When we think of the gig economy, we first think of Uber drivers and Task Rabbits, but that’s just the B2C segment. Hidden under the surface of the changing work environment are B2B gig workers, a much more quickly growing segment. PWC predicts the entire gig economy will be a $300 billion annual industry by 2025, and Paul Hawken predicted as far back as 2013 that B2B flexible growth would bring greater quality and efficiency.
HuffPost shares that “There are differences between the consumer and B-to-B sharing economies. The former is based on trust and experience, the latter more on quality and efficiency. While consumer sharing services don’t necessarily replace conventional ones — you can still find a taxi or pet sitter even without an app — B-to-B firms often bring services not otherwise available, especially to smaller firms and entrepreneurs.”
B2B gig workers are the designers, writers, ad operations and customer service people, and other categories that don’t have to be (and may not even want to be) on the payroll. These talented men and women want to work from anywhere and make their work hours flexible.
As it did with so many other trends, COVID accelerated the gig economy. The uncertainties of markets, the inability to plan (especially in industries like media, travel, and healthcare), and the needs of some growth industries, such as logistics and e-commerce, calls for serving more customers quickly. This creates a demand for highly trained knowledge workers available at a moment’s notice.
Companies traditionally met their flexible staffing needs with an independent contractor here and there; however, as the remote work trend fully matures, managers may find themselves managing an army of independent contractors disconnected not only from the corporate headquarters but also from each other. That can plunge unwary companies into communications hell. A cost-efficient alternative and compliment to leveraging individual gig workers is to partner with a highly flexible and scalable managed services partner to provide operational depth to your business.
Begin with a systems approach
All businesses are made up of a variety of processes that, together, form an operation system. Your business provides a defined product or service to each of your customers. Delivering that product or service and delighting the customer at the same time is your goal. Each of the processes and sub-processes of the system from sales to assembly to QA and delivery require skilled resources with the appropriate “line skills”, after assembly lines. These have been lumped into “ops” or operational positions. Identifying when and how to leverage an experienced B2B managed services firm can be a significant strategic advantage, allowing your employees to focus on more strategic projects, client relationships, product improvements, and more.
The functions supporting the line are the “staff skills.” These include marketing, product, talent management, finance, IT, and general management. Most often these direction setting functions tend to be staffed in-house. Understanding when to bring in additional expert advice helps accelerate key initiatives.
How to engage a flexible B2B staffing company
A good flexible staffing company should have many experts together under one roof, although you don’t have to engage them all at once. Start with one piece of the puzzle, like advertising operations or creative services, and see how that goes. Once you have trust in your partners’ capabilities you can comfortably expand from there as your company’s needs grow. You should also consider leveraging a flexible B2B staffing company for reporting, finance, client services, and other functions that are a part of your regular operating system.
Dependability, Flexibility, Scalability
After a while, a good flexible staffing partner can help further improve your system processes, workflow design, and scalability. In addition to identifying the areas of improvement, the right partner can also implement and execute on them. Before you know it, you will be less stressed about how to manage the operation, and more focused on how to accelerate growth. When you have achieved truly dependable, flexible, scalable, and efficient operations, you will #BeEPIC.
|If you think this sounds like a dream, it is not. We founded MediaMint 10 years ago to provide this exact type of support for our media and technology clients. Over the years, we’ve grown to over 1000 employees across a variety of mission-critical operations and support functions. We recruit, train, and retain the best talent, and provide them with a path to growth. That makes MediaMint dependable.