What do STM/Academic publishers think about outsourcing?

The STM/Academic segment has been the avant-garde in outsourcing and offshoring its production services. Starting with outsourcing locally, publishing companies soon set-up captives (shared services subsidiaries) in low cost geographies such as India.

As an offshore extension of operations, captives soon ceased to provide the edge – in terms of cost, expertise and management. Outsourcing gave way to offshoring, and STM/Academic service providers are probably the most mature when dealing with outsourced (and offshored) publishing work.

Offshoring and outsourcing in the STM/Academic segment started In the UK with Macmillan setting up their captive in India. However, over the years several US-based publishing companies have started outsourcing and offshoring. Some of the top buyers of outsourcing services in the STM/Academic segment include Springer, Elsevier, Pearson, Macmillan, Wiley, Oxford University Press, and a whole range of mid-small publishing companies in the US and UK.

Since outsourcing as well as offshoring is quite well-entrenched in the business model of the publishers operating in the STM/Academic segment, it is of immense interest to understand and analyze buyer sentiments with respect to outsourcing. An insight into buyer sentiment will help us answer a few questions like:

  • What are the challenges faced by the industry and how has the industry changed in terms of perceived challenges?
  • What are the satisfaction levels with outsourced/offshored services?
  • What are the areas that still need improvement?
  • What is the buyer proclivity to outsource? Will smaller companies outsource more? The following chapters delve deeper into all these aspects.
  • How has the industry shaped up in terms of functional areas outsourced? For example, is there more demand for content (implying higher value services) or production (low value high volume services)?

Research Methodology

We broke down the 237 responses as per segments to generate this report. We further cross tabbed STM/Academic segment responses on the following:

  • Profile of the respondent
  • Size of company and
  • Geography

This break-down provided us with granularity on various aspects such as challenges faced, satisfaction levels, sourcing levels, cost savings, sourcing expectations, etc. This has helped us develop a comprehensive understanding of outsourcing sentiments within the segment.

 

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Table Of Contents

1. Foreword
2. Research Methodology
2.1 Who took the survey?
2.2 Respondent break-down by company’s employee strength
2.3 Respondent break-down by company revenues
2.4 Respondent break-down by geography
2.5 Demography of Buyer respondents – STM/Academic
2.6 Where are the STM/Academic respondents from?
2.7 Interest by smaller publishers
3. STM Industry – Brief Background
3.1 History of outsourcing in STM/Academic publishing
4. Challenges faced by STM publishers
4.1 What are the perceived challenges for STM publishers?
4.1.1 Outsourcing can make up for lack of in-house capabilities
4.1.2 Technology – not a very strong driver
4.1.3 Does size impact the perception of “key challenge?”
4.2 Understanding outsourcing sentiments
4.3 Can outsourcing mitigate challenges – which ones?
5. Satisfaction levels and expectations
5.1 Perceived cost savings – buyer perceptions
5.1.1 US and UK publishers’ perceptions
5.1.2 Publisher vs. management perceptions
5.1.3 Vendor perceptions on cost savings
5.1.4 Are buyers satisfied?
5.2 What are the improvement areas?
5.2.1 Improvement required in quality – View by revenues of respondents
5.2.2 Improvement required in quality – View by geography
5.2.3 Attention across all areas – view by profile
6. Will outsourcing grow?
6.1 Proclivity to outsource
6.2 Where will the growth from?
6.2.1 Which publishers (by size) will drive offshore growth?
6.2.2 Which geography will increase outsourcing, which will retard?
6.2.3 Where will increased sourcing come from?
6.3 Preferred sourcing destinations
6.4 Which services will be in demand?
7. How will things shape up?
7.1 Service provider checklist
7.2 Buyer checklist
8. Annexure
8.1 Sourcing Prism
9. About ValueNotes
9.1 Research Publications
9.2 Recent Custom Projects

Table Of Exhibits

Exhibit 1: Break-down by position in the industry
Exhibit 2: Respondent break-down by buyer profile – Total
Exhibit 3: Break-down by stakeholder profile
Exhibit 4: Respondent break-down by company size – Total
Exhibit 5: Respondent break-down by company size (manpower) – Tota
Exhibit 6: Respondent break-down by revenues – Total
Exhibit 7: Respondent break-down by revenues – Total
Exhibit 8: Respondent break-down by geography – Total
Exhibit 9: Respondent break-down by geography – STM/Academic
Exhibit 10: Respondent break-down by company size  (manpower) – STM/Academic
Exhibit 11: Respondent break-down by company size (revenues) – STM/Academic
Exhibit 12: Share of STM in the publishing industry
Exhibit 13: Offshore buyers of publishing services
Exhibit 14: Perceived challenges – STM publishers
Exhibit 15:Key challenges faced by STM publishers (by size of publisher)
Exhibit 16: Perceived challenges – by geography (publisher revenues<$30m)
Exhibit 17: What does the industry feel about outsourcing?
Exhibit 18: What does the industry feel about outsourcing? – by geography
Exhibit 19: What does the industry feel about outsourcing? – by profile
Exhibit 20: What does the industry feel about outsourcing? – by company revenues
Exhibit 21: Can sourcing mitigate challenges?
Exhibit 22: Which challenges can be effectively mitigated by outsourcing?
Exhibit 23: Cost savings – Overall buyer perceptions
Exhibit 24: Cost savings – Perceptions by size of company (revenues)
Exhibit 25: Cost savings – US and UK publishers’ perceptions
Exhibit 26: Cost savings – publisher vs. management perceptions
Exhibit 27: Cost savings – Vendor perceptions
Exhibit 28: Overall satisfaction levels
Exhibit 29: Will buyers continue to outsource?
Exhibit 30: Improvement areas
Exhibit 31: Improvement required in quality! – View by respondent geography
Exhibit 32: Improvement required in quality! – View by respondent geography
Exhibit 33: Improvement required in quality! – View by respondent profile
Exhibit 34: Improvement required across parameters! – View by profile
Exhibit 35: Outsourcing proclivity among publishers
Exhibit 36: Growth will come from moderate to highly satisfied buyers
Exhibit 37: Outsourcing proclivity – by company size
Exhibit 38: Outsourcing proclivity – by geography
Exhibit 39: Outsourcing to continue at current levels – by publisher location
Exhibit 40: Outsourcing increase by >25% – by publisher location
Exhibit 41: Preferred outsourcing destinations
Exhibit 42: US buyers’ destinations of choice
Exhibit 43: UK and Rest Of Europe – Buyers’ destinations of choice
Exhibit 44: Asian buyers’ destinations of choice
Exhibit 45: Proclivity to outsource functional areas
Exhibit 46: Service provider checklist
Exhibit 47: Buyer checklist
Exhibit 48: Sourcing Prism

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