In an economically driven move, TheAgency has decided to produce part of its web development in Krakow, Poland.
The decision is largely influenced by the mass relocation of a UK based Polish workforce, due to favourable economic conditions back home, and a relaxation on the tax benefits earned abroad. Many Polish workers have started to return home with more money in their pocket, leaving the UK with a potential skills shortfall. Unemployment in Poland shrank to 11.5% in February 2008 (Source: Warsaw Voice) and the country is crying out for skilled workers, particularly those trained over the past few years in Western Europe.
TheAgency digital management team have worked with and supported a number of Polish technical developers in the past.
“We have found working with Polish technical teams very efficient, their level of knowledge and technical expertise has been second to none, and it makes perfect sense to retain those same individuals going forward, even if it means locating the technical part of the business in Krakow” says Saman Mansourpour, Partner at TheAgency.
Although all other agency functions, including planning, creative, and the email services will remain in the UK, an English project manager, Rich Ryrko, is permanently based in Krakow, and oversees all the technical development projects.
“Our clients come first, and we are continuing our high level of efficiency and quality service, whilst managing to reduce costs. We have done this by implementing stringent processes, quality procedures and controls, and having an English project manager running the teams is essential, especially when it comes to language. We pride ourselves on having been able to plan ahead for most eventualities”. Saman Mansourpour Partner
“There is increasing demand among marketers to reduce costs, particularly in light of the UK’s recent economic crisis, but it is very difficult to maintain the same levels of service and quality that marketing departments have come to expect. We have witnessed many companies managing projects over split locations fall into difficulty over the years, particularly those with long travel times and time differences. Poland is ideal, the distance is manageable, the time difference is 1 hour, and most importantly, the people we have based there have worked with us and know us.” Rick Ryrko, Technical Project Manager at RKO.
Perhaps most importantly for companies working with TheAgency, is to know that although the levels of speed and service will remain unchanged, they will see a potential fall of up to 20% in the digital development prices charged.
“With this type of delivery structure, it is not only our direct clients that are benefiting, but, rather unexpectedly, we have also started to provide technical services to other agencies and media companies. We had never thought that such a service would appeal to some of our closest competitors, but it does make sense, we are all feeling the pinch in the current market and this is a good way for keeping the industry buoyant.Our digital studio and development functions are kept separate, and with non disclosure agreements in place, we can ensure that everything is legally tended to.” Amy Stobie, Partner