MYOB Radar
04 - Workforce

Insight:

Workforce is shifting from a geographically fixed, vertical organisation structure, to a global fluid, on demand resource.

Industry Impact:

Business models that Accountants and Bookkeepers advise, will slowly be restructured to capitalise on the efficiencies and opportunities this creates.


Overview

The traditional education system has remained unchanged for over a century. Looking back at its original inception, it was designed by a group of people that had a very different intention. The founders of the education system were capitalists who wanted to create a place where children could be groomed into good, honest, hardworking factory workers.

The Technology Revolution (of which we are currently at the beginning) has decentralised business, and has created an infinitely different platform of possibilities to create revenue on. The internet allows us all to discover, connect and co-create instantly with anyone on the planet. Whether it is an army of hardware manufacturers in Schenzen, or the highest calibre logo designer in Berlin, we can build our business, with minimal wastage on redundant staff, skills and availability.

From how we learn, connect and create, the new way of business does not rely on ‘robotic’ requirements of people. Henry Ford’s groundbreaking original factory line looks a lot different to Elon Musk’s Tesla plant of today. Thousands of human workers have been replaced with customised robots, capable of building cars in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost. Nowadays, we can simply create custom software and hardware to replace these menial tasks that under-utilised human potential. This allows humans to do what they do best. Think and create.

There has never been a better time to update ‘the software’ of our workforce either. Companies that have employees are not stuck with the skills they hired them with. Developing and upskilling the team doesn’t need to happen in a lecture theatre at University - they can learn how to master the latest technologies from the professors at MIT on their lunch break. On their mobile phones. For free.

Hiring a fixed team in a fixed location is not always the best solution. In today’s climate our workforce can be located anywhere, and can scale with the demand, creating enormous benefits across the business.

The future of work. Could a robot do your job?
Relearning education

Factors

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Global Marketplace

It wasn’t long ago that your market was constrained to the borders of your city, country or continent. Global business was only for large companies that could afford to build and own infrastracture abroad. Now, these physical borders have vanished and it is open season for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Even the smallest stall in a market can have global reach, with a shop on eBay and transactions in any currency with PayPal.

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Education

Learning new skills with formal education should not stop when we leave school or university. All it takes for our workforce to expand its capabilities is an internet connection.

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AI

Secretaries, box packers, postage stampers, call centres, and even pastry chefs: every profession that is based on consistent repetition is slowly becoming phased out by a machine. The exponential advancement of AI, and the robots they power, have created a silicon and steel workforce that doesn’t get sick, can work 24/7, and doesn’t require a pension.

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The Blockchain

Although not a big factor yet, the Blockchain is forecast to accelerate these trends even further. Accountability and trust will become absolute in global business, and the era of ‘we can’t trust a workforce unless they are in the office’ will become a thing of the past.

Moving forward

As Tess finished her salmon at the sushi restaurant under the office, she sees Jay has a message waiting for her. It has become customary to switch your AI on silent when you are eating, even when alone. Previously, people become overly-obsessed with their AI, in some cases even falling for them romantically, and so culture decided we should eat meals with humans only, keeping meal times sacred.

“OK, Jay. What have you got?” She asks the dim purple light on her phone.

“I have spotted something I think Yuri might like”.

Workforce

Yuri is one of her top clients, who owns a company called Doze Inc: a global retailer of products and services that help you sleep. The main focus is their retail stores in airports and Hyperloop stations.

Jay continues with an infographic on his phone: “there is a spike in searches across Asia and India for a new herbal sleeping mediation call D10. The profit margin would range between 12 and 42 percent, if we can outsource the management, production and distribution. The less staff we pay, and the less infrastructure we own, the better the returns.”

“Wow, I love it. I have read about this stuff. It promises to be a herbal alternative to prescription sleeping medication. But we will have to move quickly, right?”

“Yes, we will. But this is between me and you. Remember you pay an extra 36 litecoins per year so any trends or insights I pick up are yours exclusively”.

“You are worth every penny, Jay”.

Moments later, Tess is back at her desk and reviewing a video presentation outlining the business case Jay made while she was in the elevator. To be a success, the venture will require a completely modulated structure, and can only be achieved with the global ecosystem of ‘plug and play’ business resource.

One of the best features Jay offers is the ability to shortlist business resource from around the world. They are all verified via recommendations using Blockchain with the candidate’s real time availability.

Jay creates a summary video, which outlines what it is, how it works, and the size of the market opportunity in Asia. After a few tweaks, Tess is ready to share the pitch, which shows a new move into Asia - in a category that Doze Inc have not yet played in, with some of the highest margins the company has ever forecast.

In true Yuri style, he buys the idea even before the video has finished.

He gives Tess the green light to invest enough capital for an 18-month runway into Asia. If enough traction is achieved to hit the low end of the forecast, it is regarded as a huge victory.

Tess sits down and begins reviewing the potential players that can make this all happen in the crunched timeline.

Jay opens with his shortlist;

“OK. Let’s start immediately by skilling up his merchandising team on the product with an online course at Wellness Academy based in Switzerland. To support this process, we can hire a specialist to lead the team in Australia remotely. Once the team gets their head around it, we can cut that person back. Meet Dr Amy Pang. She is a very experienced doctor in Indonesia who has focusssed her whole career on herbal medicine.

Then, there is the manufacturing component. This can happen in New Zealand, so we can farm and package the herbs fresh within days. The final stage of packaging can come over to the great Republic of Australia, so we can personally oversee final stage before it gets shipped.

The branding and design team are in Berlin, they have won a stack of awards for packaging design for health products.

The management team will be based in Beijing, who have teams on the ground across Asia. They will report directly into Doze Inc’s Melbourne team, and will take care of sales, distribution, and customer service.

An initial investment of 600,000 lite coins will cover launch and a runway of 18 months.”

All of Jay’s recommendations were taken from a pool of thousands of teams of people from around the world. They are each totally authenticated by a string of reviews and recommendations stored on the Blockchain. Technologies like this and 5G make collaborating with people remotely much easier, as we have complete trust and access to one another in real time. The only thing we cannot control is time zones, but this can also be an advantage with businesses wanting to create maximum production output and efficiency: with teams of workers that ‘follow the sun’, the company have full 24 hour productivity.

“Yuri is going to like this, Jay. Package it up for me, and let’s get him and the team on a video conference this afternoon. ”

 

Tactics

1

Test the flexibility in yours and your client’s business. When you’re looking to hire additional staff, experiment with outsourcing to a remote, on-demand resource.

2

In the longer term, look at what resources could be outsourced, and it can improve how they design, manufacture, distribute and charge for the product or service.

3

Explore online freelance platforms such as MYOB Certified Consultants, Upwork and Freelancer. Building that network early will come in handy when you need help fast, and can’t afford to hire a mistake.