reducing headcount. The benefits extend beyond cost savings. Creative production outsourcing is all about enabling staff and your IHA to do more.

Production is a time-consuming process that can drain capacity. Often it results in draining time and talent from your skilled creatives. Do you want your artworker resizing print adverts or your web developer creating multiple banners when they could be working on ideation and other creative elements?

With the right partner, outsourcing enables your department to do more interesting work. Convey this to your in-house team. Explaining the reasons behind it, beyond cost-savings, can help with team buy-in and ensure your talented in-house creatives remain motivated.

Effective onboarding extends beyond knowledge transfer, brand immersion, guidelines, expectations, roles and responsibilities. It helps teams bond and start to understand each other and a new way of working. When great in-house agencies team up with a great offshore partner —well, that’s when the magic happens!

Download our free whitepaper, A Guide to Outsourcing for Creative Teams, to learn more about outsourcing.

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