With the recent release of the ANA Production Transparency, now is the perfect time to review and refresh your practices.
Identify someone or a team who is responsible for managing production. This can be accomplished in three ways:
- Tap into in-house resources with deep production knowledge (these team members may reside in marketing operations, procurement or finance)
- Train and develop internal team members to manage the production process and expenses
- Hire production experts to supplement your internal team
Assigning this responsibility is a critical first step to success!
Implement solid policies, procedures and guidelines governing production spend. These usually start with your company policies and procedures that need to be adhered to. However, this alone is not enough; more specific production guidelines require clarification and communication. Production guidelines are best when in writing, updated often, and both employees and agency personnel receive training. (The training is best delivered by the individuals responsible for the management of production costs.)
Avoid surprises and issues with your agencies up front in the process by conducting a thorough pre-bid meeting, including leveraging an objective party to ensure 100% alignment among agency personnel and brand teams on all elements of the production, including (but not limited to):
- Recommended bidders
- Shoot location options
- Types and number of assets to be included in production
- Talent requirements, residuals, and buyout considerations
- State incentives
- Special effects
Input and clarity around these topics early in the process facilitates transparency, effective management of budgets, and — yes, even results in savings.
Have a smooth invoicing process which includes a detailed review of invoices before payment is made. This also is helpful in eliminating the painful process of recouping funds if there are discrepancies or disputes with the billing.
Experts that specialize in reviewing production invoices and back-up documentation, monitoring compliance, ensuring verification of all costs can provide a thorough analysis. (Up-to-date, best-practice guidelines are a key element to have in-place prior to implementing the invoice review process.)
Regardless if these 4 steps are supported by internal or external resources, there’s never been a better time to take a look in the mirror and identify areas for improvement. Find yourself wondering how you’re stacking up to other organizations, or need help identifying areas that you might be at risk? Call 513-354-3833 to schedule a free transparency assessment.
Join us next week as we provide tips and tricks for implementing change to production management practices in your operations.
Written in collaboration with Angela Saferite.