Is it time for a new Agency model for the logistics industry?

The current buzzwords in HR circles are “CrowdSourced workforce” and “millennial mobilettes”. What are they on about and can they be applied to the UK logistics industry? 

Crowd-Sourcing is a term used to describe a supply chain which is assembled in response to a specific demand, predominantly from within a digital platform…..

Millennial Mobilettes  are the younger, more digitally adapted strata of the workforce, who rely entirely on their mobile phones in order to function and operate…..

How can these two phenomena interact within the UK logistics industry? 

A little bit of background is needed here in order to answer this question.

The UK logistics industry is very hierarchical. The top strata is inhabited by the very large logistics national groups e.g. DHL, XPO, Wincanton etc. They dominate the industry and the way that business is conducted. Predominantly drivers retained by their companies under PAYE arrangements or to coin and old phrase- ‘cards in’. The next strata down is a host of large regional players, again staffed by a rigid workforce under PAYE. Both sets of hauliers are supported by agency workers provided by the  ‘national’ recruitment firms who have large Driving divisions… Staffline, 24-7,  ADR Network and Transline. The Agencies are in turn supported by large accountancy representing thousands of independent HGV limited companies and the same accountancy companies operating Umbrella/payroll bureaux to employ the remaining agency drivers. 

However, technology will soon render this model as obsolete. Why? Becasuse technology will compensate for the skill set of the Agency and changes in workplace modus operandi I.e. Making Tax Digital and the IR35 reforms will drive the larger accountancy firms out of the picture….. it can all be done on a mobile phone….. sourcing work and the subsequent accounting for it. 

The real investment for the savvy Agency and accountant will be to embrace the new technology and develop Apps which will break the current supply chain before technology turns them into the Betamax of the recruitment world….. watch this space……


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