Are You In or Out?
Weigh these benefits against potential drawbacks, such as extra upfront time required to gather the reports and history necessary to build the analysis, and to familiarize the outsourcer with company lingo, acronyms and jargon.
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
One catalog's executives decided it was best to take the creative layouts designed by an outsourced professional, and finish the page production themselves. The premise was that it was cheaper to complete the work internally since a staff member had previous experience in page layout and owned the appropriate graphic software.
The outcome, however, was that the employee spent nearly 16 hours longer than the outsourcer, so the company had no time left in the process to proof the pages. It ended up spending as much money in corrections at the proofing stage as the outsourcer would have charged.
The New Math
Continue to reassess your numbers. Use a more granular analysis to evaluate the financial differences between in-house and outsourced solutions (i.e., cost per order, hourly rate, cost per page), and review the analysis for reasonableness. Whether a company is growing, reorganizing, launching catalog spin-offs, converting databases or accommodating employee vacations or sabbaticals, outsourcing can be a quick fix to alleviate the pains of transition.
Gina Valentino is vice president/general manager of J. Schmid & Assoc. Inc., Shawnee Mission, KS. She can be reached at (913) 236-8988, or firstname.lastname@example.org.