Love it or hate it, the cyber-age online retail festival that is Black Friday is here again. This US-import started out as one day event. Then, it crept across the weekend to include Cyber Monday and became a four-day jamboree. Now, for many online and multichannel businesses and those that are in the hunt for a deal, it has expanded to become a week-long hoopla.
With the fear of being uncompetitive and of being stuck with inventory at the wrong price, many online sales firms feel they have to participate and discount aggressively. With consumer confidence fragile and spending power reduced by inflation rising and interest rates moving north for the first time in 10 years, there is a need to maximise sell-through early. However, discounting heavily in the run up to Christmas is something that many feel simply fuels the ‘race to the bottom’.
Some of the wider economic issues that are also in play include Brexit induced uncertainty and everybody’s favourite – rising levels of unsecured consumer debt!
On the flip side of seasonal online boom is the tens of thousands of seasonal ‘gig-economy’ jobs needed to serve customers instore, or process orders and to pick, pack and deliver and deal with any returns of the estimated £10 billion worth of goods that are set to be shifted before Christmas.
The ‘gig-economy’ of low paid, temporary work which for some may mean no guaranteed hours, job security or benefits, is highly contentious. Some think it offers choice and flexibility, whereas others feel it is exploitative. Wherever you sit in the debate, you can find workers’ stories that support both points of view.
For agencies supplying temps and contract workers, the seasonal spike can increase the back office workload significantly. If you process timesheets, expenses and payments using a manual process involving paper, then there might be the need to recruit extra admin staff to deal with it.
ETZ integrates the recruitment back office and accelerates timesheet and payment processes. Software automation eliminates the need for manually processing paper-based timesheets.
One of the big benefits is that ETZ is immensely scalable, able to accommodate significant increases in the volume of timesheets and payments without the need for manual intervention or increases in admin staff. The system lets you bring together your existing favoured software applications such as accounting tools like Xero or Sage with a wide range of other solutions that may already form part of your agency’s technology fabric.
To find out more about how we help recruitment firms like yours to deal with seasonal spikes and increase back office efficiency by up to 85%, get in touch today.
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