45 Tips for Sourcing Work Overseas
—Mala Morris, General Manager, Business Development, Newgen Imaging Systems
34 If you are considering a U.S. company with offshore partners, get information about the U.S. company's involvement with its partners, especially on quality control and how partners are evaluated.
35 Examine equipment/technology closely when you visit the site. Choose a partner with a state-of-the-art facility.
36 Choose a partner with an established history in offshore production and a well-integrated offshore production model.
37 Look for partners with 24/7 capabilities to compensate for time zone differences.
What services can you expect?
38 Most vendors now offer CTP printing. But avoid printers not offering tech support in color management, and who don't fully understand use of ICC profiles.
39 Decide what prepress services you need. … Requiring multiple sets of color press proofs or digital prints can be a cost factor if working overseas.
40 Overseas vendors can easily provide CIF (cost, insurance and freight) port pricing. Find out who will handle U.S. customs clearance. Often, delivery price to door exceeds sea freight. Look for vendors to provide this service, so you won't have to.
41 How is their customer service handled? Service problems can cost you more than you save. Will you have to track down your salesperson? What automated production systems, including Web-based reporting, are available?
42 Negotiate terms up front. Many vendors require sizable deposits or even a letter-of-credit from first-time customers. What are the best terms offered once a relationship becomes well-established?
43 If books fall behind schedule, what options are available? Will the vendor pay air freight if it is responsible for the delay? Can files be transferred to a company in North America if the publisher is at fault?
44 Anticipate delays and prepare a backup plan. Rail congestion, space shortages due to high volume, transport workers' strikes, etc., are not uncommon.