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Here are the Top Tips for Preventing ACH Credit Fraud


Here are the Top Tips for Preventing ACH Credit Fraud

Forced to work from home during COVID-19, accounts payable departments have accelerated plans to move away from paper checks and pay more of their suppliers by ACH. That, in turn, accelerated another trend: fraud. Through social engineering, fraud attacks on ACH credits are most commonly known as Business Email Compromises or BECs.

According to the 2020 AFP Payments and Fraud Control Survey Report, for the first time, in 2019, BEC schemes were the most common type of fraud attack experienced, with 75 percent of organizations experiencing an attack and 54 percent of those reporting financial losses. ACH credits—outgoing payments from buyer to supplier—were targeted in 37 percent of BEC schemes.

The problem has only gotten worse in 2020. In the September edition of their Fraud in the Wake of COVID-19 Benchmarking Report, the ACFE reports that 90 percent of respondents have seen an increase in cyber fraud frequency from July through August. This included BECs.

Three-quarters of respondents said that preventing and detecting fraud has become more difficult in the current environment, and more than 90 percent expect attacks to increase. Organizations are under siege, and nearly one-third have received no guidance from banking partners about mitigating ACH credit risks.

What can organizations do?

Defeating BECs requires a multi-pronged approach. Ongoing anti-fraud training is important because these emails are getting more convincing every day. Fraudsters have become experts in user data and A/B testing, which reduces elements that alert their victims of illegitimate changes to their accounts. Strong internal controls are also important and network security, which prevents parties from gaining access to internal systems.

Here are four ways to reduce your ACH credit fraud risk.

1. Handle with Care

Thwarting ACH credit fraud is all about handling supplier banking data securely, which accounts payable must have on hand to transmit their payment file to the bank. This data is often stored in the ERP system, or sometimes on an Excel spreadsheet, where AP staff has been recorded during supplier onboarding. Sometimes it’s stored when a supplier updates their information. Fraudulent change requests are one of the most frequent avenues of attack.

Let’s say you’ve got a new person in accounts payable who isn’t fully trained yet. This person gets an email from a supplier, asking to update their bank account information.

Your new hire, eager to please, fulfills the request, inputting a new routing number and bank account, unaware that a million-dollar payment to that supplier is going out the next day. Nobody realizes what’s happened until two weeks later when the real supplier calls, asking for payment.

By then, it’s too late to reel ACH payments back in. You can call the FBI and the bank. They may try to help you, but if the thieves are sophisticated enough, they’ve already moved the money to offshore accounts, and it’s completely gone.

2. Secure Information

You should never use an unsecured email for banking information updates, although a surprising number of companies still do. It’s too easy for a hacker to intercept one of those emails and use the information within it for their own means. If they get contact or bank account information, they can pose as legitimate suppliers and circumvent internal controls. Some businesses even keep information in spreadsheets or their ERPs, but systems like those aren’t designed to store data securely.

Some companies allow suppliers to update their own information in supplier portals. That might work, provided that companies manage secure portal access and verify all updates. However, if suppliers can log in and update information, it’s likely that hackers can access the same information with very little resistance.

The most sophisticated approach that I’ve seen so far includes a trained procurement team, who verifies and validates all changes that come through.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this approach. It’s a big IT investment with plenty of labor asks. Even then, it’s still prone to internal fraud. At the end of the day, even the best systems will still have their risks. The goal is to minimize them.

3. Look at Fees

Companies often try to shift the risk and time burden to others, with some success. For example, they may choose to pay their suppliers by card., which puts the risk on credit card networks. In cases of card fraud, it’s more likely that payments can be canceled or refunded.

Virtual cards offer even more security because they provide unique numbers, which can only be used by a specified supplier for a specified amount. The big drawback is that not all suppliers accept cards—there are fees to consider.

An organization I’m familiar with pays many of its suppliers with PayPal. Their supplier­­­­—most of them small businesses—are located around the world. AP doesn’t have the time or staff to verify payment information, validate bank accounts, and deal with ongoing updates. As the intermediary, PayPal handles all that and guarantees that the funds go to the right place. But, here again, suppliers pay a hefty fee—in the neighborhood of three percent.

4. Shift the Risk

There really is no perfect system in place, which is why we’re seeing ACH credit fraud rise in tandem with the rise in ACH payments. But there is a perfect way to shift the risk to companies that are built to withstand the verification and validation burdens. Today’s payment automation providers manage supplier information, so individual companies no longer have to spend valuable time on it. It’s similar to handing the reins to IT and procurement departments to lock down the database and institute controls. The difference is that working with a provider removes the time investment and liability.

Think of payment automation providers as a means to outsource risk. Their sole focus is to ensure secure, on-time payments to your suppliers without causing costly overhead. They have perfected the systems and processes for hundreds of thousands of AP departments across the United States, and in ways that businesses would be hard-pressed to replicate.

Businesses used to worry about check fraud above all else. While they still have to pay attention to that aspect, it’s become a low-tech form of fraud that’s easy to understand and plan for. As companies shift to electronic payment means, they’re increasingly experiencing sophisticated cyberattacks, which target much larger sums and are harder to defend against. With such attacks growing, businesses may find that outsourcing professionals is the best defense.


Jeremiah Bennett is the Director of Information Security for Corpay, a FLEETCOR Company which helps companies of all sizes simplify how they pay suppliers, facilitate treasury payments, and reduce risk.


More Companies Choose To Outsource – Here’s Why You Should Too

When it comes to outsourcing, businesses take different approaches based on their goals. Some focus on increasing efficiency, some on lowering the cost of their products or services. whatever the reason may be, outsourcing is becoming more popular than ever due to its many benefits. In this post, you will learn what outsourcing is and why many businesses outsource certain operations, especially on the logistics side of operations.

What Is Outsourcing?

In business, outsourcing is the practice of contracting an external company or organization to provide a product or service that the firm itself would otherwise produce. It has been associated with job moves overseas in recent years, though this is not always the case. Outsourcing can be done in other companies within the same country and isn’t always for fiscal reasons. For example, one of the most famous forms of outsourcing can be seen with Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon program. In essence, online retailers will outsource their logistical needs to Amazon to focus on their core business rather than handling packaging, deliveries, and refunds. This is just one form of outsourcing.

Many businesses are finding that they need to use sophisticated technology to scale their business to new heights. However, this is often easier said than done. For instance, if a company is looking for a fully equipped remote IT support service, they might outsource this to a company that understands this topic deeply instead of setting up new technical departments and hiring a raft of new staff. In this instance, choosing a company experienced in this sector makes financial sense and makes practical sense in that they want it done by a business that understands the task. In light of the above, what are some of the biggest benefits of outsourcing certain aspects of a company?

Businesses Can Focus On Your Core Business

One of the primary reasons many businesses outsource is to focus on the things that make them money. By looking at the earlier example of Amazon, you can see the benefits an online retailer has when outsourcing their logistical needs to another company (especially one as far-reaching as Amazon). Logistical operations are hugely complex, time-consuming, and costly if incorrectly handled. Therefore, this leaves only two options for most businesses:

1. Hire and train new staff

2. Outsource

Although hiring new staff may be cost-effective for large multinationals, many SMEs simply cannot afford to invest the time and money in such a task.

Technology Is Accessible Without The Investment

Operations like supply chain management and logistics often require significant investments in specialist technologies to facilitate smooth and accurate operations. Similar to why you choose not to hire and train new staff, many SMEs do not have the resources to invest in the technology needed to perform these complex tasks. Furthermore, logistics is often only a certain percentage of business operations, so directing resources in technology that you will only use a certain amount of the time is unfeasible. Outsourcing this part of your business to a business devoted to it entails paying a fair amount for them to manage this part of your business and invest in the technology required for successful completion.

It Can Improve Customer Satisfaction

Continuing the e-commerce example, it is clear that outsourcing the delivery of goods facilitates a higher level of customer satisfaction. For example, no matter how much you strive to make customers happy, it is inevitable that some items will be faulty (especially if you have a high revenue). In these cases, it is good practice to simply ask your customer to return the product and provide them with a replacement or a refund. Even though this sounds straightforward, it is fundamentally a loss-making activity you’d rather avoid and instead focus on the profitable side of the business. If said e-commerce business had outsourced this task to a logistics company, they would be responsible for returns and replacements, thus allowing the business to focus on its core activities while maintaining a happy customer base.

Reduced Liabilities

While this point is aimed explicitly at the logistical side of things, it also applies to other industries. By not having to deliver products, a company will immediately cut out the myriad of liabilities that comes with transposition, from accidents to lost packages, etc. However, this also holds for other industries. For example, a company might need a bespoke piece of software to perform specific tasks. By outsourcing to another company, they don’t have to worry about an intellectual property infringement as this will be covered by the outsourced software provider.

Outsourcing can be a massive benefit to businesses. Businesses can save money by outsourcing manufacturing, marketing, logistics, and even accounting. It allows companies to focus on their core competencies and plow all of their efforts into the profitable parts of their business.


Infographic: Coyote Study Shows COVID-19 Impact on Supply Chain Automation

To better understand how shippers and carriers are integrating technology into their operations today, and where they are investing for the future, Coyote Logistics conducted an in-depth research study in 2019.

Following a shift to digital adoption never seen before driven by the pandemic, Coyote revisited the topic in 2021.

This two-part infographic series outlines trends in supply chain automation based on feedback from over 850 global supply chain leaders. Below is part two with the remaining trends.


How Outsourcing Strategies Are Changing Over Time

Outsourcing is not just about collecting cheap remote talent. Even if it’s truly cost-effective, most successful companies realize that outsourcing brings innovation and is well-suited not only for operational tasks but also for developing core products. To date, 64% of companies outsource software development in a traditional way and many of them are going to embrace disruptive technologies and hone their strategies towards outsourcing.

Brief History of Outsourcing: From the Beginning Till Today

When did outsourcing begin?

The history of outsourcing dates back to 1989. The first company to outsource was Eastman Kodak with their revolutionary decision (for those times) to outsource the IT systems. The company’s leadership were the pioneers to realize they don’t necessarily need to own all the processes and data. Kodak was soon followed by other companies which resulted in business process outsourcing flourish till today.

Two main reasons urging companies to outsource were: cutting costs and freeing up resources to focus on the core functions. The companies tended to engage third-party vendors for certain activities and in such a way focus on core services. Another great reason for outsourcing was just the fact that companies couldn’t afford to hire full-time employees inhouse. No matter what the reason was, over time business leaders realized that outsourcing — if organized well — can be really efficient and may directly improve customer satisfaction.

How outsourcing evolved over time?

Outsourcing in today’s understanding started as a pure business process outsourcing with booming BPO service companies providing accounting and finance, human resources, call center and other functions. The concept of BPO soon broadened and took a variety of forms: end-to-end solutions, staff augmentation and others.

Today, in 2021, outsourcing is the strategic decision to establish long-lasting partnerships with outsourcing suppliers to enhance the service or product and win the competition. And the main reason for outsourcing in 2021 is not cutting costs, but increasing innovation and winning the market.

Fats facts about outsourcing:

64% of all companies outsource their entire development process

66% of medium/large businesses outsource software development

37% of businesses with up to 50 employees outsource software development

43% of U.S. companies are outsourcing jobs from the IT industry

78% of businesses feel positive about their outsourcing relationships

Outsourcing Strategies – Which One is Popular in 2021

Outsourcing as a business strategy has been embraced by the majority of businesses globally. In the USA only, over 300,000 of jobs are outsourced annually.

The latest offshore data reveals that IT is the most widely outsourced sector, with application and software maintenance (54%) and data centers (40%) being the leading outsourced functions.

For 46% outsourcing provides access to a skilled workforce that is not available on the local market. The US and European companies choose IT outsourcing in Ukraine due to the country’s vast tech talent pool of highly skilled tech professionals.

Severe skill-shortage affected 54% of companies. 82% of workers expect digital transformation to transform their work in the next three years, but only 3% of executives plan to invest more in skills development programs. That said, building offshore strategic partnerships remains the most effective outsourcing strategy for businesses in 2021.

Disruptive outsourcing is the future

Technology adoption is expected to accelerate in the coming years. In addition to big data, cloud computing and e-commerce, new technologies are emerging, such as robotics, encryption and artificial intelligence. Therefore, the outlook for the future of outsourcing is also changing. Company leaders show interest not only in employee productivity, but in the automation of at least some parts of their operations as well. And this is where disruptive outsourcing will take the lead.

Disruptive outsourcing, bringing technological advancements to the industry, is a step forward in the outsourcing world competing with its traditional forms. Robotic process automation and cloud computing will gradually replace the human workforce and those outsourcing destinations that will grasp this trend first, will win in the long run.

93% of companies surveyed by Deloitte report that they have already started or are considering the usage of cloud computing. The companies also expect their outsourcing providers to embrace the same attitude towards disruptive technologies and implement them in the near future. Disruptive outsourcing solutions are expected in all functional areas: IT, HR, Accounting, etc. as they allow much more flexibility and scalability in comparison to conventional outsourcing strategies.

IT Outsourcing Success Stories

Google, WhatsApp, Alibaba, Skype, BaseCamp, AppSumo are the companies that have outsourced successfully to name a few.

All of them are a harmonious blend of in-house and remote workers. Depending on the company’s size, needs, budget and priorities, they find their own balance between outsourced and in-house work.

For example, WhatsApp is a world’s known successful outsourcing case study that couldn’t afford growing their inhouse team of 35 people. They decided to outsource software development to Russia. Remote Russian developers helped the company to scale and save the costs and in a while, as WhatsApp entered the global market, Russian developers were relocated to the USA.

Slack, an online collaboration tool, is another successful IT outsourcing case study. Founded by four smart guys, the company trusted their product’s beta testing to an outsourced team. As a result, after getting profound feedback on copy and design, Slack managed to win over competitors and become a $2.8 billion worth company.

Skype also chose outsourcing. While being at a rise, Skype had their apps’ back-end fully developed by outsourced Estonian developers. Who could imagine that the future worldwide tool for businesses would rely on these Estonian guys?

The key takeaway from these outsourcing success stories is that outsourcing gives access to world-wide highly skilled experts who can help businesses scale fast, keep costs down and develop high-end products and services.


Outsourcing has become an integral part of the US and European businesses and a valuable asset in a value chain, no matter if this is a whole development center or a few bright experts in the augmented team.

And while traditional outsourcing has a proven track record of success globally, the advantages of disruptive outsourcing will be gradually adopted within the next five years, provided that outsourcing vendors will meet the security requirements of working with cloud computing, robotics and other disruptive technologies.


Igor Tkach is a General Manager at Daxx, a software development and technology consulting service company, part of Grid Dynamics Group. Igor’s areas of expertise span leading tech businesses, building remote teams, scaling business processes, client success, management consulting, business analysis, Agile project management and product management.

Daxx is the Netherlands-based company with 20 years on the market. We help businesses solve the problem of local talent shortage. Build a cross-functional team with custom hired software engineers and benefit from our value-added services.


All you Need to Know about eCommerce Warehousing in 2021

In the last year, we have seen many large and small businesses shift their focus towards the online marketplace. While many are quick to point the finger towards the coronavirus pandemic, in truth, it only accelerated the digitization process. Online sales have been growing for years, and that inventory needs to be stored before it gets sold and shipped. In this article, we will look at the recent trends and cover all you need to know about eCommerce warehousing in 2021.

What is eCommerce warehousing?

Just so we’re on the same page, let’s get a few basics out of the way first. eCommerce warehousing refers to the storage of physical inventory before the stored goods are sold online. Of course, you can find other definitions floating around. What’s important is that it can stand for small, one-person garage businesses as well as large companies. The goods need to be stored safely and securely; that is a given. However, goods also need to be correctly cataloged with accurate arrival dates, quantities, and exact locations within the warehouse. As you can see, regardless of the scale of your business, keeping track of inventory is vital.

Outgrowing your living room

You shouldn’t be ashamed of starting small. Great things often have humble beginnings. Many large online businesses started small and slowly grew into what they are today. After all, eCommerce giant Amazon started from Jeff Bezos’s garage. The online marketplace is constantly growing, and demand shows no signs of slowing down, even after the pandemic is over. Pretty much anyone can open an online store, and micro-fulfillment has become the new industry buzzword.

Starting your new online business from your own home is an excellent way to keep costs down. That’s probably the most common reason people choose to use their garages or living rooms as improvised storage spaces. Sure, it might work for a while, but what happens when you get tired of living in a warehouse? You should have a business plan for when you eventually outgrow the confines of your garage. If things go well, your storage needs will increase beyond what your home can offer. Modern startups are becoming increasingly creative, so there is no shortage of solutions available for you to consider.

Going for an actual warehouse

We’ve already mentioned an increased demand, but demand hasn’t grown just for the number of goods delivered. Customers have expectations that are set by your competition, and it’s up to you to keep up. You will need to ship at record speeds and make sure the goods are delivered undamaged. Changing from storing your inventory in your home’s garage to a dedicated warehouse comes with many benefits. Of course, any small business will still need to keep warehousing costs low. But with all the digital tools available, you shouldn’t have a hard time organizing your inventory. This will allow you to ship faster, saving time, money, and your nerves in the process.

Learn to streamline and outsource

Outsourcing to a third party is often referred to as third-party logistics (3PL). It is a common way to streamline and automate the eCommerce warehousing portion of your business. The good news is that outsourcing can unburden you of more than just warehousing. 3PL can handle inventory management and help with order fulfillment. You can even go as far as to automate inventory restocks and get estimates on future orders by tracking demand.

Tracking and transparent shipping are readily available to customers due to the internet being omnipresent. On the other hand, you can have access to real-time inventory status with just a few clicks. Digitalizing will allow you to sync orders from multiple platforms while avoiding mix-ups. It’s up to you to make the most of these tools and integrate them into your business.

Managing your eCommerce warehousing

Regardless of whether you are a one-person business operated from your home or have multiple employees and partner with a 3PL company, you will need to get involved with managing your eCommerce warehousing. You can start by training the staff that does the warehousing, but also getting acquainted with the digital tools yourself. Manage your sales funnel in a way that helps you forecast demand and plan your warehousing and shipping accordingly.

Always have a plan on how your business will scale and how you will need to adapt. Ensure that the 3PL you have chosen can scale with you and handle an increased volume of operations. Another important issue you mustn’t neglect is handling customer satisfaction and possible complaints. Proper warehouse management should include measures to process returns quickly.

Sometimes it feels like the world is changing faster than we can keep track of it. We’ve given you a rundown of all you need to know about eCommerce warehousing in 2021. Digital tools have allowed us to connect worldwide marketplaces in ways that seemed absurd 20 years ago. You can fulfill orders and ship from the comfort of your home to someone who is on a different continent. And both of you can have real-time information on the transaction and status of the shipment. Small businesses have given large companies a run for their money, and it’s now the giants to have to keep up.


George Brownlee is a freelance writer who mostly covers topics related to how storage and shipping affect both individuals and businesses alike. George comes from a background of working as a manager who specialized in logistics and supply chains. He likes connecting people, places and things and has been collaborating with for the last two years.


Why You Should Outsource in Kosovo

Not very long ago, companies that were looking to hire highly-skilled talent were limited to candidates that lived within a certain area of an office location.

However, nowadays, an organization can hire the exact talent or team if they need them for a specific project, and it doesn’t really matter if this person or team is located near their office location or halfway around the world. Thanks to modern technology, the internet, and lately COVID-19 and the influx of remote work, accessing experts is easier and more affordable than ever before.

Outsourcing is a new trend. The two main reasons that organizations decide to outsource are to reduce costs and to have the ability to focus on business goals and planning. But lately, outsourcing is more than just saving money. It’s seen as a critical tool in innovation.

As a result of this, business owners and entrepreneurs from around the world are seeing forward outsourcing to Southeastern Europe as the new outsourcing destination for many reasons and advantages that build and enable better collaboration & communication, apart from the lower costs.

Kosovo is also one of the top locations that has gained a lot of recognition for outsourcing services that is growing stronger day by day.

We may ask ourselves why we should consider outsourcing to Kosovo. Can Kosovo maintain a high quality of services while the costs are low?

Well, there is an enormous range of benefits when outsourcing IT services, customer care, market research, and other shared services to Kosovo, check out below the following advantages:

1. The population is one of the youngest in Europe

As we know, Kosovo is a country shaped by its youth, who are well-educated, highly motivated & satisfied with their work. The work-force is characterized by the high literacy of foreign languages, such as English and German. Almost every citizen in the workforce now in their mid-20s, speaks and writes fluent English, often with an American accent, and being in the GMT+1 time zone makes for a perfect staff augmentation scenario.

In addition to this — because of the number of young people in employment and the political involvement from the UK, USA & Germany — the country of Kosovo has a heavy focus on education and training, meaning that most IT trained employees will have certifications, that would cost a large sum of money elsewhere, already achieved and will hold in education typically at least one if not two bachelor degrees in addition to a masters degree at an early age.

They also are characterized by a very rapid cultural and intellectual adaptation with people of different backgrounds. This is a great advantage when it comes to working with different companies abroad.

2. Strategic location

Kosovo is an attractive destination for nearshore outsourcing services due to its strategic location as they say “Kosovo is located in the heart of Europe.” The close proximity of Southeastern Europe allows for regular and cheap visits for both parties. The duration of the flights is also a big advantage. For example, the direct flight from Berlin to Pristina is around three hours. This is very important, especially for long-term cooperation. Because, we would love to have our partners or clients come over for visits every time they see it necessary, so they learn more about us or with whom they’re working.

Also, the weather is one of the best things in Kosovo. During the wintertime, you get to experience the real cold and a lot of snow. Summers are usually hot, and very enjoyable. You get to visit a lot of places which in the summer can be very delightful, you can take the time to go out for a beer or dinner with teamwork because the sunset is usually set-down around 9 p.m. And so, this is how u get to know Kosovo as an outsourcing-friendly destination.

3. Attractive Price / Cost-cutting

The most obvious reason for outsourcing to Kosovo is the cutting of costs. Outsourcing companies in this region pay their employees lower wages. Outsourcing also brings significant reductions in capital investments – you only pay for the work that you need to be done and don’t have to worry about any additional overheads. You also can be able to invest your capital in other departments, leading to increased profits and greater growth.


For the past couple of decades, the prosperity in outsourcing services has furthered, significantly due to the improvement in applied sciences such as telecommunications, technology, fast-paced and competitive environment. Outsourcing is a very important aspect of the business now. In the same line, these improvements have followed Kosovo as well. A well-equipped country in terms of multilingual and well-educated youngsters that make more than half of the population, technology trends’ acquisition and low costs, Kosovo is your next place for outsourcing!



Logistics Challenges and Opportunities In the Post Covid-19 World

The world had a good business run in 2019. March 2020 happened – when Corona ravaged globally erasing all the gains the economy had achieved. Lockdowns were affected in many countries, which significantly impacted businesses ability to carry out operations effectively, China – the world’s largest outsourcing hub, got locked down, crippling the majority of industries that relied on China’s cheap workforce to produce goods.

Ports and airlines were closed, effectively halting major transport of cargo, which impacted businesses negatively. People panicked and hid away in their homes, resulting in the closure of many businesses such as restaurants, entertainment joints, and theme parks that relied on people going out. Most businesses retrenched a lot of workers resulting in the economy performing poorly since most people had nothing to spend.

Governments all around the world started by limiting air and sea travel to avoid carriers of the disease entering and spreading further infections in their territories. This proved detrimental to airports and seaports since the majority of their revenue depended on ferrying people. Further, packages from China were suspected to carry the virus so sea freight was strictly halted. This led to air cargo taking on the mantle of transporting goods all over the world. Airports are now using this channel to recuperate profits lost during the Covid-19 onslaught. However, even as air freight becomes popular, the demand is too high the airplanes are having trouble fulfilling demand.

The biggest problem business faced when Covid-19 hit was supply chain disruption. This affected large businesses whose supply chain might run through different regions or countries. Most affected were companies that used China’s manufacturers to make their products. Most businesses lost suppliers due to various reasons caused by Coronavirus leading to them starting the search for new suppliers which obviously disrupted business operations. Suppliers resorted to collaboration with the few available other suppliers to satisfy the demand to mitigate this disruption.

Most businesses have now realized how vulnerable their supply chains are and are already looking to diversify, move from China, and find new suppliers close to home. Also, logistics companies have seen the unprecedented business from these companies who want greater visibility of their supply chain to avoid future disruptions.

Technology has been a major savior for companies during this period. Warehousing companies are now using robots to help them package and move packages in place of workers that are not available due to Covid-19. Embracing IoT to help monitor machines and packages remotely, robotics to provide labor around the factories, and AI to help in forecasting, analysis, and management of different processes in business has helped companies survive the pandemic. Logistics companies will have to know how to assist companies leverage technology to achieve an edge in the industry.

Another big transformation globally is the shift in focus to selling directly to customers. Businesses are finding it easier and more advantageous to sell directly to customers rather than using the normal distribution chains traditionally once relied upon. Modern technology; robotics, Saas software, ERP systems, and AI have made manufacturing simpler, easier, and more efficient. This shift is beneficial for both customers and manufacturers. Customers can now get new goods straight from factories very cheaply due to the elimination of the distribution chain bottleneck that added fees on products. Also, these businesses will enjoy more profits while having more control over their brand. They can now manage their brand visibility and have relationships with customers which will allow them to get feedback.

Online shopping practically exploded during the first months after Corona hit – March, June, and July. This is due to a major shift in consumer habits precipitated by a necessity to stay indoors for health security and a need to shop easily. Online demand was so high that most businesses could not fulfill this demand. Now every company worth its salt is working on its online presence and on how to effectively sell online including doing online marketing and having online content to attract shoppers.

Due to massive changes in every area of business operations, businesses will now need to optimize their operations. This is to ensure they are efficient in performing business activities. An example is the growth of online shopping which means a lot of deliveries are going to be made. However, delivery drivers are in short supply which means a business needs to optimize that operation to make sure there are enough drivers to fulfill customers’ demands.

Efficiency conscious companies are relying on sensors to make sure their operations run smoothly. Packages are now getting trackers so that they can be monitored from factory/warehouse to customer’s drop point. This is to ensure the package arrives safe and did not get tampered with along the way. Data from these sensors are being used to make delivery better and analyze package delivery times.

Effective business operations in many businesses now are due to Saas platforms that offer businesses of all kinds, large and small access to logistics that are agile, flexible, and can be used remotely in the same organization by multiple workers. Also, AI is helping by providing forecasts and analyses of markets to provide businesses with insights that can help them tweak or adjust operations in case of a market shift. For example, Amazon now knows demand will peak during black Friday and adjust operations in anticipation of these events.

The best thing that has happened during this pandemic is the adoption of last-mile contactless delivery. Businesses are making sure that packages reach their customers safely, without any contact so as to mitigate the spread of the virus and make sure packages arrive in perfect condition. Logistics companies will have to ensure most packages are delivered safely for the customer.

Also, logistics companies will now have to offer companies with digital solutions to manage customers and customer relationships.

Most companies now realize that in order to reduce shocks in business operations, supply and distribution chains will have to change. The best solution is to shorten supply chains, bring them closer to home and shorten delivery times.

Covid-19 presents a lot of opportunities in helping businesses recover from the pandemic and streamline operations to recoup losses made.

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.


25+ Outsourcing Statistics for 2020 and Beyond

When work becomes overwhelming, there’s nothing else to do but consider outsourcing. Hiring a third-party company to perform services saves time and money, but that’s not the only benefit. Companies that outsource have increased efficiency and are more focused on essential strategies. 

They also enjoy increased flexibility to face changes. With this option, businesses have wider access to professionals and the freedom to choose from various talent pools. Combined with affordability, it’s no wonder that the industry is worth $131 billion. 

According to our report, America enjoys the largest revenue share from outsourcing. However, the market is fluctuating. 

Even though many believe outsourcing is the way to solve business problems, it involves some challenges. When used only to solve a problem without considering it as an investment for growth is a wrong approach. 

Other risks include slow turnaround time, language barriers, time differences between time zones, and lack of control. Since more than half of small businesses were outsourcing in 2019, business owners believe it’s a great way to reduce costs and save time. 

We’ve covered the most important aspects in the statistics below for the US and global markets. Keep on reading to find out more. 



The Most Important Things to Consider When Downsizing Your Business

Downsizing a business is never an easy task, however, with many businesses not performing up to standard as a result of the pandemic it has become necessary.

Richard Wayman, CIA Landlord’s Finance Director reveals the most important factors to consider when downsizing during the pandemic.

1. Why should you downsize?

Downsizing is the process of minimizing costs by reducing headcount and the number of employees. These are usually permanent layoffs but during the pandemic, we have seen a rise in furloughs or temporary layoffs in order to survive the lockdown period. This also means that a lot of changes may be necessary for the employees kept on staff. Fewer employees mean many workers have to take on additional responsibilities in the company to compensate for the reduced staff. The closure of certain branches of businesses may also mean the workday is changed for staff as well as changes to certain rolls and how the business functions during the pandemic.

2. Who should you let go?

Before you make any job cuts, it’s crucial to consider who should be kept on and who will have to be let go. If you have any important projects or essential elements to keeping the business moving, you will need to retain the right employees to do the job. If people you let go hold important roles, these will have to be filled whether that’s by other staff or outsourced, so be sure to run this by management teams that it is possible before you make any decisions as it may be more difficult to refill these roles in the long run or train up employees. It’s also important to consider who will work well as part of these smaller teams and be ready to deal with challenges such as burnout and protecting your staff’s mental and physical health during this time.

3. Consider temporary layoffs

Although we are experiencing a turbulent period, you shouldn’t just let go of staff to save money from their salaries, so first, broach the topic of temporary layoffs. However, once you have made any form of lay off from the staff, be prepared that you may lose that employee in the long run, as no one will want to feel uncertain about their position, especially during this time. Before making a permanent or temporary cut on staff, review everyone’s progress and performance in the company with HR so that you can make an informed decision. You should also have a sufficient reason for why you lay off an employee as well as provide as much notice as possible to the employees you are laying off, to be considerate and empathetic to the situation as well as avoid any legal repercussions.

4. Should you outsource the jobs?

Before laying off employees or shutting down departments or roles, make sure you are aware of how you will outsource the essential positions. Investigate where you can get the most cost-effective work for the job without detracting from the performance or value. Outsourcing is typically a great way to save on budget and overall costs; however, this will deviate significantly from business to business so be sure you know what is available. You should also consider temporary contractors or freelancers, as many of them may be out of work currently and offer a better deal for the same job.

5. Set clear objectives

Before you have made any decision and downsized your staff, create a clear strategy of how the business will continue. It’s important that you don’t view this reduction as moving backward but just a temporary setback. Set clear objectives of where you want to the company to be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years and even 10 years down the line and how you envision reaching these milestones and making a profit. It is also crucial to create a reactive strategy to combat any uncertainty or sudden changes in the market. This may mean updating how you market your business or products as well as revaluating what services you can or could provide amid the pandemic. Always consider the long terms progression and survival of your business and don’t let go of a team or departments you may need in the future to save money in the short term unless it’s vital to the welfare of the business.