As the world goes digital, the global economy has embraced not only its in-house workforce, but also labour from outside the organization. Increasingly, complex resource needs mean using third-party services to find the right person for the job. These third party resources are your external team or partner network – gig and contract workers that are ready to action your enterprise’s needs on behalf of your brand. You may be familiar with the gig or partner economy in your everyday life: Leveraging applications such as Uber or TaskRabbit or Instacart to hire gig workers for chores and services. Enterprises do the exact same as an individual would as corporations rely on partner networks of gig, part-time, and contract workers to fulfil their needs.
What is a gig, partner, or contract worker?
When we’re referring to your enterprise’s partner network, we are discussing the external teams you rely on to make your organization run smoothly. These external partners could be contract workers who set up devices that you sell to your customers or deliver and build the furniture they order from your store. A gig worker could be hired to do clean up after someone books a stay at your hotel chain. A partner could be a consultant your organization relies on.
Many types of organizations, including us here at Appify, rely on loyal, stable, and reliable partner networks to complete tasks and delight customers. The gig, contract, or partner worker is often customer-facing and the last interaction someone has with your organization so it’s important that the relationship is easily managed through technology. Something as simple as seeing when a gig worker is on their way, receiving quotes and invoices via email, managing inventory and products, or tracking time can be done through applications that customers, partner networks, and your organization can interact across.
Partner and contract work will grow further in field service
Field services workers often rely on partnering organizations representing multiple brands, gig workers, or on-demand contractors. 36% of U.S. workers in general have gig work arrangements and that number is expected to rise to 50% by 2027.
Growth in contract work presents a challenge for the modern organization. Brands want to manage their image, enforce process controls, and make partner activity visible. Partner organizations who represent multiple brands need flexibility and the ability to operate seamlessly with the organisation employing them.
Catering to the needs of partner organizations and gig workers requires a certain set of tools. While field services have some of the most well-defined units of work (making it especially well-suited to a digital intervention) the functionality of existing apps leaves much to be desired.
Organizations need tools that create a seamless, flexible experience for their gig hires and partner organizations. Existing infrastructure — kludgy, homegrown workarounds, 20 year old partner portals, or manual solutions — isn’t meeting these needs.
Brand partners and gig workers need a seamless solution
Labour shortages mean leveraging gig workers and brand partners, but existing tools aren’t up for the task
Using gig workers and partner organizations isn’t new. Research into the gig economy suggests as many as half of all workers in the US could be taking on ‘side jobs’ by the year 2027. Addressing both labour shortages and the possibility of a recession, gig work reduces the incidence of workforce layoffs and lessens the impact of terminations.
The shift to gig work also represents a major shift in global employment. Partners and businesses working together need tools to make sure customers’ needs are met while preserving the organisation’s reputation. Existing tech to manage this was built in the 1990s, and a clunky, inflexible process can negatively impact the brand and make it difficult for workers to operate in the field.
Using outdated tech leads to resource shortages that stifle growth, a poor experience for the customer, and increased costs — factors most organizations would rather avoid.
Gig work is uniquely suited to tech solutions
Unlike other processes of business management, gig work — where you need a certain skill to do a certain job — is well defined. As long as a contractor has the skills then a worker can come onboard and perform a task from start to finish prior to billing for the time. A gig or contract workers can easily be brought onboard for your organization’s needs , use tools and equipment they already own, and get paid a fee.
The gig economy has matured in the past decade. In a survey by Monster, more than 90% of respondents stated that now is a good time to explore temporary or gig work. Workers have accepted and integrated the gig and contractual model into their careers, and businesses have grown to enable this type of work. In addition to adding an element of geographic flexibility to the organisation — since less full time hires and more contracted staff makes expanding into new locations easier — it also allows companies to access more of their latent capacity, boosting revenue and entering new lines of work.
Organizations need partner loyalty to meet brand needs
Underlying the gig economy is trust in your partner network. While hiring out a job to a partner, gig worker, or other on-demand hire is easy, using these services makes controlling the organisation’s processes harder. How can you predict how quickly an item will be delivered if it goes through a third party? How can you make sure the worker providing the goods adequately represents the brand?
An organization needs partner loyalty if it wants to provide customers with a good experience. Enterprises that are successful in their gig worker loyalty see immediate benefits: 50% of long-term gig workers stay with the same client for a year. Partners who know the processes and consistently provide great services will better represent it to the customer. Having an application development platform that’s easy to use keeps the same staff coming back for more – and makes customer interactions a breeze.
Appify enables partner engagement and customer trust
Modern partner enablement is the ideal solution to bridge a stronger relationship and capabilities between partner networks and enterprises. With the ability to build applications to manage partner relationships, tasks, and more, organizations can seamlessly transition between resources, grow their service portfolio, and use apps to support a universal engagement experience for their partners.
Capabilities such as worker registration and on-boarding, skill/certification verifications, and the ability to create and distribute apps over public and private marketplaces makes it easy to integrate features of the gig economy into the organisation.
With tools like a work assignment engine, decentralized user management, an easy to use payment system and a partner performance dashboard, organizations can not only retain their staff, but also help improve the customer experience and protect their brand.
Curious how Appify can support your partners? Meet us at Field Service Hilton Head!
We will be at World Business Research’s (WBR) Field Service Hilton Head Conference this August 16-18 2022. If you’d like to leverage rapid application development in your organization to connect partners, customers, and more to one another through easy-to-build enterprise applications, then find us at our booth. We will be at Booth 104 beside our strategy partners, CSG, who you may find at Booth 102-103.
Rapid application development enables your partner, contractor, and gig worker networks
Existing tools might not be meeting the needs of the gig economy but the future is digital. Your enterprise already leverages and has used technology and systems that work well and you need a way to connect them all and share data with ease across the organization and outside of it. With easy-to-use solutions more accessible than ever, it’s time to rethink how we work — and how we can better engage and retain our workforce through rapid application development.