Changes are inevitable in the business world. Companies are responding to changes in their business environments through various strategic initiatives and programs. Global macro trends are shaping the future of business.
The Intellizence AI platform for Company and Market Intelligence monitors hundreds of growth and risk signals in thousands of public and private companies.
Intellizence has identified major initiatives and issues faced by the largest and fastest-growing companies in 2022. Businesses should be aware of these trends and use them to their advantage.
- Major Hiring
- Layoffs & Hiring Freeze
- ESG Initiative
- Chip Shortage
- Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
- Inflation Due to Economic Downturn
- Electric Vehicles
- Gas Prices
- Return To Work
- The Great Resignation
- Economic Impact of the Ukraine-Russia Conflict
- Buy Now Pay Later
- Net Zero
- Economic Fallout Due to Ukraine-Russia Conflict
Despite economic downturn there are many companies that are hiring. Here are some of the companies hiring right now:
- Sanofi is partnering with Howard University to hire full-time employees straight from the historically Black college as part of the Big Pharma’s push to address disparities in underrepresented communities.
- Britishvolt is building a huge factory in Northumberland, which will create 3,000 jobs.
- Apexon, the new digital engineering powerhouse, to hire close to 1,000 engineers across India.
- VinFast, a private automotive company, is hiring 8,000 additional employees to boost production.
- Medical tech firm Stryker creates 600 jobs in Cork at its new 3D printing facility.
- Micron Technology plans to create up to 40,000 new American jobs including approximately 5,000 highly paid technical and operational roles.
- JP Morgan plans to hire over 5,000 for tech roles in India.
Layoffs & Hiring Freeze
So far in 2022, there has been a wave of layoffs across America. These layoffs are across sectors because of rising labor costs and slow business growth. Many companies have opted for a hiring freeze, while others are laying off their staff. Companies like Peloton have already laid off over two thousand employees, while layoff-resistant companies like Netflix are forced to reduce the headcount. Here are some of the most notable examples so far:
- Wells Fargo has reinstated the hiring policy that requires recruiters to interview a diverse pool of candidates nearly two months after its suspension in June.
- Tencent has laid off nearly 5,500 employees from its payroll in the last quarter.
- Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, has laid off about 900 people, affecting about three percent of its over-32,000-strong workforce.
- Wayfair, the online home goods retailer, is laying off close to 900 employees to reprioritize investment needs and meet the company’s current needs.
- Peloton, the exercise equipment company, is laying off nearly 800 people across its customer service and distribution departments.
- Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has laid off 9,241 employees from the total workforce of 245,700 amid a poor performance.
- Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa is planning to cut around 2,500 jobs, or about 9% of its total, to recover from losses that have prompted its main shareholder to launch a takeover.
Inflation Due to Economic Downturn
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have magnified the slowdown in the global economy. This has raised the risk of stagflation or recession-inflation, leading to potentially harmful consequences, especially for middle and low-income economies.
- Intel will raise the prices of its CPU, formally discontinuing Optane. It also reported an unexpected half-billion dollar loss in the wake off poor PC demand amid poor execution.
- McDonald’s has hiked the price of its cheeseburger in the U.K. for the first time in 14 years as cost pressures bite.
- Twitter is increasing the price of its subscription service, Twitter Blue, from $2.99 to $4.99 per month.
- Nestlé hiked its prices by 6.5% in the first half of 2022 as it grapples with an “unprecedented” price rise. The world’s largest food company raised its prices the most in North America — a 9.8% increase — followed by Latin America at 9.4%,
- Tesla plans to increase the price of its branded “full self-driving” beta software, the advanced driver assistance system.
Electric vehicles are gaining popularity and looking more promising. With increased environmental awareness and the demand for reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, individuals are moving from fuel-powered vehicles to electric vehicles. In addition, the government is offering increased subsidies and grants, tax incentives, and other added benefits, giving a boost to the electric car market. Some of the companies launching electric vehicles in the coming years are:
- Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp plans to invest 27.1 trillion rupiahs ($1.80 billion) in Indonesia in the next five years to produce electric vehicles.
- Volvo Cars AB is withdrawing from Europe’s car lobby, the second major automaker to do so in the past month, as the industry fractures over the transition to electric vehicles.
- Ottawa and Ontario have reached a deal with a global materials technology and recycling group to build a new battery component facility in the province’s Loyalist Township that will supply parts for electric vehicles.
- Redwood Materials, founded by former Tesla Inc executive J.B. Straubel, plans to spend $3.5 billion on a battery-materials factory in northwest Nevada to produce key ingredients needed to make the batteries that power electric vehicles.
Web3 incorporates the fundamentals of blockchain, i.e., decentralization and token-based economics. However, it will be decentralized – rather than controlled by governments and corporations, and to a certain extent connected to the concept of the “metaverse.”
- Alchemy Insights Inc., a Web3 development infrastructure startup that dubs itself the “AWS of blockchain,” is buying the Ethereum education startup ChainShot.
- Taktical Digital, a New York-based growth marketing agency, acquired KonvertLab, a B2B / Web3 and SaaS growth marketing agency.
- Infinite Assets, a Web3 and Metaverse infrastructure company that enables brands and creators to create, monetize, and drive consumer engagement with digital content, has acquired Super Bit Machine, an independent gaming studio.
- Bolt Global, a technology com
- pany that builds Web3-enabled platforms, and Binance, the digital asset exchange, have partnered to offer over 90 million Binance users in over 150 countries access to Bolt+, a new live entertainment and social experience.
- Web3 digital identity startup Unstoppable Domains has raised $65 million in its Series A funding round at a valuation of $1 billion.
- Blockchain game developer Animoca Brands has raised $75.3 million following a fundraising drive that now values the firm at $5.5 billion even as the market reels from a collapse in cryptocurrency prices.
- Cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the latest casualty of a $2 trillion crash that has wiped out some of the industry’s biggest names.
Economic Fallout Due to Ukraine-Russia Conflict
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left many companies clambering to ensure the safety of their employees while bracing to face the disruption they would face due to sanctions imposed on Russia. Beyond the humanitarian crisis, the entire global economy is feeling the effects of slower growth and rising inflation. Moreover, the global financial markets are highly volatile causing irreparable losses to investors.
Many companies are re-evaluating their businesses, with some exiting from the country while others suspending operations. Some of the leading companies are:
- Nike is making a full exit from Russia three months after suspending its operations there.
- After first suspending operations in March 2022, Cisco plans to formally exit Russia, winding down its business operations in Russia and Belarus.
- Profits for Exxon Mobil, Shell, and more also rose by billions despite significant costs of exiting operations and/or investments in Russia amid the war in Ukraine.
- Coca-Cola’s estimated $3 billion initial public offerings (IPO) for its African bottling unit will likely take place in the third quarter after market turmoil linked to the war in Ukraine upset plans to list earlier.
- Insurance giant Allianz has already stopped accepting new business in Russia and is very likely to cut all ties with the country.
The metaverse is an amalgamation of physical, virtual, and augmented reality (AR) that blurs the line between the real and virtual world. It is the future of gaming, meetings, socializing, and more. Video games like Roblox and Fortnite have already implemented the metaverse, although in a limited form. Additionally, people can work, shop, do business, and more in a virtual space. Cryptocurrencies are used for virtual transactions adding to the metaverse experience. More than a trend: metaverse is fast becoming a necessity for businesses. Businesses need to develop a plan to move their business to the virtual world.
- Facebook has rebranded itself Meta and describes it simply: The metaverse is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who are not in the same physical space as you.
- Microsoft is adding 3D virtual avatars and environments to its Teams chat system, followed by many others.
Many businesses are moving towards the metaverse. Some of the leading companies working on metaverse are:
- McDonald’s – the world’s largest restaurant chain – is an early pioneer of tech-driven innovation, from the drive-thru to self-service kiosks. Today it’s forging a path for fast food into the metaverse and beyond.
- KPMG in the US and Canada have together opened the first KPMG metaverse collaboration hub investing $30 million in Web3 training.
- NASA plans to join the metaverse and has created a competition with its partner Epic Games and Buendea to develop a martian metaverse simulation.
- Meta is continuing the Meta-fication of its brands by renaming Facebook Pay, its payment system available across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, to Meta Pay.
Net Zero Commitment
Net Zero refers to a balance between the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their removal from the atmosphere. Governments across the globe are introducing stricter regulations to reduce carbon footprints to control climate change. Leading investors and organizations like Microsoft, Intel, and Amazon have committed to reaching Net Zero emissions by the end of the decade. Some of the leading institutions and companies that are taking the initiatives to attain Net Zero-emission are:
- Aecon Group is building sustainable practices throughout its operations while embracing net-zero construction methods.
- Bird Construction has been selected to lead the design and construction of a state-of-the-art, net-zero plant protein processing facility for Phyto Organix Foods in Strathmore, Alberta.
- Intel is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its operations by 2040, while also ensuring that its products are energy efficient and help create solutions that lower the footprint of the entire technology ecosystem.
- Neptune Energy has set aside $1 billion to invest over the next five years into securing energy supplies for the UK and to speed up the transition to net zero.
- The state energy company Pertamina and the American oil giant Chevron have agreed to collaborate to explore opportunities in low-carbon businesses, to help Indonesia reach its net-zero emission target in 2060.
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Over the past few years, we have seen a major shift in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives such as climate change, sustainability, corporate governance codes, executive compensation disclosures, say-on-pay, and board gender diversity mandates.
Companies are acquiring and launching new businesses to address emerging opportunities related to ESG initiatives. Eventually, ESG will be a gamechanger for organizations both in the public and private sectors. They will stand to gain a competitive advantage by embracing ESG as part of their company culture.
- PMDojo, the remote-first global learning community connecting product enthusiasts to real-world career opportunities, to welcome, support, and advocate for individuals with various cognitive abilities (those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, and other learning and mental health differences).
- Latin America has recently seen a rapid acceleration of diversity in technology talent because companies of all sizes realize that it takes a global village of talent to meet market demands.
- Modern Hire has launched new languages for AIS, answering demand from global enterprises for multiple language support to enable ethical, diverse hiring.
- The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has hired a new director of diversity, equity and inclusion to help improve practices in the workplace and in the community.
- Alter Domus, a leading provider of integrated solutions for the alternative investment industry, today announced it has launched an industry-leading Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) reporting solution.
- American Express has launched the company’s first Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Bond. The net proceeds of the $1 billion bond will be allocated toward sustainable financing projects in the Green and Social categories.
- Euronext has launched the new AEX ESG Index, which identifies the 25 companies that demonstrate the best Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices from the 50 constituents of the AEX® and AMX® indices.
- Online electricals retailer AO has now recycled over five million household appliances at its state-of-the-art recycling facility. The company aims to safely recycle large domestic appliances, including fridges, washing machines, tumble driers, cookers, and dishwashers.
- Google will help its Cloud users save energy and reduce emissions by providing new tools ‘the Carbon Sense suite’, to let them manage energy use from their idle projects. It’s a collection of features that aims to help companies quantify and report their emissions, as well as reduce them.
- Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. will be adopting the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), as part of its efforts to promote transparency in its sustainability efforts.
- The world’s largest food manufacturer, Nestle, plans to increase its funding for cocoa supply chain sustainability initiatives to £1billion by 2030, with a focus on eliminating child labor and forced labor.
- Hyundai Steel has started to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using cattle manure in its steelmaking process. The plan is to recycle livestock waste and reduce greenhouse gases by using a solid fuel based on cow manure instead of coal.
- Ford is launching a new sustainable charging program that allows plug-in electric vehicle owners in California to opt into carbon-neutral charging at home, reducing their carbon footprint from energy used to power their vehicles.
- Blackstone has acquired Sphera, which combines its software as a service solution with consulting services, underpinned by proprietary data, to support businesses globally to manage and mitigate ESG risk.
- Goldman Sachs Asset Management has launched the Goldman Sachs Future Planet Equity Exchange Traded Fund. It will invest in companies seeking solutions to environmental problems in clean energy, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption, the circular economy, and water sustainability.
- Diligent Corporation, the global leader in SaaS governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), has acquired ESG leader Accuvio to enhance its climate reporting capabilities.
- FiscalNote, the provider of global policy and market intelligence, has acquired Equilibrium, which has developed an industry-leading ESG management automation software. The software enables enterprises to improve their ESG performance, carbon accounting, and reporting with actionable insights through data and AI.
Adding to the inflation, the current Ukraine-Russia war stands to potentially make the situation worse with an unstable stock market and rising oil prices.
- Tesla, Rivian, and Ford raise EV prices amid record gasoline prices in the US.
- High gas prices push maternity care almost out of reach in B.C.’s far north.
- Gas prices in Canada hit an average of 197.4, a new all-time record.
- Gasoline costs across Canada are expected to keep smashing records despite a significant mid-week dip in the price of oil.
- Uber is charging customers a new fuel fee to help offset costs for ride-hail and delivery drivers.
- Ride-hailing company Grab has raised all fares from March 10, the first tech-based transport firm to do so amid record-high gasoline prices.
- Lyft will charge riders in the United States, except those in New York City and Nevada, an extra 55 cents for their commute as the ride-hailing company looks to cushion the impact of high gas prices on drivers.
- Energia, the supplier of 100% Green Energy in Ireland, has increased home energy prices by 15 per cent due to a sustained period of elevated global energy market prices.
- The US doesn’t have ‘many good options’ to fight rising gas prices.
- Ukraine’s crisis-led gas price surge has revived the demand for inflation hedges.
- Oil prices soar and worries mount about future energy supplies.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
An NFT is a digital asset with unique identification codes and metadata that differentiate them. They cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency, like crypto. They can be used to represent real-world items like music, artwork, and real estate. Some of the companies that offer NFT are:
- Chiliz, the owner of blockchain-based fan rewards platform Socios.com, has invested $100 million in FC Barcelona’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverse efforts.
- Messari has bought the assets and business of Dove Metrics, which offers fundraising data and intelligence for the cryptocurrency industry.
- American Express launches the first crypto product: a card that allows users to earn rewards in crypto.
- Checkout.com has unveiled its stablecoin settlement solution, leveraging Fireblocks’ new crypto payment technology.
- Cryptocurrency lending giants and their clients such as Celsius Network face financial ruin due to uncertainty and lack of regulatory guardrails.
- Babel Finance has suspended redemptions and withdrawals, due to unusual liquidity pressures amid a border crash in cryptocurrency prices.
- Blockchain DeFi company, The Commission partners with The Glimpse Group to create augmented reality-based NFTs for cryptocurrency.
- GuardianLink has launched the official NFTs for Chelsea FC on its Web3 marketplace.
- A group of the non-fungible token (or NFT) creators and collectors will soon be able to display their tokens on Instagram.
- Football organization FIFA has teamed up with green blockchain company Algorand in a sponsorship and technical partnership deal.
- The new CNN+ streaming service has entered into the NFT business with the creation of a digital token of the platform’s first moments in operation.
- Alteon.io, an all-in-one hub for professional content creators, is launching Alteon Publisher, a new tool that will allow its users to create and publish NFTs in real-time.
- Digital art collecting platform Neon has launched the first in-person non-fungible token (NFT) vending machine in New York City, aiming to make online art pieces as easily available as soda or a candy bar
- SoftBank Group’s Z Holdings unit is betting on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and its PayPay service to drive growth as it invests aggressively to expand its global presence.
- Time Studios, the TV and film production division of Time USA, is expanding its NFT initiatives with the development of an animated franchise, an original children’s series based on creator Wil Lee‘s NFT collection“The Littles.”
- Coinoxs, a Turkey-based technology company offering blockchain-driven solutions, has introduced the world’s first next-generation community NFT.
- Facebook chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg is planning to let Instagram users mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the social media platform.
- Plensy, the world’s first NFT auto smart loans, has launched the Wefunder equity crowdfunding campaign.
- The franchise brand Chick’nCone has started selling NFTs in an innovative program designed to allow token holders to share in royalties and fees as the chain grows.
- LTD.INC and Wrangler to launch first-of-its-kind Physical + Digital NFT Collection that links the physical world and the metaverse.
- Mastercard has inked a deal with Coinbase, the cryptocurrency company. Coinbase customers will be able to use Mastercard credit and debit cards to make purchases on the crypto exchange’s upcoming NFT marketplace.
- FreshStash, the first influencer clubhouse in Decentraland, today announced a new partnership with Bellwether Culture, a full-service, hybrid events & creative content agency, to launch their NFT platform at Miami Art Week’s newest community grounds, UNREVEALED.
- DRIVENecosystem, a start-up that aims to integrate cryptocurrencies into everyday life through the use of smart applications, recently launched Cyber Knights, an NFT collection.
- CurrencyWorks, a full-service blockchain platform provider, has launched its Motoclub NFT trading platform that will facilitate NFT trading for the Currency Works led curated Motoclub marketplace.
Return to Work
With the third wave of Covid-19 on the wane, most companies are slowly switching back to working from the office. They are asking employees back to the office or are making plans to do so in the near future.
- SPX Flow considering the sale of Charlotte HQ as it looks for a smaller hybrid workspace.
- Hybrid offices are gaining traction across the United States, with a large majority of respondents in a CBRE survey revealing plans to reshape their workplace.
- BNPL giant Klarna is introducing a flexible working policy that lets employees pick between staying at home or going to the office.
- Apple employees criticize work-from-home policy in an open letter
- Google tells employees in Bay Area and other U.S. locations to return to offices in April.
- Twitter has resumed business travel and opened up its offices all around the world from March 15th. It has granted employees the option of working from home indefinitely.
- Goldman Sachs is asking employees to return to the office 5 days a week.
- Uber, mandates employees to return to work. They will have to spend at least half of their work time in the office.
- The Veterans Affairs Department will institute its “new normal” in the workplace by the end of May.
The Great Resignation
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in February. Both resignations and job openings were near record highs in February, and the layoff rate was near a historic low. What started during the pandemic the “Great Resignation”, still continues. With the job market looking up people are ready to quit their jobs at near-record levels in search of better opportunities.
According to Randstad NV, a global provider of employment services, The Great Resignation shows no sign of easing and a dwindling supply of workers may be here to stay.
- Some of the nearly 100,000 people employed at Tesla are considering their options after Musk issued them with a return-to-office ultimatum
- WORQDRIVE, the talent mobility engine designed to empower and engage workers, has launched its latest module, Alumni which is designed to help bring talent back.
- Foreign pilots, including Canadians, rush in as U.S. carriers struggle to staff up.
- Staff shortages in Saskatchewan hospitality sector at an all-time high.
- Not just salaries, other key reasons why the Great Resignation continues in India.
- Companies and workers face off in return-to-office battle as employees air their grievances on social media.
- Forcing employees back to the office could spur a retention crisis.
- American workers quit their jobs at near-record highs amid a “brutal battle” to hire.
A vaccine mandate is a law that says one must be vaccinated if they want to work, travel, or even attend an event. A government or company cannot force anyone to get vaccinated, but the vaccine mandate gives businesses the authority to legally stop a person from entering their building or using their services. A vaccine passport is mandatory today as travel resumes, and countries have begun requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of travel. Many businesses are offering incentives to get their employees vaccinated.
- T-Mobile will fire corporate employees who aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 2nd.
- JPMorgan Chase will dismiss New York-based employees who are not vaccinated. unvaccinated workers cannot enter its offices — and don’t have the option to remain unvaccinated and work from home.
- Celltrion Group has accelerated the development of a nebulized formulation of its neutralizing antibody cocktail treatment, to respond to emerging mutants from SARS-CoV-2.
- Immunome, a biopharmaceutical company that utilizes its human memory B cell platform to discover and develop first-in-class antibody therapeutics, has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for IMM-BCP-01, a three-antibody cocktail, for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
- Kroger, the biggest traditional grocery chain in the U.S., is ending some benefits for unvaccinated workers as large employers attempt to compel more of their workforce to become vaccinated with cases of the coronavirus rising.
Labor Shortage / Wage Increase
Companies across the U.S. are struggling to hire, and workers are leaving jobs at record rates. It has led to companies raising entry wages to attract and retain workers. To match the proposed federal minimum wage increase, many companies have made $15 an hour their starting wage. Minimum wage workers across the US will enjoy a pay raise in 2021.
- American Airlines to stop flying to four small cities, citing a pilot shortage.
- Alaska Airlines will trim its schedule by about 10% as it deals with “unprecedented” numbers of employees calling in sick during the current COVID-19 surge.
- Fast-food giant McDonald’s improved employment wages and better benefits, which enabled the company to expand its payroll last year despite the tight labor market.
- Volkswagen AG will give workers of its assembly plant located in Tennessee a pay increment of 10 per cent. The hike is a consequence of the new variant Omicron on an already tight labour market.
- Delta Airlines and United Airlines canceled flights because of staff shortages tied to the omicron variant.
- Apple has closed all of its 12 New York City stores to indoor shopping as cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant surged across the United States.
- Walmart has raised the hourly wages for more than 565,000 store workers by at least $1, as the retail industry faces a tight labor market going into the holiday shopping season. Walmart’s average hourly wage is now $16.40.
- Walgreens will increase the starting hourly wage for all employees to $15 an hour, beginning in October of this year.
- PNC Bank will increase its minimum pay rate from $15 to 18 per hour as of Nov. 22. The decision is intended to improve employee financial wellness, help PNC attract and retain talent and strengthen its position in the market.
- Labcorp, a leading global life sciences company, has increased the minimum hourly wage for United States-based non-union employees to $15, effective September 2021.
- Metlife, the nation’s biggest life insurer, will now pay a minimum wage of $20 an hour, up.
Autonomous Vehicle / Drone Delivery
Businesses have shifted their focus to automated delivery systems today. The advances in automated delivery will soon depend on automatically-operated drones and vehicles to perform deliveries. Automating delivery has many benefits in terms of time, money, and customer service. Some of the companies that have already started with automated delivery are:
- Zipline, the global leader in instant logistics, has received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 135 air carrier certification to operate commercial drone deliveries in the U.S.
- Walnut Grill has rolled out a food running robot in the Wexford location to ease staff shortages.
- Amazon has launched its “first fully autonomous mobile robot,” Proteus, meant to move large carts throughout its warehouses.
- Chicken on robots? Chick-Fil-A is planning to launch an autonomous delivery pilot with the help of Refraction AI to deliver goodies and reduce delivery costs at the same time.
- Drugstore giant Walgreens has launched an on-demand drone delivery service with Alphabet’s Wing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
- Kinetic has launched the Gold Coast Smart Shuttle Trial as part of an autonomous vehicle research program that is being conducted by the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.
- Alphabet unit Waymo has started offering driverless rides to employees in San Francisco, accelerating a race with General Motors Co-backed rival Cruise to commercialize the technology in the city.
- Verizon and Cisco test virtualized network for deploying autonomous delivery vehicles and robotaxis.
The future of work will be hybrid, wherein each company will work out its own work strategy, as employees are not ready to give up remote work. Some companies will be implementing the hybrid model of working partly on-site and partly remote, whereas other companies will have employees full-time remote or full-time on-site. A number of top companies are adopting the hybrid model, such as Google, Amazon, Atlassian, Facebook, and Microsoft, to name a few.
Moreover, many tech companies are improving or adding technology and display tools that are essential for maintaining team productivity and collaboration.
- TD Bank’s more than 25,000 U.S. employees would return to offices next month on a voluntary basis while it figures out the nature of its hybrid working arrangement.
- Wells Fargo has embraced a hybrid work model in which many employees work at least three days a week in the office, with the bank’s tech employees given more flexibility.
- Cisco has unveiled new hybrid work solutions in Webex that empower companies to put people first.
- JPMorgan Chase will only expect workers whose jobs cannot be done remotely — retail branch, security, and facilities workers — to show up in person full time. Others will be able to work within a hybrid model and come in a few times a week
- Pinterest has unveiled a hybrid work plan for its employees.
The global chip shortage is due to greater demand for integrated circuits or semiconductor chips than supply which has impacted many industries. There is an increased demand among consumers for cars, graphics cards, video game consoles, computers, and several other products that require semiconductors. Some of the organizations facing chip shortage are:
- President Joe Biden has signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a semiconductor manufacturing and economic competitiveness package that includes an investment tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing facilities and equipment.
- Nvidia could lose up to $400 million in sales due to a new US government restriction forbidding the export of AI supercomputer chips to Russia and China.
- Micron Technology plans to invest $40 billion through 2029 to build leading-edge memory manufacturing in the U.S.
- US bars Nvidia and AMD from selling AI-centric accelerators to China and Russia.
- Musk warns Tesla may stop taking EV orders because of huge delays.
- £500m British lithium factory moves closer as Green Lithium strikes supply deal with Trafigura.
- Volvo car is blaming “chip shortages” after the company experienced a 22.1 percent drop in sales for cars compared to the previous year.
- Ford’s U.S. sales of new vehicles declined 17% during the first quarter, as the automaker continues to battle a global shortage of semiconductor chips.
- Volkswagen will end its production of dozens of models of combustion engine cars by the end of the decade, due to chip shortage.
- Nissan has pushed back the launch of Ariya electric SUV, due to the global semiconductor shortage.
- Kia, South Korea’s second-largest carmaker’s first-quarter net profit fell 0.2 percent from a year earlier due to global chip shortages.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
BNPL is an interest-free short-term financing loan that allows one to buy a product and pay for it in equated monthly installments (EMI). It is quickly becoming a popular payment option, especially when shopping online. There are a number of companies, including banks, lenders, fintech, and wallets that are offering to finance purchases made.
- Fiserv and Affirm team up to feed growing BNPL demand.
- Global fintech platform Adyen has extended its partnership with Australia-based Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Afterpay.
- Amazon customers in Egypt offered financing option to buy now, and pay later through EFG Hermes’ valU
- Rite Aid becomes the first national drugstore chain to offer Afterpay’s flexible payment solution to shop online and pay later for household necessities
- Air Canada to offer buy now, pay later bookings with Visa Installments.
Supply Chain Issues
The global supply chain was disrupted due to the pandemic that caused industries around the world to shut down. Both local businesses and large organizations have felt the impact. Major supply chain challenges are scarcity of raw material, shortage of truck drivers, port congestion, changing consumer demand, and increased freight costs.
- Nike and Costco cite that inflation, higher labor costs, higher freight and transportation costs, and supply chain delays could slow them down.
- Tesla Roadster delayed to 2023 amid supply chain issues.
- Deep discounters like Dollar Tree are impacted by Covid outbreaks, and congested ports drive up the freight costs of moving merchandise across the globe, leading to reduced earnings.