Special Report: Today’s Global Sourcing Market
Companies thinking of offshoring need to remember that intellectual property laws in countries such as China, India and Israel are not as strict as they are here, Singh says, “which means the people you work with have to create that security blanket, as it were, so that they take care of your content.”
Project Management From Afar
As to quality control and tracking projects, “certainly the world of telecommunications has made a tremendous difference,” he says. “If there’s a problem, we … get on a video conference call.”
When it comes to best practices, good business systems and strong project management are essential across the board, Goff says. “The way risks can be minimized is by working with good employees that have found ways of offsetting the proximity issues with good systems and people, wherever the product is being made.”
Publishers themselves need to be prepared for the logistics of global sourcing via what Singh calls the “maturity of internal processes.”
“My biggest struggle is getting them organized,” Schaefer says of her publishing clients. “They may have a good idea, but often no one is designated to keep track of the proposed project and get it to us.”
Craley acknowledges that moving into offshoring requires a significant adjustment. “[Publishers] need to know that they have to work with a much longer lead time”—five weeks for shipping time alone from China to the warehouse when shipping to the East Coast, she says. “A typical black-and-white book that’s printed in the States might take six weeks for the entire process—from sending it to the printer to having it in the warehouse. Publishers should plan on approximately three months from the time files are sent offshore until printed books are in their warehouses. Most color books go through at least a couple rounds of color-correction proofing before they even go on press, and that time needs to be factored in,” Craley explains. “Of course, like printing in the U.S., schedules can be crunched, but the shipping and delivery time is fairly static unless more expensive methods of expedited shipping are used.