Deciding whether staff resources are being used efficiently, and whether staff are doing a good job, are unpleasant tasks which image library managers often avoid.  But keeping your head in the sand over productivity and accuracy of the team is a bad mistake.

In the rush to get production in, then back out onto the market, it can be difficult to work out whether staff are doing the job that’s needed.  This is a key factor when assessing whether outsourcing could be a good option.  Not asking the right questions and collecting the right data can see unnecessary losses in wasted time and delayed production.

Here are some tips to work out if staff are being fully utilised and doing a good job with captioning, metadata and image correction:

1.  Count your staff’s productivity with real numbers.  Assign values to the work they are doing and get them to record how much work they do each day.  You may be surprised.

2.  Account for down time.  When assessing productivity, don’t forget to have every hour accounted for, including when nothing is being done, or staff are doing work that is not normally their task.  Having staff doing the wrong tasks, or make-work tasks, can have very negative consequences for efficiency and quality.

3.  Work out how much production is being delayed.  Even if staff are working to capacity, there will be times when production is held up because there aren’t enough staff to be deployed temporarily during production spikes. Include in the delays any time the image sets sit around because processing is not 24/7.

4.  To assess quality of work, do random checks of sets.  These checks could include image correction, metadata and keywording.  It is surprising how little attention is given to the quality of production by in-house staff, when there is normally a high level of scrutiny of outsourced work.  Make sure there are set criteria – not just a general look see – and collate the results in a spreadsheet or database so the performance can be tracked over time.

To find out about the advantages of outsourcing, click here.