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The Gig Economy Is the Future – Here’s how You Can Become Part of It

The Gig Economy web

Estimated Reading time – 7 Minutes

If the term ‘Gig Economy’ makes you scratch your head in confusion, it really shouldn’t. The slang term “gig” has been used for over 100 years to refer to once-off entertainment performances, but its meaning has taken a different direction over time.

After reading this blog post, you’ll know exactly what the gig economy is, how it works, where to find gigs, and what you’ll need to thrive in the industry.

What It Is and How It Works

Let’s start by discussing what the term means today.

You’ve heard someone refer to a music performance as a gig, right? Well, in this case, we’re not referring to an open mic night at a local establishment. In this instance, the gig economy is a job market dominated by independent workers.

It provides job seekers with short-term, on-demand work opportunities rather than adhering to the traditional nine-to-five employment model.

In a gig economy, businesses save money by not having to train workers and rent office space. Instead, they opt to approach experts who work remotely to complete specific tasks at more affordable rates.

From the worker’s perspective, a gig economy offers an improved work-life balance that would otherwise not be possible with a traditional 9-5 job. Gig workers also have the luxury of only choosing jobs that interest them personally, instead of receiving an assigned workload each month.

The concept of the gig economy ultimately consists of three components: independent workers who are paid per task or project, consumers who require a particular service, and the companies that act as a middle-man by creating a connection between workers and customers.

We know what you’re thinking – this sound exactly like freelancing. You’re right, but freelancing isn’t the only type of gig work available. Consultants, independent contractors, seasonal workers, on-call workers, and temp contract workers also fall within this category.

According to Business 2 Community, by the year 2021, gig workers will outnumber traditional employees.

Finding The Ideal Gig

In a gig economy, workers use specialised apps and websites to find job opportunities. Sure, Gumtree advertises freelance job opportunities but if you’re looking for industry-specific work, these are six of the best websites to use.

 

The Pros and Cons of The Gig Economy 

The Pros 

  • You can choose how many hours you would like to work, as well as the ideal environment. Flexible hours without the restriction of four office walls. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
  • Instead of following the same routine every day, you can decide which jobs you want to do.
  • You decide how much you’ll get paid. Gig workers are often able to decide their own hourly rates. Note that, rates are often determined by the worker’s level of education and experience.
  • You will also be open to multiple job opportunities. More work equals more money.
  • You will be able to claim a portion of your rent, electricity, and all work-related expenses from tax

The Cons 

  • Unfortunately, very few gig economy positions offer benefits such as medical aid and a retirement fund.
  • You’ll have to file your own taxes.
  • You will likely be alone most of the time, so having little to no social interactions throughout the day might become a problem.

Choosing the Best Gig

Before you update your CV, you’ll need to find the best opportunities. Here’s how you can find the perfect gig.

  1. Spend some time creating a list of all your skills, but also consider what kind of work you would like to do.
  1. Consider your schedule. If quitting your full-time job isn’t an option, or if you have important personal duties – you might not have a lot of time for some types of gig work. Choose gigs that allow you to choose how many hours you would like to work.
  1. Learn some new skills. As we’ve mentioned, the more skills you have, the more you can charge for your services.
  1. And lastly, keep an eye out for scammers. Unfortunately, job sites are a perfect breeding ground for scammers. Do some research to find out whether the company is real and reputable before you submit your CV.

The Bottom Line –

A growing amount of people are moving away from traditional employment in favour of “becoming their own boss”.

If you would like to become part of the gig economy, enrol in one of our exciting Online short courses and add marketable skills from the IMM Graduate School to your CV.

From pollution to personalisation: Marketing Trends 2020

Marketing Trends 2020

Marketers everywhere live and breathe a fairly unique air; trends are their lifeblood as they try and shape these but, mostly, try and understand and predict them.

Apart from their more obvious roles, marketers are important translators and interpreters of the social and cultural evolution societies everywhere live through. The human race lives in an era of unparalleled information generation confronting the average person daily.

Here are a few of the trends marketers need to be aware of as we enter a new decade and deal with the rapidly changing needs and demands of the consumer.

  1. The environment

During the first few weeks of the new decade, Greta Thunberg received news of her selection by TIME Magazine as its TIME Person of 2019. She had a private meeting with Prince Charles at Davos after she had told the world leaders encamped at the Swiss town, “I want you to panic. And then I want you to act.”  She also met with the Pope but eschewed the opportunity to meet with President Donald Trump because she considered such a meeting “a waste of time”. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize at the start of February 2020, Thunberg is not alone. She effectively demands an audience that spans continents and calls young people to action with no indication of a waning of her popularity or the attention she demands. Young people everywhere respond to her message, which is condensed into a very simple but devastating reality as she continues to turn the vague anxieties about the continued existence of the human race on planet earth into a worldwide movement for global change.

While there are many levels to her message, all of it can be linked back to the core concern about pollution, about the raw materials being used daily to provide you and me with transport, food and other comforts we have grown to accept as our right. As this message gains traction, as it inevitably will, consumers will demand to know the environmental track record of the company manufacturing the product they buy, the level of awareness about environmental issues espoused by the retailer they buy the product from, and the extent to which the packaging they buy it in is recyclable. It will be up to marketing to convey assurances about these issues in a message to the consumer which cannot be devoted solely to the product and its uses.

  1. The death of the mall

The US landscape is dotted with the abandoned skeletons of the temples of retail where thousands used to spend their weekends paying homage to the god of shopping. Britain finds that even remote villages in Northern Scotland are seeing the closure of the shops lining the high street as the owners who have been trading there for many years shut shop.

Online shopping continues to gain traction as security improves and the supply chain from the sellers to the customers becomes more sophisticated and faster. While there is a still a place in the commercial chain for the odd customer who wants to touch and see the physical product before buying it, innovative marketers are making progress in creating opportunities to satisfy even this customer need on online platforms.

Achieving personalisation in an online space is something we’ve already experienced when visiting the Amazon website to find products listed for us based on what we had bought in the past. While this may be an example of pretty basic attempts at personalisation, marketers will definitely continue to work on adding layers, and creating the same welcoming feel we have when being received by the owner of the vegetable shop down the street where we have been shopping for 15 or more years.

  1. Personalisation taken to the next level

Apart from being recognised by name when you land on the website, personalisation of the online shopping experience is now happening on a number of other levels too. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) is ideally suited to delivering an enriched user experience using chatbots, for example. These developments make nonsense of websites that simply sit there doing nothing except to show a flat and one-dimensional marketing message.

Interactive content is transforming the website experience for shoppers with Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home and Meena leading the way in creating the opportunity to feel the website is interacting with them on a more intimate level because it has a voice. And not just any kind of voice, but one which talks back and answers their questions and allays their fears or uncertainty about purchasing what they have not been able to inspect physically.

While voice is transforming the online shopping interaction with a more human-like interaction, it also creates significant opportunities for the collection of more information because telling the story of your specific shopping need is a richer version of the message you would have typed into the search bar. Voice releases the kind of information which, if it is harnessed effectively by the website owner, could make the shopper experience more satisfying. We love Siri because she picks up on nuances which a typed search may not.

  1. Video will continue to grow

Educators at schools and higher learning institutions lament the death of reading. Websites that offer nothing but words do not attract Generation Z shoppers who would rather be watching a video or chat. The exponential growth of Instagram as a marketing platform relies on its video content more than anything else.

Apart from video offering messages easier to digest than the written message, its ability to entertain and push all the right buttons for the Gen Z crowd. Even Millennials and Baby Boomers would rather book a hotel room when they had the opportunity to do an online video tour of the facility where they will be spending their travel budget.

  1. Customer loyalty will remain a challenge

Few lecturers are able to discuss the retail silver bullet of customer loyalty without referring to the Clicks Club card. Since it was introduced by the retailer in 1995, others have tried and failed to match the Clicks success story, which helped the retailer being mentioned as one of the most cash-rich retailers in South Africa in December 2019.

The online shopping experience relies for its success on the variety and range of options. Loyalty this does not engender. Yet it remains a nirvana for the retailer whose dream of having the same customer returning to spend their hard-earned cash means security and a reliable source of income.

The electronic version of the loyalty card does not exist yet in its best possible version, even though progress has been made with businesses offering bonus points for repeat online shoppers. It is likely that marketers will, however, come to the party with a new invention of this which will push the existing options back to zero.

  1. Data use

While customer data may have been collected for years, those collecting it have responded to its availability much like the Jack Russell that caught the bus. Using the data to extract the type of information which could take the marketing of the product to a stellar level does not yet happen in most businesses. Data miners and analysts are helping make data and the tendencies hidden in it more digestible to marketers. Infographics, sophisticated programmes to analyse and make sense of the data and improved understanding of the gold it is for decision-makers are all factors pushing data to the forefront in marketing campaigns.

If websites have been prominent in collecting data on visits, visitors and their choice of search options, the increase of voice as a search tool will be a significantly richer source of data. The role of AI in this process will aid the sense-making for use by marketers significantly and feed campaigns with much more up to date and more relevant information on customers and their preferences.

  1. Privacy

The recent experiences of data breaches on Facebook and on banking and commercial platforms headlines prominently in 2019. The overriding impressions in online user ranks is still that their information is not safe in the hands of these institutions and similar events are bound to occur in 2020.

It is an open question if the ‘unhackable’ option is possible. Uppermost in the mind of most digital marketers is the fervent hope that 2020 will see progress in this area.

References

Alter, C., Haynes, S. and Worland, J. (n.d.) ‘Greta Thunberg: Time’s Person of the Year 2019’ Available at https://time.com. [Accessed on 6 February 2020]

Bustin’ 10 myths about online learning

The requirements of the knowledge economy and the changing needs of business, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues its relentless rollout, means traditional learning can’t necessarily give those ‘students’ what they need in terms of time and flexibility.

As the Centre for Education and Innovation has written, “In the knowledge economy, memorisation of facts and procedures is not enough for success. Educated workers need a conceptual understanding of complex concepts, and the ability to work with them creatively to generate new ideas, new theories, new products and new knowledge…They need to learn integrated and usable knowledge, rather than the sets of compartmentalised and de-contextualised facts. They need to be able to take responsibility for their own continuing, life-long learning.”

We asked the IMM Graduate School’s head of teaching and learning, Dr Cecelia Rosa, to dispel the myths about learning via a ‘virtual’ classroom, and offer sage advice to the increasing number of students and professionals wanting to increase their knowledge and skill sets, or study towards a diploma or degree, while continuing to work.

MYTH 1: You have to teach yourself when you learn online

Technology is an opportunity to reduce the distance between the distance student and the lecturer/facilitator. Several strategies are available for this. A good learner management system provides discussion forums, chat rooms, virtual classrooms, the use of social media such as Twitter, WhatsApp and the conventional email make it possible for there to be a dynamic relationship between the distance student and the lecturer/facilitator. The lecturer is not the ‘sage on the stage’ but the ‘guide on the side’. Of course, if the student does not make use of these tools and makes a decision not to be a part of the community, the sense of isolation remains.

MYTH 2: There’s no interaction with classmates

A well-designed online course provides you with opportunities to interact with your peers in a variety of ways. One of the benefits of interacting with your peers is that you are exposed to classmates from around the world, which gives you a very broad perspective of the subject content in an international context.

MYTH 3: Your lecturers/professors are faceless

A well-known and useful model for online learning is the Community of Enquiry concept upon which many well-designed online courses are based. One of the three presences discussed is the ‘Social Presence’. Students, despite the distance, are drawn into a community of which the lecturer/facilitator is one member. Other strategies to reduce the distance between lecturer/facilitator are ongoing two-way communication in a variety of forms such as discussion forums, email, WhatsApp groups etc. Technology has without a doubt reduced the sense of anonymity and isolation for lecturers and their students studying at a distance.

MYTH 4: Employers don’t trust online degrees and don’t take online learning seriously and MOOCs are ‘diploma mills’

Perceptions and a change of mindset will happen over time. However, online degrees that have been accredited by regulatory authorities or endorsed by accredited universities will have complied with particular standards. Furthermore, a student who completes a degree online shows characteristics which should be sought after by employers as it entails the student showing evidence of discipline, a high work ethic, time management and initiative as they are not being spoon-fed in the classroom environment. The world of work is changing at a very fast pace and with it comes the need for more complex skills. Employees should constantly be upgrading and updating their skills-set to remain relevant. At the same time, the employer cannot afford to grant long periods of study leave. Enter online learning to meet the needs of both employer and employee!

MYTH 5: Online learning courses are easier than campus

A well-designed and structured online course is by no means easier than conventional courses. As mentioned before, courses developed within accredited institutions need to comply with standards set out by the regulatory authorities. Furthermore, technology provides opportunities for the creation of more authentic, real world learning in a meaningful context through the use of media rich resources, thus creating a more 3D perspective of learning content.

Technology further provides the facilitator with opportunities to create learning content, which requires students to use critical and creative thinking to solve real world problems. Like conventional classroom activities, technology also provides opportunities for lecturers/facilitators to design activities that assist students to work meaningfully, and encourage active engagement through learning content. Lifelong learning is encouraged through assisting students to source information at a broader and deeper level.  

MYTH 6: You have to understand technology to learn online

You do have to have a basic understanding of how a computer works. Most courses provide one with a user tour to assist you to orientate yourself around the learning material. Many courses are also accessible on the cellphone/tablet/iPad, with which most people are familiar. Most students find their way around their online courses quite quickly.

MYTH 7: You don’t get hands-on (practical) experience

As mentioned above, technology provides the opportunity for students to solve real world problems. Simulations and Problem Based Learning are popular methods in many conventional classrooms and online to provide students with the ability to solve real world problems. The focus should never be only on the subject content, but how to use the subject content to solve real problems.

MYTH 8: It’s too time-consuming

It is no more time consuming than conventional studies. Courses are developed with particular notional hours in mind. That means it is understood that it will take the student that many hours to master the outcomes of the learning content, whether online or contact studies. Of course, distance learning, including online learning, requires the students to be disciplined and independent learners, manage their time and remain motivated.

On the other hand, conventional classes require of the student to be the same, especially at tertiary level. A benefit of online learning is that students can pace themselves and move quicker or slower through the learning material while assessing themselves through continuous assessment activities and revisiting and affirming their newfound knowledge and skills. This means students do have a measure of control over their learning process.

MYTH 9: They’re too expensive

The cost depends on the course and varies from institution to institution and country to country. The prospective student can source a preferred course from anywhere in the world. The choices are numerous enough to suite any pocket.

MYTH 10: Courses aren’t accredited

There may be some that are not. It is up to the student to identify institutions that are accredited and regulated by the regulatory authorities of the country from which they are sourcing the course.

The IMM Graduate School is a distance-learning provider of choice and aims to be the centre of excellence for marketing, supply chain and business disciplines in Africa. For more on our online courses, click here.

Creative leadership and the leadership of creativity

Creative Leadership

It’s hard to believe that a mere two to three decades ago, creativity was barely explored or taught explicitly in main-stream or business education, let alone in design-related fields. Instead, tasks, such as ‘explorations of colours’ or coming up with ‘different ways of communicating a brand message’, were used to help students build a creative mindset.

Times have certainly changed.

Today, creativity has transcended the boundaries of art and design of all kinds, and is ranked by the World Economic Forum as one of the top three skills of the future1, essential to innovation and success. Increasingly, it is now being taught in both design and non-design related environments to the extent that in some universities, creativity classes have become a central part of the curriculum.

This shows significant progress in how we are beginning to understand and appreciate the attributes and outcomes of creative thinking and how the process can influence, and importantly, improve all aspects of life.

While creativity as a skill has slowly but surely ascended the WEF ranking, so too has the term and concept of ‘creative leadership’ begun to take on a more prominent role in organisational thinking, research and practice. In fact, some researchers and practitioners in the leadership space have suggested this style of leadership is more important in the current social, political and economic climate than ever before2.

Why is this?

Well, if we understand creativity to be “the catalyst to innovation”3 , and we are aware of being in a time that is innovation-overwhelmed, to say the least, then it stands to reason that those leading us in these times need to be able to initiate and manage change like never, ever before.

What is creative leadership?

Creative leadership is a powerful way, or style, of thinking and leading based on the concept of working co-operatively to develop innovative and valuable ideas. Those leaders that employ a creative style tend to lead by creating and fostering an environment that promotes creativity. These conditions could be psychological, material, and/or social or any other supports that trigger, enable, and sustain creative thinking in others4.

I appreciate how Sir Ken Robinson, the revered champion of creativity and education, captured this definition: “The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel they’re valued.”

Leaders with this as a core attribute of a creative mindset are in huge demand. Since 2010, the annual IBM Global CEO Study indicated that creativity is the number one most important quality for leaders to build successful businesses, outranking integrity and global thinking.

“CEO’s now realise that creativity trumps other leadership characteristics…To connect with and inspire a new generation, they lead and interact in entirely new ways.5

Attributes of creative leadership

So what are the attributes associated with being a creative leader, versus some of the other styles and models we have been more accustomed to in the past, but also still see today?

In summary John Maeda, talks about how creative leaders focus on inspiration over authority, ambiguity over clarity, being real over being right, improvisation over following the manual, learning from mistakes over avoiding them, and hoping they’re right rather than being certain that they will be.

Leading the business of creativity

So, if creative leadership is a style of leadership that is highly relevant for any organisation in the age of hyper-change, how does it show up in the leadership of creative companies themselves?

The attributes of creative leaders as articulated earlier, is naturally derived from the way in which artists, makers and creative people have always and by nature approached their craft. Individuals and companies with creativity at their heart, or at the core of their business output, understand, more than most, the importance of magic in the face of logic. The importance of having some chaos alongside order and the power of diversity of thought and experience to come up with the best ideas and solutions.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that having this insight automatically makes leading easy.

I work with a lot of leaders leading creative businesses – from artist studios to agencies, architects to advertisers – and without a doubt, the leadership of these organisations, be they micro to macro, bring with them a set of specific and unique challenges.

Creative organisations are by nature beautifully messy and complex, and require a full and extended skill-set of effective decision-making, intellectual and emotional intelligence and market-facing grit. Not only do leaders of creative concerns need to embody the attributes of creative leadership (as they too are in the business of liberating innovation and then selling it) but at the same time, they also have to ensure they don’t ignore the full complexity of leading an organisation A-Z. Not just an innovation centre or department.

I would argue that these heads of business are some of the most ingenious, accomplished and agile leaders you’ll find, irrespective of business category.

If we are all in agreement with Richard Florida, the famed urban studies theorist, that, “human creativity is the ultimate economic resource” then who leads creatives and how they are led is of paramount importance and should never be underestimated or undervalued.

Besides being an economic development opportunity, creative thinking has the opportunity to solve human challenges and problems at significant scale.

This is what the world needs. This is what our country needs.

The impetus around my work in creative industries and in the study of creative leadership has been a heartfelt desire to work with creative businesses to help them not only survive but thrive in the complexity of today and beyond.

They have to.

Because creative leaders, creative people, and creative organisations are those that will continue to create the brilliant ideas that define a positive and sustainable future for all.

References:

[1] The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs paper released in 2019 listed the top 10 skills demanded in 2020. Creativity was number 3

[2] Sternberg, R. J. (2007). A systems model of leadership: WICS. American Psychologist, 62, 34–42.

[3] Puccio GJ, Mance M, Zacho-Smith “Creative Leadership: its meaning and value for science, technology and innovation”

[4] Mumford, M. D., Scott, G. M., Gaddis, B., & Strange, J. M. (2002). Leading creative people: Orchestrating expertise and relationships. Leadership Quarterly, 13, 705–750. Via Wikipedia

[5] Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights from the IBM Global Chief Executive Officer Study 2019

Sunday Ted Talk – The human skills we need in an unpredictable world

Writer and entrepreneur, Margaret Heffernan says that the more reliant on technology we become, the less prepared we’ll be when faced with unexpected problems that may cross our paths. Heffernan says that we determine our own future and explains why mankind needs to become less dependent on technology to solve our problems and focus on improving our ‘human skills’ instead. Watch this thought-provoking TED Talk here:

2020 – It’s the Year Remote Worker

The Remote worker web

Estimated Reading Time – 4 Minutes

We’ve always believed that robots will take over our jobs one day. That might still become a reality, but something else is happening in the meantime. Increased amounts of employees are distancing themselves from their typical 9 to 5 jobs in favour of working remotely.

There appears to be this idea that working from home is all sunshine and roses – a luxury reserved for company executives and freelancers. You wake up whenever you like, finish the household tasks, then sit down with a cup of coffee for a few hours to do some work. It’s a dream come true, right?

As convenient as it may seem, it’s not for everyone. If you’re interested in working remotely, keep reading to find out what you’ll need in terms of skills, which industries are suitable, and the benefits and pitfalls of working from home.

 

Getting a Foot in The Door

As we’ve mentioned, working remotely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But if you can do these five things, remote work might be something to consider.

Manage your time – remember that you won’t have anyone looking over your shoulder at home to make sure you complete all your tasks, so it’s easy to lose track of time. There are plenty of tools and tactics available online to help you do just that and more. Although, if you find it difficult work without supervision, remote work probably isn’t for you. 

Communicate effectively – remote workers don’t have the luxury of walking over to a colleague’s desk to ask for help. Communication is mostly (if not entirely) digital, so having strong communication skills is a must.

Be tech savvy – again, it’s all digital, so you’ll need to be up to date on all the helpful tools available as well as how to use them. Technical proficiency is mandatory.

Teamwork makes the dream work – even though communication won’t be face-to-face, it’s important to communicate with fellow team members on a regular basis, especially while working on projects together. You won’t be able to walk to their desk to discuss a problem so, to avoid confusion, a steady stream of communication is needed.

Be balanced – it’s easy to get carried away and either work too much or too little. Set a limit to how many hours you want to work per day and stick to it. No more and no less.

What’s Good and What’s Bad About It?

Depending on who you ask, the advantages of working from home (or anywhere else except the office) surpasses the disadvantages, but we’ll let you decide for yourself.

What’s good about it –

  • When you work remotely, you can schedule work responsibilities around personal duties and vice versa. This ensures a better home/work balance.
  • Assuming you’ll work from home, you can save time by not having to commute to the office.
  • You’ll save money. Aside from not having to pay for transport, working remotely means you won’t need to buy lunch at the local cafe every day. Instead, you have lunch at home.
  • You can take breaks whenever you want. This ties in with the previous point. Instead of waiting for lunch time as you would in an office setting, you have the option to take breaks whenever you want – within reason.
  • Working from home doesn’t only benefit employees though. According to The Conversation, by increasing a company’s number of remote workers, traffic congestion during peak hours may soon be a thing of the past.
  • Expenses will be lowered by not having to rent an office and having to pay for water and electricity at the end of each month.

What’s bad about it –

  • Despite its numerous benefits, remote work doesn’t come without its challenges.
  • First of all, it’s all about self-discipline. In order for remote workers to be successful, it’s important to stay focused and productive despite distractions at home.
  • Time management can become an issue, especially if there are too many distractions at home.
  • Loneliness might become an issue, especially if you work from home. If this is the case, it’s best to visit the local coffee shop or internet café to get some work done.

Use these five tools to save time and boost productivity.

Twist: a communications app aimed at creating a more organised and productive workspace. This helps teams to stay on topic.

Dropbox: a storage app that allows remote workers from any location to upload and share files.

Zoom: video chatting software that allows for global face-to-face communication.

TransferWise: An easy way to transfer money abroad.

Todoist: Keeps track of any progress made with tasks and projects.

The Bottom Line

Remote working is becoming increasingly popular because its convenient, affordable, and if done right, can be very effective.

The discipline and skills required to complete a distance learning qualification will set a great foundation for someone aspiring to work from home.  Also, the greater your skillset the more likely you are to be in a position to work remotely. Two good reasons to sign up for one of the IMM Graduate School’s fully accredited and internationally recognised programmes. Applications for 2020 are still open!  https://imm.ac.za/online-application/

Sunday Ted Talk – A guide to collaborative leadership

In Lorna Davis’ insightful TED Talk, she explains how our idolisation of heroes is holding us back from solving big problems and why we as a civilization need to rely on each other to make real changes in our society. Davis also gives us real-world examples of the heroes that already walk amongst us.

Green Logistics – It’s the Same Idea, Just A Cleaner Method

Green Logistics web

Estimated Reading Time – 3.5 Minutes

It’s time to face the truth – if we don’t take better care of our planet, it won’t take care of us for much longer. Global warming is no longer ‘the next generation’s problem’ – it’s happening now, and we need to stop it before it’s too late.

Logistics has been one of the biggest waste-producing industry out there. According to a report, the transport industry is on the list of top 5 sectors that produce the most human-induced pollution. Overall, the road transport sector produces an estimated 72 percent of the logistics industry’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The Industry Is Changing – Here’s How

Today the main objective of Logistics remains the same – to move things from point A to point B. But the intent is to do it better, in regard to emissions, carbon footprint etc. This move toward a greener way of transport is known as Green Logistics or Eco Logistics.

How the logistics industry can become eco-friendly:

  • Use environmentally friendly packaging materials that can be returned and reused. This will not only save the company money but will also reduce the amount of discarded packaging waste. A good example would be to use wooden pallets that can be returned and reused multiple times.
  • Aim to fit more into one box by arranging items in a particular way.
  • Instead of driving long distances to deliver small loads, wait until there is a considerable number of items to avoid wasting fuel.
  • Before setting off to deliver goods, determine the best (and fastest) route to each destination.
  • Make use of reverse logistics, the practice of refurbishing, recycling, and ultimately reselling returned products.
  • Choose the best transportation method. Believe it or not, air transportation causes the most environmental damage. The best options are rail and road transportation.

Tip: To make road travel even more eco-friendly, ensure that delivery vehicles are always clean. This increases fuel efficiency.

Why It’s A Great Idea to Go Green

If you’re still not convinced as to why eco-logistics is the best option, here are just a few of the benefits that businesses can enjoy.

  • Businesses that showcase their dedication to environmental preservation will not only see an increase in customer satisfaction and revenue but will also enjoy a competitive advantage.
  • Businesses will save money by eliminating the use of packaging material and reducing supply chain costs.
  • There will be more job opportunities due to an increase in the logistics process.
  • And finally, employees will be more productive knowing that they are doing their part to help save the environment.

 

These three brands are among a multitude of others that have already started going green –

“We utilize our expertise to make your logistics greener and more sustainable – giving you an edge over the competition. We can also help you find ways to apply circular-economy principles to eradicate waste and retain more of the value that goes into your products.” – DHL South Africa

Sustainability at Nike is more than a single-product principle. It’s an ethos we are embedding and scaling across our company and infusing into every brand, every category and every product from start to finish. In doing so, we are creating a culture of sustainability across the company.” – Nike

“Our products, services, processes and facilities are planned and operated to incorporate objectives and targets and are periodically reviewed to minimize to the extent practical the creation of waste, pollution and any adverse impact on employee health or the environment. Protection of health and the environment is a Company-wide responsibility of employees at all levels” – Ford

If you would like to help save our planet, become part of the exciting and ever-expanding supply chain industry with a fully accredited BCom in International Supply Chain Management from IMM graduate school. Don’t miss out! Applications for 2020 are still open! Enrol today:  https://imm.ac.za/online-application/

Sunday Ted Talk – Why gender-based marketing is bad for business

As effective as this marketing tactic is, Gaby Barrios explains why gender-based marketing is bad for business and consumers. Barrios explains that not only does it create gender stereotypes, but it doesn’t drive nearly as much business as we might think.  In this TED Talk, Barrios shows businesses how they can find better ways to reach customers and grow their brands. Watch her:

New degree for a new world: IMM Graduate School launches vital Bachelor of Commerce degree in International Supply Chain Management

New degree for a new world web

In today’s ever-changing world, built on technology, e-commerce and global trade, supply chain management is increasingly becoming a pivotal personal competence, and a key competitive advantage for many businesses. This trend is manifesting in a worldwide shortage of supply chain management (SCM) skills and, in particular, a critical skills shortage in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hence the need for comprehensive and relevant SCM education and training.

The IMM Graduate School is answering this challenge with the introduction of a brand-new degree, the Bachelor of Commerce International Supply Chain Management, which is the first of its kind, for the 2020 academic year.

Where marketing determines what offerings customers want and need, SCM ensures that the inputs that are needed to produce these offerings are available to the organisation when they are needed to be converted into finished goods and services. Thereafter, SCM plays a critical role in getting the product or service to the end-user.

Programme description and purpose

The Bachelor of Commerce in International Supply Chain Management comprises a number of modules all of which have been deliberately synergised to provide students with a world-class SCM and business qualification.

Consisting of three independent streams (Transport and Logistics, Procurement and Public Procurement), the degree has been designed to provide students with a content-rich and application-oriented learning experience with the emphasis on employability and tangible value-add to companies. The best-in-class content has been benchmarked and validated by subject matter experts across various sectors and disciplines for use in this programme.

This three-year degree covers a variety of both business and supply chain related subjects. The content is structured to introduce foundational theory and to also focus on practical implementation through a variety of projects using topical local and international case studies. The degree includes a module offered in partnership with a leading global ERP company, to prepare students for the practical realities of a supply chain role. This project-based module provides students with an additional external certification that will differentiate IMM graduates from other students.

Completion of the qualification will position graduates for management roles within the areas of inventory and materials management, procurement, logistics, and supply chain management.

Mode of delivery

The IMM Graduate School offers its qualifications primarily in an online format, augmented by a variety of additional content. The core material is available in a compelling digital presentation, complete with pacers, self-assessment opportunities, links to further material, articles of interest, and more. This digital portal also serves as the primary point of contact and communication on academic and administrative matters with a dedicated team to respond to student queries.

The content delivery is supported by regular webinars recorder and posted by lectures as well as regular weekly scheduled consultation sessions.

Completion of the qualification will position graduates for management roles within the areas of inventory and materials management, procurement, logistics, and supply chain management.