How Gig Economy Consolidation Happens

Postmates is working with Instacart, a competitor, to deliver groceries in the Bay Area during peak-demand times. Here are two home delivery companies, who probably have overlapping workforces (many giggers use several marketplaces to keep work flowing) with largely unique customer bases (if standard brand thinking holds and consumers do gravitate to single-brand relationships for convenience and to simplify their decision-making.

Postmates, obviously, has offered delivery-as-a-resolve for merchants and brands since its inception, and some of those brands, such as Walmart, offer their own delivery services. But this marks the first time that Postmates has offered delivery-as-a-service to a business that itself is already a delivery service. – TechCrunch

At some point, apparently this week in the Bay Area where all this gigging started, marketplace platform companies run into the unavailability of human resources when they have consumer demand for those resources. Then, they will start to partner to find local people to do similar services, as Instacart has with Postmates. Now that they began a financial relationship Instacart will likely explore acquisition to improve margins in the geographies where delivery services are in highest demand. The Bay Area is just the first example of the emerging trend in deilvery, but it will spread to other on-demand segments.

Logistics services, mass transport-scale driver-manned or autonomous vehicles, and a variety of home-focused services will discover improved profitability — and deliver their service at lower prices — through mergers & acquisitions. One bet about which I’m confident is that local selling capabilities will be distributed to , for example, as brands seek influential sellers who can sell their communities products and services.

Just imagine the mind-bending antitrust questions that will come up as the personalized relationship with consumers could be monopolized by a platform.

Source: Instacart taps Postmates to help with deliveries in SF during peak demand | TechCrunch

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Gigging Gains Influence At Full Employment

Gig work is gaining credibility, according to Inc.com, and it is changing the expectations for regular full-time employees who see the flexibility of gig work as a benefit they would like to use, too. As I’ve written for Gig Economy Group, every company faces new demands from workers, ranging from workplace flexibility using excellent technical tools to moral and environmental alignment between the employee’s views and those of the company.

Customers set the stage for change in product and services when their expectations evolve and the same goes for workers and the shape of employment. Flexible, well-paid jobs will come, though it will take firm organizing on the part of labor to drive this change home.

“Now, with the economy in better shape and unemployment rates at a low, it’s an employee’s job market. Companies are starting to realize that to compete with non-traditional jobs, they have to start paying competitively, offering flexible schedules, and actually listening to what employees want. That puts employees in a position to be selective about the gigs they pick up, the hours they work, and the people they work with–and it’s an exciting time for companies to take advantage of that shift.”

Source: How the Rise of the Gig Economy Is Boosting the Social Status of Temp and Flex Workers | Inc.com

The Gig Economy Is Bigger Than We Admit

Quartz@Work provides a solid analysis of why the United States cannot agree on how many gig workers it has, which I’ve covered elsewhere. The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts only people who dedicate themselves to gig work, not the millions who work a side gig along with a main job.  The Federal Reserve gets the numbers more right than the BLS.

PwC partner Mike Boro summarizes: 

There’s no question that the gig economy is changing the way we work. In today’s complex business environment, it’s not enough to focus only on your own staff. Contractors and freelancers who supplement your workforce need to be a key factor as well—no matter what the numbers say.

Source: The gig economy is bigger than US government data makes it look

5 Tips for Keeping Remote Employees Engaged and Effective | CIO

Platform-based apps as work glue. The new new thing that’s coming.

…when teammates are spread across locations and time zones, work management apps that provide real-time insight into project status — and potential dependencies and blockers — can keep everyone on the same page. Remote workers can also use the platform’s mobile app to track and update the status of projects in real time.

Source: 5 Tips for Keeping Remote Employees Engaged and Effective | CIO