Ever needed a video done in a hurry, your boss needs a quick video explainer, client is itching to get a video quote and it takes days upon days and once the jury is back you are left with your jaw to the floor. Animation is prohibitively expensive and unless you are ranking in some serious big bucks you will be hard pressed to afford the regular industry prices going as far up as $50.000 for a 5 minute video and even more.
But it’s the 21st century you need to get your message across and video sharing services like YouTube are just what you need, high user engagement and interaction, easy sharing and embedding and amazing brand value coming from the media.
So what do you do, do you take a pay hit and shell out the money? Most people do, making their businesses less competitive in the process, losing marketing budgets and a lot of times ending up with a sub-par product due to inexperience and frankly a lot of small lettering in the big production company’s terms and conditions that shift a lot of work back to the client again.
And animation is at the top of the food chain of all possible video services. It requires high end equipment, infrastructure, trained and seasoned professionals and time, lots and lots of time and time is what agencies and production companies love charging the most, for them it actually makes very little sense to do short videos.
Their primary clients are usually large film, music video or TV/streaming companies that keep them supplied with work and funds for long periods. Everyday users come more as an afterthought, as they require the same resources but produce only short videos and don’t provide the same influx of work and money.
You do have an option, you can just do animation outsourcing and get your animation done at a more affordable price, however the issue that pops out here is quality, how can you know that the person you hired can get the job done or knows what he is doing, or has any kind of clue what you are looking for in an animation outsourcing partner?
There are some scary stories in the industry of various outsourcing projects going sideways due to inexperience and/or poor work ethics.
So how do you choose?
There is a checklist you should go through every time you start with somebody new
Ask for previous work (most good companies and professionals have a show-reel showcasing their work)
Ask for a list of clients (a good way to figure out if their serious)
Get them on a call, or video call (lookout for warning signs)
Ask them in detail about their work process and always make sure you have a single point of contact
If they pass these requirements, give them a shot, it means they have done the work before and know how to handle clients.
Outsourced companies and professionals usually have significantly lower expenses (5 to 10 times from our research) and if chosen right can provide comparable or even superior quality to domestic companies.
Animation outsourcing is no exception and even large networks and TV shows are known for searching for more affordable production facilities ( Simpsons were well known for doing their animation work in overseas studios, they even made some puns in the show about that). Even outrageously priced agencies will in a pinch resort to calling an overseas agency or professionals especially for large projects on tight deadlines.
So stop making your business less competitive, if you haven’t already you need to start outsourcing and you need to start now it could be that “Make or break” moment for your business. If you are looking for a partner we suggest checking here, it could make a huge difference.
Service solutions custom tailored to specific needs that the client has, as well as service level agreements that reflect the actual work input no matter the project size, is one of the biggest challenges of outsourcing industry today. On the other hand, from HubSteady’s point of view, it is also one of the biggest opportunities when it comes to future growth for the content localization niche.
In the past, outsourcing was more or less considered a Pandora’s box. Some had an amazing experience, some were not as fortunate. This was in part, because clients often focused on straightforward cost cutting solutions, which were perhaps not the best business solution for them going forward. If you want to learn more about this, check out our blog post about challenges of outsourcing when it comes to affordability vs. quality [link].
Today, however, outsourcing vendors are much more integrated in clients’ day to day operations. They are, after all, key business enablers. Needless to say, there has to be a high level of trust, but also a collaboration model with procedures that are efficient and innovative. You wonder why? Because simply outsourcing is not enough, you have to do it better than your competitors to stay ahead.
The best way to explain this is through an example.
One of HubSteady’s most important clients in the content localization area is a giant, simply put a global leader in localization of content. Their client base is diverse, so you can imagine that a lot of these clients have specific needs, look for varying turnaround times and various levels of quality. Our own operations have to be set up in such a way that we can quickly and effectively scale, follow through and deliver. All within hours. Period.
In other words, we would for example have an English source video with translations in 10 languages. Expected turnaround time is 72 hours. Our project managers have a few hours to confirm voice over talents and schedule the recordings. We also need to leave enough time for audio editing and to be on the safe side, enough time to correct any potential mistakes or as we call them breaches in the process.
Other clients may ask for different scopes of work and/or level of quality, but nonetheless, we have to provide them with the rate for the project, specific turnaround time and then deliver on the promise. It is absolutely essential that this whole process is lightning fast.
Simply put, this is a client oriented business model. If we started by offering service that “we can do”, we would have failed in the global market. What we had to do is offer services that “the clients need”, whatever those services may be in the full scope of our service industry.
Indeed, this particular business model is a challenge, yet when done right, it gives the client capacity to focus on other opportunities and avoid micro managing vendors and processes associated to specifically them.
It’s no secret that the biggest trend in outsourcing at the moment is vendors being key business enablers for their clients. It’s about sharing the knowledge, growing together and nurturing the relationship. The trick is not to look at the numbers, but rather people, because when it comes to outsourcing top talent is the pillar of each and every contemporary success story.
Four years now, even decades, it was repeated as a mantra, by journalists and industry experts alike, that outsourcing means cutting costs. This view is not only oversimplified, but also damaging to business owners and/or decision makers. Now, this is not because this statement is not true, because it clearly is, but rather because by focusing only on cutting costs you are missing out on so much more.
In truth, the unique selling proposition for outsourcing was never about money. It was the top talent all along. Innovative, skillful brainpower is what gives companies competitive advantage in modern highly competitive markets. In US, UK and other Western countries, such talent is scarce and comes with a huge price tag. So, then rather than go for the top talent in US, for example, companies will go for the top talent in Eastern Europe, where you would usually get the most for your money.
By finding a “world star” outsourcing vendor you avoid risk of drop in quality caused by inadequate workforce for the tasks required, then inevitably running into problems with your own client/customer dissatisfaction and finally micro managing projects into oblivion, because you are not getting the results you were expecting. Be smart. Choose smart. You can work less and accomplish more. That’s the point of outsourcing after all.
If you are thinking about outsourcing or changing your strategy, getting the best available professionals is clearly the first priority, saving money is only the second. Identifying the right partner, whose employees will give you not just bare essentials, but value-added service, will set you on a path to sustainable future growth for your company. It’s not necessarily about having more money to invest, it’s about investing smart and finding the right outsourcing vendor.