India: Ripe for Magazine Design and Production Outsourcing?
Cadmus Communications, which has for years used a 600-person design and production facility in India (Knowledgeworks Global Limited in Mumbai and Chennai) for its medical-journal printing business is now exploring a full-service outsourced design and production solution for traditional b-to-b magazines.
Folio: magazine conducted a mini-poll on the question: “Can Design and Production Be Outsourced to India? Should It?” and here is what they got.
The pluses reiterated what is already been said is favour of outsourcing: There’s nothing about being in India or China or Vietnam that prevents someone from doing fantastic work for a US-based publication. The software is the same. The skills are the same. And the Web creates a situation where working with a guy in Bangalore isn’t so very different from working with a guy on another floor in your building.” And so on.
However, those against outsourcing provided varying perspectives:
“If someone thinks so little of the design of his publication to outsource the production portion, and can save enough, so be it. I’d keep pushing for automating the production portion but leave the design skills with the art director—in the office next to mine.”
“You’d lose the creative interplay needed to produce a truly compelling magazine if you don’t have face-to-face interaction.
“We deal with last-minute ads on a routine basis.We have a lot of movement up until we ship the magazine to the printer. Customer support is an integral part of our process. Although there could be some costs savings, we believe the quality of our publications and our reputation could be compromised."
“I’d be very wary of this approach. While the potential savings may look attractive, that may be offset by the oversight and review needed to ensure content has been accurately reproduced.”
Read the entire article on Folio: here.
For a short time, I worked for Hong-kong based b2b publisher who had editorial/design functions in Philippines, ad sales offices in China and Taiwan, printed in China, and distributed all over Europe and the States! Editing was outsourced to freelancers in India, UK and Singapore! The design was pretty much template-based to ensure that all group publications had a uniform look and all offices worked about a couple of months in advance and adhered to strict deadlines mutually fixed by them. And things seemed to be going along very smoothly…
Maybe outsouring to India as discussed by Folio: Forum is not too far away...