Law Firm case study – offshoring graphic design services

5 Feb 2014

It is surprising how often a law firm uses or can benefit from graphic design skills. Whether it be for invitations to events, the latest email updates, website modifications or tenders, good graphic design skills are becoming increasingly important in communicating messages simply and effectively.

Graphic design when done locally however is quite expensive. The purpose of this case study is to look at the cost savings that are likely to be achieved through the use of offshore staff in the Philippines as contrasted to local staff or service providers for the provision of graphic design services to Australian law firms.

A closer look at costs

Locally, engaging a reasonably experienced graphic designer (say 5 years+) will cost around $60,000 – $70,000 (inclusive of super). In addition to this, the person’s share of overhead for a CBD law firm is likely to be at least $5,000 per month (another $60,000 per year) and this doesn’t include payroll tax. Therefore, the total likely cost for a graphic designer working in-house for a CBD firm will be at least $120,000+ per annum.

Alternatively, a graphic designer can be engaged on contract for hourly rates in Australia starting at about $50 per hour for someone working from home and from about $120 per hour for designers working as part of graphic design or related business.

So what then does it cost to employ a full-time graphic designer in the Philippines using an offshore staff services provider?

It is likely that the total cost of the provider, including recruiting the staff member, salary, rent, electricity, internet, HR support , IT support etc would be less than $30,000 per annum. If you assume a 48 week year (typically Filipino workers only have 2 weeks’ vacation leave per year) and an 8-hour work day, this comes out to an effective hourly rate of $15.60 per hour.

The quality of the graphic designers available in the Philippines is also quite comparable to those in Australia.

With technology and high-speed internet acting as enablers, staff working remotely becoming commonplace, and profitability levels being more difficult to maintain, it is easy to see how the use of offshore staff or remote staff engaged through offshoring staff providers is set to increase within the legal industry.