Outsourcing challenges in publishing: ValueNotes Report

A steep rise in cost and fall in revenue are prompting the companies in publishing industry to outsource some of their internal process. However, in most cases the strategy fail for them because of the lack of clarity in selecting the right outsourcing partner and not developing the right strategy to drive a long-term outsourcing relationship.

In this context, ValueNotes, a leading research firm in India has come with outsourcing tips for publishers who are looking out to outsource their ad production. The white paper titled, “The outsourcing Imperative for Publishers” seeks to provide solution for some of the common problems faced by publishers while outsourcing.

Below is a brief discussion on the key points in white paper.

The white paper mainly focuses on four areas of outsourcing process in publishing and they are:

  • Identification of the process to be outsourced
  • Selection of outsourcing partner
  • Maintaining outsourcing relationship
  • Success measuring

Identifying the processes to be outsourced

According to the research paper, a publisher should carry out a thorough internal research before buying the service of an outsourcing provider. In order to decide which ad functions to outsource, they should divide each function with respect to its role in their business strategies.  The paper suggests that it is wise to perform those functions internally if that process differentiates them from their rival performer.

As per the report, among the ad production, ad procurement and ad creation have the lowest potential to outsource while ad layout and ad imaging have high potential to be outsourced. The analysts of the research firm also suggest the publishers to benchmark their internal process which would help them to identify the process to outsource.

Selection of outsourcing partner

The report asks the publishers to give due diligence while selecting the partner because an outsourcing partner has the power to make or break a deal. The papers suggest some basic criteria that can be used to select the vendor. Publishers can use these criteria to assess the service providers. They are:

  • Experience of the outsourcing partner
  • Capability in terms of skills in design, artwork, on-time delivery etc
  • Pricing structure offered
  • Transition strategy of the provider
  • Operation and monitoring and sustainability.

Maintaining outsourcing relationship

Once the outsourcing partner is selected, the next step is to implement the transitioning of processes and managing the outsourcing engagement with the partner. For that the paper suggests the publishers to prepare a water-tight SLA.

To transit the process to service provider, the paper suggest preparing a detailed transition plan. The analyst asks the publishers to carry out a pilot run of the process before going live with outsourcing.

Measuring Success

Measure the ROI to assess whether outsourcing has delivered desired results or benefits. Publishers should have detailed measurement matrix to compute the cost-margin trade off accurately, that will help in measuring the success of outsourcing.

Overall the new report, provide solution to the common questions that a publisher face while outsourcing. You can download the full report from here.

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