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Three Surprising Ways Marketing Can Solve Manufacturers’ 2022 Challenges

manufacturing companies

Three Surprising Ways Marketing Can Solve Manufacturers’ 2022 Challenges

Manufacturing businesses small and large have had their hands full with the fall-out of the pandemic, and while it seems the worst of the crisis is now behind us, companies will continue to grapple with how to keep both customers and employees on board despite supply chain issues, intense competition, and labor shortages.

What’s sometimes overlooked is that the marketing function can help solve three of manufacturers’ biggest challenges in 2022—if the C-suite doesn’t limit marketing’s role to lead generation.

Here are three ways marketers can help manufacturing businesses navigate the many disruptions they will continue to face next year, in ways that extend far beyond product promotion.

Supply Chain Related Communications

Up until this year, the markets were very rarely rocked by supply chain disruptions. The Wall Street Journal did not even have a logistics beat in the last few decades. In 2021, everything changed when COVID-19 caused labor shortages, disrupting the supply chain of a vast amount of finished products and base materials—just when demand for manufactured goods surged.

So how should companies communicate about delayed or canceled deliveries to their customers? One way is for marketers to segment the client database and then decide how the different tiers need to be serviced. When demand outweighs supply, choices need to be made on who will receive what, when. One useful approach is to distinguish between client segments based on profitability and potential. For each segment, decide how various customers and customer types will be prioritized. Include a comprehensive plan on how client communication will look across all channels.

Another way marketers can help companies navigate through supply chain issues is by deciding to not manage supply, but rather to manage demand. This can be done through turning down the promotional activities for a series of products that are running short or use targeted price increases to affect demand.

Customers can and will understand more than some managers may expect, but they need sensible and consistent information. For information to make sense, it needs to be based on a coherent and methodical approach to client service in a disrupted market. Customers time and again have expressed appreciation for timely communication even with “bad news” as it helps them with plans and projections.

Value Proposition

Manufacturing companies pride themselves on their legacy and track record. Claims regarding longevity and past success have a place in marketing communications. But having served your customers for many decades with products that work, is table stakes, and not something companies can use as meaningful differentiators or the basis for building customer preference.

Many businesses can still make a lot of progress in differentiating themselves successfully through a better understanding of what it is that their customers value. Insights gained through a customer survey or set of interviews (AKA Voice of Customer or VoC), as well as through consultations with sales and customer service about how purchase decisions are made, who makes and who influences those decisions and what features are important, are vital inputs for messaging that will resonate with the prospect. These insights are invaluable to company messaging and differentiation. Marketers are trained to facilitate these conversations, collect and analyze the data, and then develop and communicate a value proposition that credibly differentiates a company from its competitors.

Another category of differentiators pertains to purpose where marketers can help tell the unique origin story of the company and convey a message on purpose that extends far beyond specific product features.

Purposeful Employee Engagement

Branding is not just an external exercise. A company’s internal brand is at least as important. Defining the value proposition for employees is often overlooked and undervalued. This leads to turnover and poor retention, and hinders employee recruiting. Studies consistently show the high costs associated with onboarding and training new employees.

In many manufacturing companies, the HR function may not be well equipped to manage the complexities of employee engagement that businesses currently face. There is a part of the workforce (the white-collar one) that will work remotely, so that needs to be managed in terms of making sure people stay productive but also engaged with the brand. Marketing can especially help with the latter. With remote working more prevalent than ever, it is important for employees to understand the company’s brand promise and each employee’s role in helping to fulfill that promise.

With a labor shortage in the manufacturing sector, employees can demand more from their employers than they have in the last few decades. For some, the pecuniary aspect will be important, others will prioritize flexibility. Accommodating this is either costly (the first) or impossible to achieve for blue-collar workers (the latter). There is, however, something else to which many employees attach great value, and that can be achieved at no cost—a sense of purpose. Just as with a VoC program, a Voice of Employee (VoE) program can help employers better understand what will motivate and incentivize their associates.

Employees want to know and feel they are contributing in a meaningful way to producing a product or service that helps customers solve important problems. Marketing can help develop and implement purposeful employee communication which will help not only retain employees, but also attract new talent.

Bottom Line

Manufacturing companies will continue to have their hands full managing the fall-out of an unprecedented health crisis. They will have to successfully manage supply chain disruptions and seize opportunities to differentiate themselves. They can use their efficient approach to the current crisis, and their purpose to communicate a credible and purposeful brand that will bolster their hiring and retention of talent. Marketing can play a critical role in each of these areas when allowed to go beyond lead gen and product promotions.


Bob Sherlock and Dennis Bailen are Partners and CMOs with Chief Outsiders, the nation’s fastest growing executive-as-a-service company.


Did Your Customers Disappear? How To Get Them Back In 2022.

Perhaps orders are down, in-store traffic has hardly rebounded, revenues are frustratingly slow to return and employee spirits are in the tank as well.

When customers go away and don’t come back, business owners and CEOs are left to scratch their heads as they try to figure out why. A probable culprit is that the business failed to maintain authentic customer and employee connections while implementing the latest communication technologies that have pushed relational interactions outside of the reality of their consumer’s experience, says Phil Kelley Jr. (, author of Presence and Profitability: Understanding the Value of Authentic Communications in the Age of Hyper-Connectivity.

“Technology is rapidly changing the way people exchange information and ideas leading to tremendous efficiency opportunities, but no matter how much technology changes things, people have the same psychological need for positive human interactions,” says Kelley, who is president and CEO of Salem One, a company that specializes in direct marketing, packaging, printing and logistics.

If customers feel that they are not getting that interaction, he says, they are going to move to another business in search of it.

As businesses move into 2022, Kelley has advice for how they can bring back customers they have lost because of both external and internal communication misfires:

Customers want to talk with people, not machines. Kelley is wary of technology that cuts costs but fails to take the customer experience into account. ​​”Anyone at my company will tell you that I have a passion for answering phones as quickly as possible,” he says. “I absolutely refuse to use an automated call-response application. I know that if a client is calling us, they need something and want to talk to a person, not a machine.”

Relationships are built on true relational moments. Racking up “likes” on Facebook or Twitter, or sending and receiving canned sales pitches on LinkedIn, are not examples of really connecting with others, Kelley says. “Relationships don’t get built automatically, and leadership does not get conveyed by the number of keystrokes you make,” he says. “Success is based on the value you bring to the table, and comes only after investments of time and effort. A connection in and of itself is not a relationship, and for most people connections are missed opportunities.”

Brand communication should meet customers on their terms. Businesses often fail to get the most out of their advertising because the connection to the customer is off in some way, Kelley says. He gives as an example how online advertisements often work. If someone searches for a product, they soon see advertisements for that product on nearly every website they visit, even if the website isn’t appropriate for the brand. That can become annoying. “You need to know where your brand is showing up, and what kind of customers and potential customers your brand is in front of at all times,” Kelley says. “You also need to know who those customers are, what their tastes and preferences are, and how they do and don’t like to experience things.”

Connect in a way that turns customers into repeat customers. Long-term success depends on repeat customers, but too many businesses treat their relationship with customers as simply transactional, Kelley says. That doesn’t make for a satisfying relationship. “The highest-value communications are person-to-person, but that certainly doesn’t mean that your company can’t make a connection without those face-to-face communications,” he says. “Amazon is masterful at forging relationships with its customers just via their website. They do it by making it easy to find, order, and have delivered things that people really need or want. They make it easy to find more information on the products and make it easy to return something the customer isn’t satisfied with.”

Know that a great corporate culture results in satisfied customers. It’s well-established that an organizational culture where people feel engaged, connected and purposeful helps achieve financial success, Kelley says. “This is because the attitudes of the people in an organization ultimately reach and affect customers,” he says. “To put it simply, satisfied employees tend to foster satisfied customers. So, the time and energy you devote to creating a positive corporate culture is not an add-on to getting the job done. It’s an essential part of getting the job done – or at least, getting it done well.”

“Relationships are so important to people,” Kelley says, “that any company that makes a real connection with a customer can win that customer’s loyalty for life.”


Phil Kelley Jr. ( is the author of Presence and Profitability: Understanding the Value of Authentic Communications in the Age of Hyper-Connectivity. He also is president and CEO of Salem One, which specializes in direct marketing, packaging, printing and logistics. Kelley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Tech as well as an MBA from Clemson University. He has served on the boards of directors of multiple nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Kelley has been an active voice in the print industry, refocusing industry success definitions within the rapidly developing world of corporate communications. 


Tips to Grow your Manufacturing Business with a Help of a Blog

Nowadays, blogs are proving very useful in growing any business. And the same adage holds true for manufacturing businesses. In fact, if you own a manufacturing business, there are several tips that could prove handy to grow it with the help of a superb blog.

Why Manufacturing Businesses Need a Blog

There are a few reasons why manufacturing businesses need a blog. Firstly, a manufacturing business isn’t like a retail one. In retail businesses, you’ll be mainly selling stuff directly to a consumer. For a manufacturing business, you’ll be selling to both, the direct end-user of the product or even to an intermediary party.

In such cases, a blog can prove very useful to grow the business because an intermediate party might not promote your products as much as you would prefer. And furthermore, a good blog for a manufacturing business can also popularize your products in today’s highly competitive market.

A blog is a superb resource for branding your business and letting people online know that you’re offering excellent products that they would love to use, regardless of whether they are Business-to-Business (B2B) customers or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) buyers.

Tips to Grow Your Manufacturing Business with a Blog

Therefore, here are some excellent tips on how to grow your manufacturing business with a blog. You can adapt these tips to meet your own needs for marketing and promoting your business and products according to their nature and target clientele.

Provide Excellent Content

It goes without saying that content is the king of the blog. Therefore, to attract more visitors to your blog, it would require compelling content that people find interesting, engaging, and relevant to their needs. Content is also called the king of any blog.

This would also help you with the digital marketing processes necessary to promote your blog and get it on top of the Google search engine result page. The better the content, the higher your chances of attracting buyers that translate as customers.

Superb Digital Marketing

While we’re on the topic of digital marketing, here are some tips to consider. Hire a good digital marketer, either as a freelancer or full-time employee to do various digital marketing processes on your blog. That would be useful to rank your blog in the topmost searches of Google. And getting on the top always attracts more attention since nobody usually looks for websites or blogs that appear on the second or third page of Google search results.

Digital marketing processes include Search Engine Optimization- both on-page and off-page, social media marketing, and email marketing, among others. A good digital marketer will be able to offer these services that can help your manufacturing business to have a strong online presence and create a superb brand through a blog and your business website.

Spread Out Through Social Media

As part of efforts to promote your blog for the manufacturing business, also open Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. That way, you can disseminate information about any new posts on your blog very quickly to your followers. And one of the best things about social media posts about your blog is that it would attract people to share your posts if they’re interesting.

Social media also provides you with an opportunity to interact with potential buyers or others that are interested in your manufacturing business and its products. These people can be your prospective customers. If you handle their queries and suggestions or comments carefully, you could convert them as buyers for your products.

Provide Affiliate Links

You can also provide affiliate links to your own products through your manufacturing business blog. That’s because some 90 percent of buyers trust blogs more than company websites and ads. And they read blogs in the initial stages of buying anything before placing an order. Therefore, a superb blog about your manufacturing business can help swing the decision in your favor.

When you provide affiliate links even to your own business website, you’re actually asking potential leads to take action immediately. Very often, this translates as instant sales for your products and helps your manufacturing business to grow.

Create an Email Marketing List

Generally, every blog has a contact form. And you can capture the names, locations, and email IDs of persons that comment on your blog through this contact form or comments section. Now, why would a person part with their email IDs? The answer is simple. They’ll give their email IDs only when your content is attractive, useful, and relevant to their needs.

And you can create an email list and use it for email marketing. If you find that any person comments, or contacts you, through the blog, you could convert them as customers by making special offers or asking your marketing team to approach these potential leads to secure business for your organization.

Speak About Your Industry

As a blogger for your manufacturing business, you can also provide news and views about the latest happenings in your industry in general. That keeps readers and other stakeholders in such businesses interested in your blog. And that’s also one way of increasing your business blog following. Speaking about your industry through news and news analysis also helps establish yourself and your manufacturing business as a formidable brand in the broader industry.

One more thing that occurs when you speak about the industry is that consumers know that you’re serious about your business. And generally, such consumers can translate as loyal customers too, provided you handle them appropriately. There’s always news and views about the industry and you can simplify these and inform your followers and customers through the blog for self-branding.

In Conclusion

These six tips could help your manufacturing business to grow steadily. Nowadays, a blog is a vital resource for every organization serious about doing business and serving its customers. Some of the largest brands in the world also have their own blogs. And you can open one too for your manufacturing business.

supply chain

Navigating the 12 Pitfalls of the Global Supply Chain

With over 30+ years of international trade experience, I have witnessed numerous and repeated errors made by Sales, Purchasing, Logistics Managers, Supply Chain, and International Business Executives.

There are tremendous opportunities and benefits to be derived through global sourcing and foreign business development. Along with these opportunities are considerable challenges, obstacles, and pitfalls. In order to succeed in international business, management must mitigate these concerns through gaining knowledge and implementing processes and controls over import and export operations, including the development of robust training for all personnel.

The following section contains twelve steps companies can take to manage the solutions that will allow the navigation through these challenges and delivering success to the international operation.

These twelve steps create a pathway forward in a concise, straightforward methodology and time-tested process to ensure management accomplishes their desired corporate goals of profits, growth, and sustainability.

Avoid the following:

Step 1: “We have no personal liability”.

There is significant personal liability for individuals who operate in global supply chains.

U.S. Government enforcement agencies, such as but not limited to:

– Department of Justice

– Customs and Border Protection

– Departments of State, Commerce and Treasury

– Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

– United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration

All above are a few of the agencies that will prosecute both organizations and individuals who are seriously out of trade compliance with their import and export regulatory responsibilities.

While criminal prosecution is a rare occurrence … it does happen every day in the supply chain, somewhere in the world of international trade.

Trade Compliance Management in companies with an international footprint is a necessary evil that needs to be managed and integrated into the fabric of the organization’s culture and business model.

Step 2: “The FOB Term is Always a Safe Incoterm to Utilize”.

The FOB Incoterm has three deadly areas of concern:

-It is used in domestic trade

-It is a gray area in the loading process

-There can be ambiguity when the point in time responsibility and liability shift from the seller to the buyer (exporter to importer).

It is used in domestic trade

For domestic trade in the United States, the UCCP (Uniform Commercial Code of Practice) currently (though in contention) utilizes the FOB term as a “term of sale or purchase”, where there are two primary options FOB Origin and FOB Destination.

Within the UCCP, FOB is defined as:


2-319. F.O.B. and F.A.S. Terms.

Unless otherwise agreed the term F.O.B. (which means “free on board”) at a named place, even though used only in connection with the stated price, is a delivery term under which:

(a) when the term is F.O.B. the place of shipment, the seller must at that place ship the goods in the manner provided in this Article (Section 2-504) and bear the expense and risk of putting them into the possession of the carrier; or

(b) when the term is F.O.B. the place of destination, the seller must at his own expense and risk transport the goods to that place and their tender delivery of them in the manner provided in this Article (Section 2-503);

(c) when under either (a) or (b) the term is also F.O.B. vessel, car, or another vehicle, the seller must in addition at his own expense and risk load the goods on board. If the term is F.O.B. vessel the buyer must name the vessel and in an appropriate case, the seller must comply with the provisions of this Article on the form of a bill of lading (Section 2-323).

The UCCP Term allows any mode of transit or conveyance.

Some sources claim that FOB stands for “Freight on Board”. This is not the case. “Freight On Board” is not mentioned in any version of Incoterms, and is not defined by the Uniform Commercial Code in the USA.[10] Further to that, it has been found in court that “Freight On Board” is not a recognized industry term.[11] The use of “Freight on Board” in contracts is therefore very likely to cause confusion. The correct term is “free onboard”.

Keep in mind that a huge amount, if not a clear majority of domestic commercial transactions, are sold or purchased on a FOB basis and moved by truck, rail, or air. This would be ok if the FOB Term was the UCCP intent and not intended utilization under Incoterms 2020.

There is a very clear line of confusion between the domestic and international “FOB” terms in selling and purchasing. It is only when it causes a problem when it is seen as an issue.

Free on Board, or FOB is an Incoterm, which means the seller is responsible for loading the purchased cargo onto the ship, and all costs associated with same. At the point, the goods are safely onboard the vessel, the risk transfers to the buyer, who assumes the responsibility of the remainder of the transport.

FOB is the most common agreement between an international buyer and seller when shipping cargo via sea. This Incoterm only applies to sea and inland waterway shipments.

The 2020 edition of Incoterms opened the door for domestic utilization of the FOB term. The FOB UCCP term varies greatly from the FOB Incoterm.

Under Incoterms 2020, the preferred term for domestic utilization, since that door was opened, is FCA (Free Carrier At).

It is a gray area in the loading process

Under Incoterms 2000 and prior, the FOB term transferred risk and cost from the seller to the buyer once the goods passed the ship’s rail.

This factor was changed in the 2010 edition of Incoterms and continues in the 2020 edition. The term now read “…passes when the goods are on board the vessel”.

However, “on board” is not clearly defined. Is that when the goods are placed on the deck, in the hold, not yet secured, secured, etc.?

We had a case in our office, where a U.S. exporter, sold a huge piece of equipment, (25 Tons, $11m in value) to a customer in Europe. It was going to be shipped via ocean, secured in a cargo hold under deck.

During the loading process, the goods were being lifted onto the vessel by a crane and longshoreman crew. In the handling, the equipment was laid down on the deck of the hold several times, while the longshoreman positioned the cargo.

In that repositioning process, the freight was damaged. The issue now became who is responsible, based upon the Incoterm of FOB Port Elizabeth – the seller or the buyer?

Were the goods actually “on board” when they were damaged? The maritime judicial system will eventually resolve that issue and court precedence will be established.

But today there is an ambiguity in defining “on board” in the FOB Incoterm. There are references to being “secured in place”, but it appears ambiguous.

Sellers and buyers need to address these specific concerns in the contract of sale and attempt to minimize the gray areas of liability, that may present themselves when using the FOB term.

There can be ambiguity when the point in time responsibility and liability shift from the seller to the buyer (exporter to importer).

This is the explanation of the FOB term from the Incoterms 2020 edition.

A2 (Delivery)

The seller delivers by placing the goods on board the vessel nominated or provided by the buyer on the agreed date, or within the agreed period as notified by the buyer, or if there is no such time notified then at the end of that period.

There is still a belief that the ship’s rail is the defining point, i.e.: before the notional vertical line above the rail is the seller’s cost and risk, and after is the buyer’s cost and risk. A court ruled that the delivery point was when the goods were on the deck but that then caused the question was the notional vertical line replaced with a notional horizontal one in line with the deck itself and what if the goods were being placed below deck? This ship’s rail concept was removed in the Incoterms® 2010 version. Typically, then, “on board” is taken to mean when the goods are safely on the deck or in the hold. If the cargo needs to be then further secured for transportation such as being lashed or separated with some material or spread evenly throughout the hold for bulk goods like grain the seller and buyer should agree in their contract what is needed and at whose cost and risk this is done.

B2 (Delivery)

The buyer’s obligation is to take delivery when the goods have been delivered as described in A2.

FOB A3 / B3: Transfer of Risk

A3 (Transfer of risk)

In all the rules the seller bears all risks of loss or damage to the goods until they have been delivered in accordance with A2 described above. The exception is loss or damage in circumstances described in B3 below, which varies depending on the buyer’s role in B2

B3 (Transfer of risk)

The buyer bears all risks of loss or damage to the goods once the seller has delivered them as described in A2.

If the buyer fails to inform the seller of where and when the vessel will be presented or if the vessel fails to arrive on time, or it fails to take the goods so that the seller cannot deliver, then the buyer bears the risk of loss or damage to the goods from the agreed date or at the end of the agreed period.

On an operational level, the seller delivered the goods to the terminal, carrier, or other agreed named place, and the goods were not loaded on board as anticipated for an array of reasons, such as but not limited to the carriers having vessel timing or loading issues and the seller appropriately notified the buyer than delivery has been made and risk of loss and damage has passed from the seller to the buyer.

The important aspect to note here is that the buyer expected to take delivery “on board” and now that did not occur as the buyer will take delivery and assume all risks at a point short of “on board”.

In general, Incoterms need to be understood in their entirety including the consequences associated with using the incorrect Incoterm or not understanding the specific responsibilities as the buyer or seller. Incoterms training is a must for all personnel engaged in global trade and more particularly those operating in Procurement, Sales, Operations, Finance, and Customer Service.

Companies involved in international trade using best practices will switch Incoterms 2020 rules in quotations, purchase orders, contracts, commercial invoices, and other commercial documentation when determining the level of responsibilities and costs they want to take on; dividing the responsibilities for risk transfer, costs, and responsibility for carrier selection between the buyer and the seller.

Step 3: Contracts Override Relationships

In international trade, relationships trump contracts. Relationships will drive a successful deal and a long tenure. I have always extolled “you can contract out risk”, but you can seriously minimize and mitigate risk by establishing favored relationships that allow the best opportunity for problem resolution and working out issues that will likely occur over time and trade.

Contracts are important to make the deal have legal standing, but it is foolish to believe that the contract eliminates any risk in the transaction. In fact, sometimes contracts can cause risk when a false sense of security is at hand.

Obtaining legal support is prudent but spending money and time at building relationships with suppliers, vendors, agents, and customers will go a long way in mitigating many of the risks in global trade.

Step 4: Service Providers are Experts in all Aspects of the Global Supply Chain

Just not so! While a small percentage of service providers are clearly experts, professionals, and aligned with teams of knowledgeable staff the majority have serious limitations.

While many have the expertise to arrange affreightment, pick up and delivery many lacks:

-the necessary local connections in all foreign markets

-trade compliance knowledge

-an understanding of how best to eliminate risk and cost from the supply chain

A high degree of scrutiny, vetting, and discerning should take place when choosing service providers, 3PL’s, freight forwarders, and customhouse brokers.

Areas of evaluation:

Service providers can be very valued partners in your global supply chain. Just because they hang out a shingle does not mean they can provide real benefit. Scrutinize robustly and vet diligently. It will pay off in the long run. Having a quality partner will make your job easier and with a greater ability to meet all the challenges successfully.

Step 5: Manage the Supply Chain with Robust Technology

Supply chains that have expansive technology in every aspect of the operation will gain great leverage in performance metrics.

Areas of technology in the supply chain are:

Technology creates efficiency, ease of operations, robust information flow, security, and other benefits. It allows for the highest levels of performance in any organization, but more particularly in the global supply chain. Technology advances forward and expands every day. Keeping contemporary is a challenge that all supply chain executives face.

Cyber Security has grown to be a significant threat. It must be contemplated and managed in every moment and keystroke of the day. There are cybersecurity solutions that must be integrated into all aspects of operation, where there is a technology interface.

Step 6: We have been doing it this way … for over 5 years with no problems.

We hear this often and clearly because a company has not encountered a specific problem, does not necessarily mean things are being done correctly.

A volcano is not a problem until it erupts. The underlying problem is waiting for emergence. Dealing with potential issues proactively and anticipating “what ifs” are a much better option.

Potential problems along with potential betterments must be proactively pursued to assure you do not have serious issues and are doing all possible to reduce risk and cost and/or business process improvements.

Continually updating a logistic SWOT Analysis, risk management assessments and process evaluations are all necessary steps in mitigating any unanticipated problems in the future.

Because no one is complaining does not mean everything is ok. You must be proactive in making sure everything is ok, without assumptions. Err to the side of conservativism as it will prevent future headaches.

The pandemic was a complete disaster and disruption to all global supply chains. Having said that, some good came out of it as companies had time for internal introspection at risk and threats leading to proactive steps in mitigation.

Step 7: We Handed it to the Carrier, so it must be “on board”

Tracking and tracing need to be accomplished at a very detailed and exhaustive level.

Just because you have confirmation that a carrier has received freight, does not assure it made it on board the vessel, aircraft, railcar or truck.

You need affirmation that in fact the goods have actually made it on board the conveyance with an updated ETA, followed up with daily frequency, in case of any unanticipated delays, which occur all the time.

Step 8: We Always Check the Denied Parties List

Many international executives believe their companies are consistently checking and reviewed the various lists making up the “Denied Party Screening” regulations for importers and exporters.

In many years of auditing companies engaged in global trade, only a small percentage is fully compliant with the review, checking and compliance responsibilities associated with Denied Party Screening.

There are available direct connections into the government agencies and numerous third-party technology companies with DPL Screening Capabilities.

Step 9: I am the Ultimate Consignee on these Goods, but not the Importer of Record.

Many companies who are the recipients of imported merchandise who are not participative in the import process believe they have no import responsibilities.

That is potentially and totally incorrect! Customs (CBP) has the right to evaluate any import situation and determine that the ultimate consignee could be considered the “importer of record” and therefore has all the responsibilities as the importer of record”. This would then require adherence to all import regulations HTSUS, valuation, recordkeeping, etc.

Step 10: Domestic Packing will work for my International Shipments

Claims for loss and damage on international shipments occur every day and a major cause is inadequate packing, marking and labeling.

Just check with any marine insurance companies they will advise of the frequency and the severity of claims occurring on import and export shipments directly attributed to inadequate packing marking and labeling which could jeopardize marine cargo insurance coverage as an implicit or explicit warranty.

Step 11: Do we really need to ensure the shipment?

Loss and damage to international freight is a daily occurrence worldwide. In the overall cost of the global supply chain, marine insurance is an inexpensive purchase offering a high value of the return.

Just looked at what happened this year in the Suez Canal, with the grounding of the Ever Given (Evergreen Lines) which potentially caused losses in excess of $ 1billion.

Direct claims in delays and damage and indirectly caused by a General Average Claim. The fines, penalties, delays and lost cargo is still mounting, as only in early July, has the vessel finally exited the Suez Canal.

Marine cargo insurance is a solid, responsible, value-driven, and best practice purchase for any company shipping goods internationally.

“All Risk”, “Warehouse to Warehouse” with contemporary customized underwriting terms under standard policies are available.

Step 12: Do I need to train my global supply chain team?

The challenges of the global supply chain are numerous and daunting. These challenges can only be met by experienced well-trained managers and staff. The training needs to be consistent, contemporary and robust. Key areas to include are:



-Negotiating Freight

-Sourcing Management

-Logistics Management

-Technology Management

-Warehousing & Distribution

-International Contracts

-Risk and Spend Directives

-Foreign Trade Zones

These outlined above show a handful of the necessary skill sets required for import and export personnel to master. And “training” is the pathway to successful global supply chain management.


The twelve examples outlined above provide a synopsis and evidence that mistakes based upon a lack of knowledge and skillsets can cause great disruption in import and export activity in the global supply chain.

Developing resources, providing training, and implementing procedures will assist in mitigating the problems and challenges identified in the above article.

Resources in international business and supply chain management will provide informed intelligence that will allow for making better decisions.

Training and skill set development will better prepare supply chain, import & export executives, managers, and staff to better deal successfully with all the challenges of global trade.

Procedures, protocols, and disciplines in management are always critical to a company’s success in business. In the global supply chain, SOPs are an integral component of freight, logistics, trade compliance, foreign sales, and overseas procurement that assure a company’s success in its international footprint.

The author can be reached at: for questions and comments.

trade compliance

If Trade Compliance Was a Soccer Team…

The Olympics, Gold Cup, Copa América, Euro 2020: most soccer fans will have a team or two to cheer for this summer. For those, as well as for those who prefer trade compliance over soccer (so, basically everybody in global trade), here the definitive Summer of 2021 Global Trade Intelligence starting lineup (in a traditional 4-3-3 system). Pretty sure we’d beat those ERP, CRM, and (despite the overlap) TMS teams at the Software World Cup.

Goalkeeper: Export Compliance. A non-plussed, stabile, robust lock on the door is needed to stop penalties (yes, a global trade pun!) and set the standard for the team. Thoroughly, prepared for set plays (like license determination) and deflections (like transshipped exports). Nothing falls through the cracks; errors can be fatal for a compliance program.

Right Back: Origin. You want reliability in your backs plus, ideally, one that can also make progress forward and save some duties. Origin is both: the solid paperwork to verify your claims and the forward approach to benefit from the preferential rates where possible. A sometimes aggressive yet always reliable origin program can bring significant benefit to the company.

Center Back: Restricted Party Screening (RPS). It’s simple: your center back doesn’t let any opponent slip through and that’s the same for your Restricted Party Screening solution. Nothing gets through or there will be consequences. RPS sets the tone and, with a solid RPS application, everyone feels more secure doing their part.

Center Back: Brokerage. Another solution that stands or falls with reliability. Your brokerage application must be strong, solid, reliable, scalable. It bends but doesn’t burst. It’s steady when needed but can accelerate if there’s a lot to do. With just that, there is a perfect center foundation for some solid compliance work.

Left Back: Import Compliance. Completing the back four of compliance, the left-back may be where you used to stick the weak link, but no more. This includes document, permit, license requirements. Import compliance programs (think OGA/PGA requirements but also VAT registrations, packaging requirements) are gaining momentum. Ecommerce plays a role in all this as well. As for the right-back position, it is nice to have a left-back that can also create opportunities, for example, by anticipating B2C compliance requirement changes (like changes to VAT exemptions or licensing exceptions).

Right Midfield: Objectives and Key Results/Key Performance Indicators (OKRs/KPIs). The barometer is of course in midfield—making sure holes are filled, needs are met, focusing on where there is a little shortfall or supporting where things are moving along. OKR/KPI reviews keep everything balanced and ensure that attention is paid to areas where improvements can be made and that strengths are praised and leveraged.

Center Midfield: Classification. The center of it all. The core challenge according to multiple surveys, classification is the ongoing challenge of getting it right all the time and with ever-changing HS codes (hello 2022 WCO Updates!). Only a number 10, central player can figure it all out (the greats co-function as parts master as well). And, when they do, it’s a joy for the whole team. Without classification, there’s no offense or defense—only loose ends.

Left Midfield: Duty Deferral and Saving Programs. The left midfielder is creative (with that subtle left foot), somewhat looking for that through ball but still solid when it comes to defending completed work. Welcome to duty-saving options. Foreign Trade Zones, processing reliefs, drawbacks: you name it, the left midfielder has them all in the pocket and is ready to launch.

Right Forward: Valuation. Better get it correct (must be able to defend when questions are asked) but not impossible to get really creative with it. Think First Sale, non-transaction value-based valuation, the excitement when working with the transfer pricing teammate. The six valuation methods are like the six ways the right-winger can leave the opponent behind.

Center Forward: Supply Chain Resilience (SC Resilience). Arguably, if it were a 5-3-2 system, SC Resilience would be a wingback—new and fancy but still doesn’t always have a spot. But, in a 4-3-3 system, it’s great to have something fresh and sometimes unpredictable to make a good impression. SC Resilience encompasses all the exciting elements a forward-thinking operation needs: anticipating the market and logistics flow, staying ahead of the competition, and surging towards new goals.

Left Forward: Visibility. The left-wing position is made for volatile players. Sometimes everything works, sometimes nothing. The same way it sometimes feels with supply chain visibility—one day the dashboard is packed with useful information and the next there are huge gaps, but the collaboration with SC Resilience, in particular, helps to build expectations.

On the Bench: Implementations, integrations, audit support (reporting), and disaster recovery plans. What to do with the coach? For being the best trade compliance expert I have met and loads of other reasons, I’ll take Ruud Tusveld as the coach—even though he used to play goalie.

Trade compliance for the win!


Trends Shaping the Future of Electronics Manufacturing

The electronic manufacturing industry is one of the fastest-growing industries globally and has brought about changes in both businesses and personal life. It is estimated that the industry grew in revenue to about $2.4 trillion in the year 2020.

However, the growth is about to experience a new shift with the introduction of emerging and barrier-breaking trends that will shift the running of businesses, homesteads, and how electronic manufacturing is run. Although some trends and practices have been in the industry for years with emerging modern improvements and growth in the technology world, so has electronic manufacturing. Some of these trends take this industry to a new level.

Take a look at some future trends to watch out for in the electronic manufacturing industry and better understand how these trends manage to take top spots in shaping and directing the growth of the electronic industry.

Trends shaping the future of electronic manufacturing include:

1. Internet of Things

This is the connection of everyday devices through the internet, allowing easy sharing and receiving information through electronic devices. Internet of Things (IoT) has increasingly been embraced in electronic manufacturing with more companies, leveraging the benefits from IoT to increase device efficiency, improve consumer safety and cut costs.

2. Use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

By using virtual reality and augmented reality, manufacturers can design consumer-friendly products. Computer-aided designs have helped designers and manufacturers make accurate and timely changes to the products. Also, the use of VR and AR helps in designing and eliminates error and reduces inspection time as workers are better able to identify errors.

3. Use of 3-D Printing

A report by Smithers estimates an annual growth of 23% in the next decade in 3-D revenue. The report also shows the 3-D printing revenue growth is estimated to grow from $5.8 billion to about $55.8 billion by 2027.

The 3-D printing marketplace has a vast share around Western Europe and North America, where cutting-edge technology developers are pushing for increased mainstream use of 3D printing among technology companies.

Electronic manufacturing companies are capitalizing on their technological abilities and emerging trends. To ensure they remain competitive, it is important to work closely with equally fast emerging trends such as 3-D printing. 3-D printing developments are not only focused on the physical aspects but are also working on the design, the application, and the overall satisfaction of the end-user.

4. Big Data

Corporations worldwide have been exclusively using big data. Much of this was because it was expensive to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, advancements in IoT and other cutting-edge technologies have turned the tables. Now, businesses of all sizes can draw information from multiple sources. This has made big data more valuable than it was.

Consequently, electronic manufacturers are applying the information they receive from big data in various productive ways. For example, they apply it to minimize production costs while raising profit margins and market share. This is guided by the willingness of managers to gain more understanding of their businesses. This helps them to overcome various issues while projecting and preventing future challenges.

5. Use of Industrial Robotics

For years, the automotive industry was the leading driver in the growth of industrial robotics. However, this has changed, and industrial robotics have been used in electronic manufacturing to perform several tasks in recent years.

The widespread use of industrial robots in the electronic industries led to substantial growth in industrial robotics use in 2016, where global sales increased by about 16%. This number is estimated to grow over the years, leading to an increase in the global market.

The use of robots in electronic manufacturing has allowed miniaturization and reshoring. Moving forward in innovations, design, and the business running, manufacturers across the board are looking for ways to increase efficiency. The use of robots has proven an essential tool.

Besides future technological trends, manufacturing companies also need to look at some of the business trends that will influence the success and running of their business. Some of the future business trends to look out for include:

6. Use of ERP Systems

To keep a company competitive, companies need to enforce enterprise resource planning (ERP). Though this trend has been in use for some years, some worthy mention benefits of embracing this trend when looking to expand the electronic manufacturing industry include:

With the use of the internet in all operations, it is now more critical for a business to use real-time information; enterprise resource planning helps companies optimize and automate new information fast and in real-time.

Owing to fast access to real-time information, companies can act fast and make accurate and quick decisions. The enterprise resource planning has been through growth stages that have allowed its efficiency. However, with the growth of the electronic industry, the same is expected with the enterprise resources system with technological advancements working towards increasing reliability and ease in running the business.

7. Shift from B2B to B2B2C

For many years electronic manufacturing companies operated using the business-to-business (B2B) approach. But with more manufacturing companies looking for ways to cut costs. Companies are now turning to the business-to-business-to-consumer approach (B2B2C).

With the use of the B2B2C approach, companies are now working towards eliminating intermediaries, which helps them reach the clients directly; as a result, it increases company profits and, in turn, reduces purchase costs. Additionally, the B2B2C approach enables the manufacturers to collect accurate customer data, improving customer satisfaction.

Why these Trends

While these trends may seem like ordinary technological advancements, they have several things in common that make them unique. In a world full of innovations, new designs, and a desire to be effective, it is essential to have the following attributes in mind.

Working on cost reduction, most of the resources and trends making waves and promising success, reduces costs. Cost reduction will be beneficial to the manufacturing companies and cut the cost to the consumers.

Product efficiency, electronic devices are part of the world and the introduction and use of the internet across the globe. It is essential for manufacturing companies to not only provide functional products but increase efficiency. For instance, with the use of the internet, everything in electronic manufacturing, people can now have smart homes and have actual time footage on their homes or even offices. This is possible due to the electronic manufacturing innovations.

These trends have proven to help manufacturing companies achieve product precision, which improves quality and reduces costs and error.

Waste reduction, amid the technological innovations and significant electronic developments, is essential for companies to also focus on. This is not only a great way to cut company costs but is also an excellent way for these companies to preserve the environment.

Bottom Line

More people embracing electronic devices in their homes, places of work, and running businesses. Manufacturing companies have a massive task in ensuring consumer satisfaction by focusing on high-end innovation and working closely with other technology sectors to ensure they are competitive and efficient.


Linda Liu is the overseas marketing manager for MKTPCB, a leading PCB manufacturer that offers high-quality PCB products and services. Since 2012, she has established “first-of-its-kind” industry-changing and transformational businesses initiatives that increased revenue growth, brand exposure and market expansion for MKTPCB. Linda graduated from Western University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

social commerce

Like, Follow, Buy Now: Harnessing the Power of Local Payments in Social Commerce

A staggering 3.8 billion people use social media, around half the internet users worldwide. With these figures in mind, social media giants are eager to reach digitally connected consumers and monetize their userbases. Gone are the days where social media was simply a place to see what friends were doing and give them a ‘like.’ With the likes of TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram leading the charge, purchasing products online is now as easy as liking a friend’s post. In fact, with over one in three global shoppers having made a purchase on social media in the past year – social media is rapidly becoming the new online marketplace of choice.

However, whilst a good tool for attracting customers, social commerce must work hand in hand with digital payments to truly unlock success. Converting browsers to buyers on social media will rely heavily on a brand’s ability to offer a range of local payment methods at the checkout.

A growing opportunity for merchants

In the US, by the age of 12, most children have access to a social media account, but that’s not to say that this is the only audience social media is appealing to. Senior citizens in the US are the fastest-growing group of Facebook users, with numbers doubling between 2019 and 2021, indicating a lucrative opportunity for merchants appealing to a broad range of demographics.

In fact, Facebook is certainly leading the pack when it comes to social media – with over 2.7 billion monthly active users worldwide. For European regions such as Italy, the pandemic has also contributed to the explosion of social media usage. Time spent on Facebook’s suite of apps rose 70% in March 2020 – indicating the potential for social commerce uptake as people acclimatize to using these platforms to access shopping, entertainment, and communication.

For China, however, a country where the likes of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are blocked to consumers, sites such as Tencent, WeChat, and Weibo have been attracting millions of users, making China one of the biggest social media markets in the world. With multiple demographics across the globe now engaged with social media channels and more than comfortable with shopping online, the opportunity for merchants to trade on these platforms is greater than ever before.

Unlocking the power of social commerce

Because of the extensive reach and the power social media holds, brands embracing social commerce can scale rapidly. Everyone can do it, from international companies to individuals selling their goods on Instagram. But, it’s much more than just adding a ‘Buy Now’ button. Whilst social media platforms certainly have the power to unlock online and cross-border growth, the process will not be successful if merchants do not operate with consumer payment preferences in mind.

To enable a seamless transaction through social media channels, merchants and payment service providers (PSPs) need to take a highly customized and localized approach to digital payments. Consumers have become accustomed to choice when it comes to online payments – from buy now, pay later (BNPL) offerings such as Klarna to increasingly popular bank transfer payments such as Pay by Bank App or Trustly. Because of this, expectations around payment preferences have skyrocketed in recent years. So much so that 44% of UK consumers will abandon a purchase if their favourite payment method isn’t available. To ignore this when selling through social channels would be a huge mistake and a missed opportunity for retailers operating on these platforms.

A global strategy with local payments at its core

Whilst digital payments have the power to unlock the true power of social commerce, integrating a diverse portfolio of payment methods is no easy task. Although merchants are becoming increasingly aware of the need for a social strategy with local payments at its core, the cost and complexities associated with such integrations are acting as a major barrier for businesses. In fact, for smaller e-commerce players especially, local payment options may feel completely out of reach.

To overcome this, merchants and payment service providers are increasingly turning to infrastructure providers to meet the demands of global consumers. Partnerships of this kind mean that merchants and PSPs can take advantage of payments technology and on-the-ground local market knowledge.

Speed to market is everything in today’s digital-first retail era and merchants that are able to get up and running with a diverse acceptance of the right local payment methods quickly will be able to take strides ahead of the competition.

Those that neglect to consider the importance of local payments will see themselves fall short ahead of their competitors and lose access to thousands of potential customers.

business intelligence

Five Business Intelligence Tools to Save Your Bottom Line

In the rollercoaster ride of the last year, CPG e-commerce has had its moment of digital reckoning: the way consumers shop will never be the same.

Close on the heels of this realization is the recognition that better business intelligence is the foundation of success. CPG companies that are unable to move quickly and be nimble in the way they respond to consumer trends and market pressure will struggle. It’s that simple.

Moving quickly and being nimble hinges on gathering and analyzing data. And not just any data: actionable, valuable data that drives better decision-making.

This is the power of business intelligence—and Line Item unlocks it for CPG e-commerce. Line Item is a performance analytics platform that enables insight into e-analytics and product attributes to drive revenue and profitability. It’s packed with five essential business intelligence tools that can help CPG brands grow sales and boost profitability in a turbulent and competitive market. Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these business intelligence tools and why they matter.

1. Better search engine optimization strategy.

Consumer behavior and preferences are changing faster than ever before, sometimes even day to day. In such disruption, it’s not enough to “set it and forget it” with your SEO strategy. CPG companies need to be responsive to changes in the market and ensure that their brands and products are ranking in search results. Without this kind of SEO business intelligence, competitive edge is lost.

Line Item is the answer to better SEO strategy. It analyzes whether or not your brands or products are ranking on page one, across search terms and platforms. This is important as the elephants like Amazon and aren’t only retail sites, they are also where (increasingly) shoppers are doing product research. With Line Item, you can understand which search terms are working as well as which your competitors are using. Line Item also ensures that your product titles, descriptions, and images are complete and consistent, closing the gaps that can cost you page rank and sales, ultimately affecting your bottom line.

2. Superior insight into pricing.

There’s a reason that pricing is one of the “four P’s” of marketing: it’s the lever that drives profitability. Price your products too low and you’re leaving money on the table. Price too high and competitors will win your sales.

In a market where demand and preferences fluctuate so wildly, though, business intelligence on pricing becomes a complex challenge. This is where Line Item comes in. With it, you can verify item pricing, selling price, and list price across your portfolio and across platforms. You’ll have better business intelligence to price your products correctly and competitively to protect your profitability.

3. Third-party activity monitoring.

The CPG e-commerce market is many-layered and complex. Third-party sellers account for significant sales activity, but consumers aren’t often aware that they’re not purchasing from you directly. To protect your brand, you need better business intelligence to monitor online activity.

Line Item gives you the visibility you need to monitor unauthorized selling activity on the web, or to determine whether third-party sellers are undercutting your price. This helps you protect your brand and the bottom line.

4. Deep dive into product attributes.

Do you know what’s really driving product or category value? Without powerful business intelligence, it can be impossible to truly tap into why consumers are choosing one product over another.

This is where Line Item really stands out. Line Item can analyze all similar products in a category, item by item, to determine all relevant attributes. These could include brand, form (liquid, powder, or capsules, for example), package type and size, scent or flavor, natural or organic ingredients, and other attributes. Think whitening or foaming agents for toothpaste, sensitivity for personal care products, and more. This robust business intelligence can help inform product development, packaging, marketing and promotions, personalization and much more, across your portfolio and your brand. It gives you an advantage in meeting the market at the right moment with the right product.

5. Promotions analysis.

Are your promotions paying off? This may be a simple question, but it’s difficult to answer in this accelerated and disrupted market.

If your promotions aren’t, you’re wasting marketing spend, and you need to know why. Line Item can tell you if your campaigns are working, which keywords your competitors are using, if long tail keywords are worth investing in and more. When your campaigns are driving your bottom line, you know they’re working—and Line Item makes it possible.

CPG brands can’t afford to be working with yesterday’s tools. Better business intelligence is fundamental to a better bottom line. Line Item is your lifeline to more profitable e-commerce.


About Ironbridge Software

Ironbridge Software was founded in 1989 by Mike Dickenson. Mike’s unparalleled expertise and passion for technology led him to create the first-ever analytical solution for the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry.


How to Deliver a Great Omnichannel Customer Experience

When eCommerce first emerged as a new sales channel, companies wrestled with how to set up their distribution channels to address this new opportunity. Some merged the activities right into their existing fulfillment setups, others built new warehouses specifically to support online sales, and others used a hybrid approach such as using one distribution center partitioned off to manage the activities separately.

This “fragmented” approach trickled down to the customer experience, where buyers could only return products via the channel that they used to purchase them, and where the in-store experience was still very different from what one experienced when buying via mobile phone or desktop.

As eCommerce grew, these approaches changed dramatically. Fast-forward to 2021, and the emphasis has shifted away from brick-and-mortar fulfillment and more toward addressing a market that grew by 44% in 2020 and continues flourishing. With both B2C and B2B sellers now firmly in the midst of an eCommerce boom, the push to create a better omnichannel customer experience has shifted into full gear.

Why is Omnichannel Important?

According to CMS Wire, the omnichannel experience refers to the way organizations integrate all the touchpoints in any given customer journey, including mobile device, laptop, desktop, or brick-and-mortar store. “It’s a customer-centric approach meant to deliver value to the customer through better, more consistent targeting and messaging delivered at the right moment,” the publication states.

Where omnichannel was once the domain of the B2C world, it now encompasses all corners of the business world. The consumer who expects to be able to purchase a dress and return it in store, for example, is the same buyer who wants a cohesive experience when procuring goods from a supplier.

“It’s so important to create a holistic experience for your shopper and make sure your brands are showing up consistently throughout every part of the consumer journey whether it be digitally or in store,” J.M. Smucker’s Marissa Eisenbrei told CMS Wire. “Each distribution channel should work together in unison to deliver one experience.”

Staying Consistent

When creating omnichannel customer experiences, companies run into challenges like data silos (where individual departments don’t “share” data with one another), a lack of unified omnichannel customer data, and the need for better personalization across channels. The latter is particularly important, CMS Wire notes, because today’s customer expect a personalized experience based on purchase and browsing history; customer service inquiries; and chat transcripts.

The omnichannel experience also has to be consistent and predictable. Much like diners enjoy being able to walk into a restaurant franchise and get the same experience that they would at another location (even in a different state or country), customers don’t want to be confused or disappointed just because they’re buying through a different channel.

“Make sure you’re consistent and distinctive across every touchpoint a consumer might experience your brand whether it be through commercials, digital ads, websites, or in-store experiences,” Eisenbrei advises in CMS Wire.

Breaking Down Data Silos

In Omnichannel Shoppers: Converting Them in 2021, digital marketing specialist Dhruv Mehta discusses the value of having integrated customer data across all touchpoints. For example, if a buyer sends an email to complain about a product and then calls for a follow-up, he or she would expect the customer support representative to be aware of their complaint.

“Unfortunately, this is rarely the case because of the informational siloes that exist in an organization,” Mehta writes. Companies can use software to solve this problem and create a more customer-centric omnichannel experience. With a single customer view to work from, you can overcome this hurdle and better engage with customers by knowing who they are and what they want.

“For instance, integrating your live chat data with your customer relationship management (CRM) software is one way to build a single source of truth about your customers,” Mehta points out. “This will help you analyze the past interactions in order to better personalize future conversations and seamlessly engage your customers across diverse touchpoints – creating a truly omnichannel experience.”

5 Tips for Omnichannel Success

To bust through these roadblocks and create a great omnichannel customer experience, companies should strive for more emotional loyalty and a personalized, 1:1 recognition through a process known as “customer scoring.” That means including all customer interactions with your brand—community activity, product reviews, sponsorship, private sales, previews, etc.—to develop a 360-degree view of that customer.

Here are five more ways to ensure a great omnichannel customer experience, every time:

1. Go beyond basic “earn and burn” mindset and focus on customer retention. Don’t limit yourself to managing points. For a more emotional loyalty, evaluate and reward all welcome behaviors.

2. Strive to increase average cart size. Your current customers are your best prospects for higher sales. Boost sales for all your customers: anonymous, identified, or loyal to encourage impulse buying and additional sales.

3. Ensure cross-channel consistency. Create a consistent customer experience across all sales channels and help your customer benefit from the best offer wherever they are located.

4. Create a 360-degree client vision. Use software to centralize all customer data, including their locations, purchasing habits, and preferences for a better contextualization of interactions.

5. Push out offers that will entice them. Use real-time offers that are perfectly matched to the customer profile across different sales channels (or directly from suppliers) to keep customers coming back for more.

As omni-channel driven demands become the norm, with resulting customer satisfaction harder to achieve, supply chain professionals will leverage advanced WMS technology to keep their operations nimble, efficient, and scaling – especially in these volatile times. Given Generix Group’s completeness of vision and ability to execute, as recognized once again by the Gartner analyst community, our WMS SOLOCHAIN is well-positioned to help companies needing a modern, flexible and agile solution that can easily adapt to their changing needs.  More Information about Generix WMS

gig economy

How the Gig Economy Benefits Employees & Businesses

Gig workers now represent more than 36% of the United States workforce, which is equivalent to 59 million Americans, according to the results of Upwork’s latest “Freelance Forward: 2020”, the most comprehensive study involving the U.S. independent workforce.

The number of freelancers, self-employed professionals, independent contractors, and gig workers is continuously increasing, and by 2028, this number is expected to exceed 90 million. With these stats, there’s no denying that the gig economy is shaping the future of work.

But how exactly does the gig economy benefit employees and businesses?

1. Save Money

Availing the services of gig workers allows businesses to save money. Employee benefits such as insurance paid vacation leaves, and retirement plans can amount to thousands of dollars each year. In fact, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employee benefits make up 32% of an employee’s compensation. By hiring gig workers, you could cut these costs by more than a half and reinvest the money saved in your business.

Companies that work with freelancers can also save money on infrastructure expenses. You don’t have to maintain office space, computers, and other office supplies. Companies that fully embrace remote work can eliminate the need for offices.

2. Find the Right Person for the Job

Aside from keeping the costs down, the gig economy gives you the freedom to hire the right person for the job. Employers will be able to apply individualized skills to different areas of your business. You can hire a gig worker to develop your website, one to work on your SEO, or one to manage your social media accounts.

In this way, you’re not trying to make one or two of your employees adapt to tasks that aren’t their strengths. The gig economy allows you to use different people who can play to their expertise. This allows businesses to operate like a large company without the overhead costs.

3. Your Employees Can Do More High-Value Work

By outsourcing other tasks to self-employed professionals, your employees can focus on doing more high-value work. Employees can offload low-value tasks – like expense accounting, booking travel arrangements, and basic tasks, making time for the work that matters. Your employees can focus on what they do best, while the appointment-setting, background research, and other tasks that can be delegated are done by freelancers.

You can hire a virtual assistant from Upwork or set up a virtual assistant subscription. As a result, your employees can concentrate on more pressing tasks, improving your company’s level of efficiency and effectiveness.

4. Easily Hire Seasonal Workers

Seasonal businesses often need seasonal workers to fill in and help around during busy seasons. Business owners often turn to temp agencies, but these agencies charge fees that can quickly add up. On average, temp agencies charge a fee equal to 12% to 50% of the temp worker’s hourly rate.

The gig economy allows businesses to eliminate the middlemen and work with freelancers and independent contractors directly. Freelancers know what they’re getting into, and there’s little to no expectation that the job will end up full-time. Gig workers and freelancers prefer the flexibility of moving from one gig to the next.

5. Greater Expectations

Consumers nowadays have greater expectations. They know what they want and when they want it. This trend is what fuels the gig economy. Business owners find a way to leverage consumer expectations by hiring gig workers. This strategy is more common during peak seasons when consumer demands drastically increase.

Businesses anticipate high-quality work from freelancers as they’re more current on industry knowledge, skills, and other tools. They need to keep up with the trends to consistently draw new clients. Consumers expect more from brands, brands strive to exceed customer expectations by hiring freelancers, and freelancers constantly improve to get more business. All parties  – freelancer, business, and consumers – consistently meet greater expectations.

Where to Find Gig Workers

Now that you know how the gig economy benefits employees and businesses, the next step is to find gig workers. You can begin your search in the following places:

-Freelancing websites: Upwork, CloudPeeps, 99Designs, and Fiverr, to mention a few.


-Your network

-Freelance communities on social media

The Future is Heading Towards Gig Economy

Technology continues to revolutionize the way people do business, and judging by the drastic increase of gig workers over the past years, the gig economy is the future of business. Employees now want flexibility, a proper work-life balance, and the freedom to choose the project they want to work on.

By acknowledging what gig workers bring to the table, you’ll be able to take advantage of the opportunities the gig economy offers. Gig workers can now choose from high-paying and full-filling projects, while businesses and employers can select the best candidate for specific tasks.