15 Tips for Global Sourcing
11. Make sure legal contracts address potential problems.
When sourcing work offshore, issues can arise over who owns intellectual property rights in software, database architecture, design and a variety of other areas. To avoid headaches, “be sure that contracts specify what will be returned to you and at what cost if you want to withdraw from a deal,” recommends Morris.
If a problem arises, experts say to resolve it like any issue in the United States. Be forewarned that, while litigation is fairly rare and experts say it is generally
(Continued on page 50)
(Global Sourcing, continued from page 32)
not a major issue, if it happens, the going can be slow.
“If a relationship has deteriorated to the point of litigation, it will be very difficult to fight, as you are dealing with international law,” says Leach.
12. Choose the right project for overseas printing.
Many four-color printing projects make sense for overseas printing. Leach recommends avoiding one-color digest work and component printing where publishers outsource the cover overseas, but keep the text and binding in the United States.
Crawford recommends outsourcing typesetting, especially to English-speaking countries. He avoids outsourcing design and editorial aspects of the book production, such as substantive editing, copy editing, proofing or indexing.
Clark says he sees almost everything sourced offshore, from print-on-demand books to short-run brochures, but says that the economies of larger runs make overseas sourcing the most attractive.
13. Expect the unexpected.
When dealing with an overseas supplier, language, cultural and corporate issues are bound to arise. “Remain alert at all times to the fact that unexpected aspects of the relationship may prove problematic and may require compromise,” says
Crawford. Publishers will avoid a lot of headaches if they are familiar with their supplier’s holiday schedule. Don’t expect a project to ship if the printer is closed for a national holiday.