Why Should You Outsource Vector Artwork?

First, why shouldn’t you? As a small business owner or manager, I’m sure you can come up with a few answers to this:

  • My in-house artists have worked with me for years, they know what I need.
  • They are focused on the kind of artwork my business needs, so it’s easier – and faster! – to get work done.
  • They are right here in my office, so it’s easier to communicate.
  • I’ve worked with them for years, I don’t want to change.

All of these are valid reasons. But if you are looking for ways to increase value to your customers and to cut costs (and who isn’t?), you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t look at the other side of the coin.

So, why should you outsource your artwork needs?

  • Move from a fixed-cost to a variable-cost model. What you’re doing is trading in your fixed costs (employee salaries and other overheads) for a variable cost (fees to your outsourcing vendor). Fixed costs are what you incur day in and day out, whether you use the resources or not. In my experience, many businesses can save at least 20%-30% this way.
  • Manage demand fluctuations more effectively. If your business has seasonal peaks and troughs, making the switch to variable costs might make even more sense. Inundated with orders because of the specials you are offering this month? Getting more orders now that the economy is picking up? Gearing up to deal with the rush before the end of the year? By passing your artwork orders on to a reliable vendor, you can manage such fluctuations much more easily.
  • Gain access to more specialized skills. I hear you about the specific needs of your industry and your business. Yet – can you afford to have your designers trained on every kind of artwork your customer asks for? A big graphics provider can. That one difficult order from a new customer that your artist has been struggling with? We work with such orders every day. A large and reliable outsourcing partner will have the diverse skills and experience that a business cannot afford to have in-house.
  • Focus on growing your business.  As a small business owner or manager, you are already torn in many directions.  How much more of the burden of managing your in-house artwork department can you take on without spreading yourself too thin? How can you deal with increased orders without overloading your designers with work? How do you free up time to focus on things that are core to business growth, such as talking to your customers, selling, or launching new products?

Ultimately, you can weigh the first set of answers against the second to see what makes most sense for you. Thousands of small businesses who have outsourced their artwork needs to Affinity Express are happy with the outcome.

But let me hear it from you: what do you think? Have you, or would you, consider outsourcing artwork? Why or why not?

About Joanna Grant
One of the founders of Affinity Express, Joanna is vice president of Graphic Production and Support Services at the company.

One Response to Why Should You Outsource Vector Artwork?

  1. Pingback: Why You Should Outsource Production of Your Marketing Materials and Ads « Affinity Express Blog

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