Sometimes, your shop will win a bunch of business that’s prep-intensive and the couple of doe-eyed newbie prepress people you can normally rely upon 100% just can’t work fast enough. And they’re scared – very, very scared. You can’t justify hiring someone new just for the times when your work is over-peak. So, what to do?
Production art and prepress is highly portable, so, offshore resources can be a temporary solution, but don’t think you’ll be saving any money.
One thing to keep in mind that offshore doesn’t mean ‘cheaper’. It should mean that your shop can offload peak work and get the same result as in-house.
The hourly cost may seem a little cheaper but it’s not, because the work has to be collected to transfer, specs or instructions created, recordkeeping done to track the work, e-mails to and from the off-shore source, accounting for time differences as most off-shore resources won’t be in your time zone if you’re in North America, language or understanding difficulties when trying to explain difficult or technical work and all of the above really requires a good manager (like me – shameless plug) to minimise the inevitable delays and other issues while remaining diplomatic and not popping a top and those managers are not cheap or plentiful and in a smaller shop, that manager may be you. And is that the best use of your time?
The other thing to keep in mind is that the work you get back may be perfect or okay or so-so or wrong and it will have to be QC’ed on your end. This is because offshore resources are possibly shipping your work to someone they know because they may not have the actual expertise in house. So, consistency may be variable.
And, you must develop these resources in advance of need and have more than one resource available since they may simply disappear for some reason. Life can be hard and even harder for overseas resources.
So, if you have the ability to find same-language, experienced prep freelancers through Upwork or Fiverr or Freelancer, the result is likely to be more reliable and enduring. I’ve managed both overseas and domestic out-of-house prep resources and the difference is hyper-clear. When your reputation is on the line, you kinda have to do it right, ya know?