The unknown value of production
29 May 2017
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With the rise of online newspapers, brochures, e-books, and e-newsletters, the prophets of doom were quick to predict the death of books and magazines. Those who anticipated the fall of the production department in advertising and design agencies were equally mistaken. Its value is apparent in every great print advert, billboard, brochure, desk drop, piece of signage and branding element. Ultimately, a strong production team adds tremendous value to the finished concept and product.

Some may say production doesn't always get the credit it deserves. Of course, it's not just about getting credit; it's about showing the entire organization the value that production can add to any supply relationship. Production can demonstrate to other departments that collaboration with production on strategic decision making will provide more value for money spent. Production's involvement in sourcing projects should not be seen as adding process or complexity, but should be viewed as a valuable resource in helping budgets go further.

The best production team is a technical and a creative partner, a passionate advocate for great creative output, working collaborately with designers to ensure brilliant end results. A production team expertly channels the creative zeal of the agency, enabling it to produce concepts that demonstrate the agency's talents and add to its artistic reputation. Production in many ways and forms still contributes tremendously to agencies and its client;

Production management helps the agency to achieve all its objectives. It produces products, which satisfy the customers' needs and wants.

Production management helps the agency to satisfy its customers. This increases the agency reputation, goodwill and agency image.

Production management helps to minimise the cost of production. It tries to maximise the output and minimise the inputs. This helps the firm to achieve its cost reduction and efficiency objective.

Nowadays, due to low budgets skilled production people are often versatile and may be able to add value by assisting in areas of account management, project management, technical advice, or finance. While this might not be feasible in agencies with defined employee roles, others may benefit from such flexibility.

As technology plays a bigger role in marketing decisions, there is the rumored discussion of production manager's importance vs sourcing directly from the internet. With the internet and search engines being at every agency's disposal, some say that production is no longer required? There are fundamental differences between production and sourcing. Although sourcing and production are similar in meaning, both meaning to purchase or obtain goods or services that meet customer's requirements, production is something more than just purchasing as it encompasses specifications, value analysis, supplier market research, negotiation, marketing, buying activities, administration of contract, and control of inventory, traffic, and finally receiving. On the other hand, sourcing is the process of identifying sources that could provide needed products or services that are required by the organization.

Production needs to evolve from being a price-focused decision to a value-focused decision. By doing so, production has the opportunity to raise the bar for the industry by adding structure and accountability to the equation. Should production embrace this challenge, production can evolve from the dreaded line-item cost cutter to a strategic decision maker.

"The business that considers itself immune to the necessity of production in advertising, sooner or later finds itself immune to business."

By Lauren Dickson
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