Category Archives: Employment

Why Uber Will Hire Tens of Thousands of Employees in the Next Few Years

The initiative indicates that the ride-sharing company could be trying to get into the logistics and delivery marketplace.

Uber is hiring a product manager to build its recruiting platform–“a series of products and systems that will help Uber attract the best talent in the world.”

In its latest job posting, Uber says it wants to add “tens of thousands” more employees in the next few years.

By itself, this isn’t news. But it’s significant that Uber is scaling so rapidly, and could be a sign of things to come for the ride-hailing company.

(Also, it should be noted that “employees” refers to people who work for the company itself -; drivers, which numbered 162,037 in December and have presumably grown since then, don’t count).

Uber has raised $5.9 billion in venture capital funding to date, valuing the company at more than $40 billion.

And the company doesn’t seem to be done raising money yet, either: a report last week says Uber is looking to raise an additional $1.5 billion to $2 billion more, which would make Uber the most highly valued private tech company of all time, at over $50 billion.

Right now, Uber offers its ride-hailing service in 55 countries and more than 200 cities globally. But ride-hailing isn’t the full extent of what Uber can offer. Last week, Uber submitted a bid to buy Nokia’s mapping product, Here. The move would be yet another divorce from its investor Google for the company, since right now Uber relies on Google Maps technology for its mapping.

Buying Here would allow the company to have its own mapping software and data, which would help Uber’s central driving business, but also its other logistics- related endeavors including UberFresh, its food delivery service, and UberPool, its carpooling service.  In the past, Uber has offered other logistics solutions in select markets, like UberRush, a courier service, and UberESSENTIALS, a service that delivers anything you could possibly imagine getting from a corner store or pharmacy.

But Uber needs more employees if it wants to scale beyond ride-sharing and enter the logistics and delivery marketplace. It also needs more people to help it scale operations internationally–especially when it comes to the Indian and Asian markets, where the company has formidable rivals.

Uber’s December fundraising round–in which Uber raised a massive $1.2 billion–was intended to allow Uber to “make significant investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.”

BuzzFeed News previously reported that Softbank Capital, which has funded on-demand ride-hailing startups GrabTaxi and OlaCabs, was behind a global alliance to take on Uber.  Since then, two other huge Asian taxi-hailing companies–Kuaidi Dache, which is funded by Alibaba, and Didi Dache, funded by Tencent–have merged, consolidating the power of Asia-based car-hailing companies.

And though Uber operates in a number of Asian markets, including Beijing, Bangkok, and Tokyo, Uber has faced other legal hurdles in Asia. South Korea has charged Uber CEO Travis Kalanick with operating an “illegal” taxi service, and has vowed to shut down Uber’s operations in the country. As TechCrunch notes, “Korean law doesn’t allow technology companies to store payment data as part of their purchase workflow, but instead requires consumers to retype their information with every purchase, ostensibly for security reasons.”

OlaCabs, an Uber rival native to India, has a $2.5 billion valuation and the trust of the Indian people, another obstacle Uber has to overcome in its international expansion. Allegations of an Uber driver raping a female passenger in India in 2014 have led some Indians to be wary of Uber’s services. This has prompted Uber to customize its Indian experience, adding an in-app panic button option that alerts police to your location, as well as introducing rickshaws and cash payment options for its Indian customers.

By putting more boots on the ground, Uber can help expand–and manage–its international footstep, as well as expand from its car-hailing service to more on-demand services in the logistics and delivery markets.

–This story first appeared on Business Insider.

Is Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer a Dinosaur or a Visionary?

Ancien Hippie

While back Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer announced a requirement that Yahoo employees who work remotely relocate to company facilities. Isn’t this bucking the trend of businesses around the globe? Is she trying to go back to the old ways or is her “spirit of collaboration” what will bring her company back ahead of its competitors?

Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” reads the memo to employees . “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

Digging deeper into her comments: “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”

Business Insider shed a lot of light…

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U.S. Steel closing Gary Works coke plant

U.S. Steel plans to close its Gary Works coke plant in May, displacing about 300 workers. It will mark the end of a coke-making era at the steel plant that once operated three coke batteries.

U.S. Steel spokeswoman Courtney Boone said Thursday the company notified United Steelworkers of America officials on Wednesday of the permanent shutdown. She said it was a strategic decision based on market conditions and the company’s long-term coke strategy.

U.S. Steel applied for a permit last year to construct an electric arc furnace at its Fairfield Works plant in Birmingham, Ala., to replace an existing blast furnace. U.S. Steel officials say the electric arc furnace will improve its operations so it can adapt to global demand, while reducing its capital spending and maintenance costs related to running a blast furnace.

Made from crushed coal cooked at extremely high temperatures, coke is a key raw material in iron-making, providing heat for the blast furnace. It comes with costly environmental challenges, however, and steel industry experts say coke-making could become obsolete in the future as the steel industry turns to cleaner technology.
Not sure how much it will affect the EJ&E/CN or Gary Railroad.
Apparently the coke will come from Clairton Works now,
New Comments added March 27, 2015
with the new connection at Gary built and accessible
> via the Porter Branch, perhaps they would run Clairton
> traffic for Gary via the NYC west

It is my understanding that the diamond at Tolleston has
either been replaced or soon will be, and traffic from the
NKP route destined for Kirk yard will get on the CF&E at
Spriggsboro (just west of Valpo) to Tolleston and take the
new connection over the old Wabash. I believe that NS wants
to move all CN interchange to the the new connection and
close both Pine Yard and the interchange at Van Loon.

Trains that set out or pick at Van Loon tie up the single
track NKP and by moving the interchange away from Van Loon,
it will increase capacity on that line and make it more fluid.

CN also probably wants to stop interchange at Van Loon as
well to be able to run more traffic between Griffith and
Kirk Yard.

 Why would they do that? Why not just run on ex-PRR west of Alliance to Crestline, where the route now becomes CF&E, and then from there to Tolleston? I would think they would want a coke train to avoid Bellevue altogether.

The only reason I can think of for using NKP to Van Loon for WB coke trains is if the CF&E is relegated to one-direction EB traffic, which would make sense since it is basically dark territory with few sidings. In that case, only the empties would use CF&E, but at this point we don’t know what NS’s intentions are in this regard.

Since Clairton is just south of Pittsburgh, the trains would orignate in former PRR CR territory, run up to Cleveland and get on the NYC and then once they hit the Bellvue area, that could go either NKP or NYC to get to CN/GRW.

 Very good point and it would indeed be the most direct route out of the Pittsburgh area for NS but current plan for CF&E is to use if for directional running favoring eastbounds.. ..especially loaded crude/ethanol trains to keep them out of the Chicago HHUA (High Threat Urban Area). Westbound residue empties would then run either NKP or NYC back to BNSF over traditional Chicago interchanges. Without power switches and CTC, they probably want to minimize the westbounds swimming against the eastward current on CF&E.

Who knows, maybe they’ll run empty eastbound USS coke hoppers that way (that is if NS and not CSX got the business), or maybe they’d even run the loads west on CF&E depending on how much sprucing up of the route they eventually do (and depending on passing siding length), but at least the initial plan is to run unit trains and lower priority manifest east only via CF&E using this directional running scheme.

Very good point and it would indeed be the most direct route out of the Pittsburgh area for NS but current plan for CF&E is to use if for directional running favoring eastbounds.. ..especially loaded crude/ethanol trains to keep them out of the Chicago HHUA (High Threat Urban Area).

Yes, I’ve heard that before and that’s why I mentioned it. But maybe NS has changed their plans. Over on the Indiana RRs discussion group today (Tues) it was reported that two WBs were observed on CF&E, one an autorack train and the other (believe it or not) a stack train. Other WBs have been reported in the days preceding. Again, at this point I don’t think we know what NS’s current intentions are.

Westbound residue empties would then run either NKP or NYC back to BNSF over traditional Chicago interchanges.

From what I’ve heard from a reliable source, once the WB empties reach Tolleston they will take the Porter Branch to Gibson and head south and then west on the Kankakee Belt to Streator. There, they will take BNSF to Galesburg and points west.

Additions to Gary Coke Trains

 

It is my understanding that the diamond at Tolleston has
either been replaced or soon will be, and traffic from the
NKP route destined for Kirk yard will get on the CF&E at
Spriggsboro (just west of Valpo) to Tolleston and take the
new connection over the old Wabash. I believe that NS wants
to move all CN interchange to the the new connection and
close both Pine Yard and the interchange at Van Loon.



Trains that set out or pick at Van Loon tie up the single
track NKP and by moving the interchange away from Van Loon,
it will increase capacity on that line and make it more fluid.

CN also probably wants to stop interchange at Van Loon as
well to be able to run more traffic between Griffith and
Kirk Yard.

Uber and the Future Of Business Travel

 The president of Nice’s taxi drivers, Alain Trapani, and one of his colleagues have been arrested following an assault at Nice airport. They have now been bailed to appear before judges in July after assaulting an Über minivan driver. According to airport police, the minivan driver was assaulted while picking up a customer at the airport, perfectly legally.
The sharing economy is going from boho to white collar, and elbowing its way into your expense reports. Here’s why that actually matters.

There are ways we work today that would have given a last-century HR manager a nervous twitch. There’s employee collaboration, file-sharing, and general chit-chat, over less-than secure cloud services. There’s employee adoption of new third-party services such as Expensify and Yammer that, once they’ve Trojan Horsed their way into a company’s workflow, are impossible to extract. There’s BYOD.

If you think this is a problem, I’m part of the problem.

In addition to, well, all of the above, I’ve repeatedly booked lodgings on Airbnb for business travel. Beyond basic math and logic, I didn’t really think about it: It was less costly than a nice–or even medium-nice–hotel, more central, and more comfortable for me as a working traveler (free WiFi; ample coffee). It just made sense. I’ve hailed for short work travel non-cab car services–Uber, Lyft, and the like–when it was logical to do so. My editors do the same. (Based on the responses we got to a Facebook post inquiring, many of you do the same as well.)

The sharing economy, with all its not-so-business-friendly regulatory hassles and insurance issues, is now just part of the way we travel–both for pleasure and for business. But beginning this week, it’s trying to look a little less bohemian, and a little more business-casual.

This week, both Airbnb and Uber set up booths at a conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center that’s hosted by a massive travel organization, the Global Business Travel Association. If there’s an activity diametrically opposed to the act of “disruptive innovation,” it might be staffing booths 1251 and 2725 for a week at a buttoned-up convention expected to draw 7,000 attendees.

Oddly, this highly corporate booth-sitting is not the most corporate thing both these startups have done this week. They’ve also both announced official partnerships with expense-management software company Concur (which, coincidentally, is right over at booth 1725, and which already has 20,000 corporate clients).

For Uber, it’s part of the Uber for Business campaign it kicked off July 29, which allows business travelers to directly submit Uber trips to a company account, rather than having to expense them. Airbnb did a similar press blitz Monday, launching Business Travel on Airbnb. From the company’s blog:

Nearly 10 percent of Airbnb’s customers travel for business already and we’ve heard from traveler feedback that a dedicated site that caters to business travelers’ needs has been high on their wishlist.

Another sharing-economy company, TaskRabbit, has also tried out the “for business” concept, helping pair temporary workers with companies in need of a quick labor boost.

It makes perfect sense for these super fast-growing companies: The corporate sector absolutely is crucial to the hospitality industry. Hotels in big cities rely on business travel for approximately two-thirds of their revenue. What’s more, business travelers tend to be creatures of habit, becoming repeat visitors to favored haunts. They also spend more than folks traveling on their own dime. All that business travel adds up to $1.21 trillion in annual revenue, according to the GBTA.

Cutting into hotels’ business-travel revenue could mean big profits for Airbnb and its ilk. Corporate travel was only 8 percent of Airbnb’s bookings last year, one of its managers told the Wall Street Journal.

There are obvious hurdles in convincing large corporate clients to bank on a startup that’s faced such regulatory hurdles in the largest city in the United States that it has purchased billboards in public transit brashly proclaiming “New Yorkers agree: Airbnb is great for New York City.” (Because New Yorkers just adore being told what to think.)

It’s smart for these companies to broaden their arsenal for getting into corporate travel. They’ve gone the Trojan Horse way already, sneaking into other startups’ and established companies’ expense reports, and now are entering through the gates, with partnerships with Concur and Salesforce.

Whether this new strategy will actually help these peer-to-peer marketplaces overcome their existing issues with regulators remains an open question. Certainly, they have lobbying strength already, but once their services become indispensible to large companies, they will have a whole host of new, strong-armed allies. (For starters, consider the fact that that more than two-thirds of the biggest companies in America use Concur.)

Corporate and boring? Not exactly. This next few months–in which we’ll learn which companies adopt the sharing economy’s proposition–could determine the future of the hospitality industry as we know it.

Life After EDI; Your Skills Recycled

Recently I have been seeing what my almost thirty years of EDI experience has prepared me for. Working with a private corporation that operates with an almost virtual national headquarters, I have been challenged with a wide variety of assignments. The skill that got me into this was a good rapport with the senior manager of the corporation (an LLC). I attribute my acquiring this skill because an EDI person is constantly working with both business managers and technical managers.
The first skill the senior manager challenged me with was what he refers to as “mapping”. He knew that EDI included “something” called mapping, so he requested me to “map” his warehouse network, supply network and customer network. Guess it is easy to get confused with mapping, it is both a noun and a verb and gets big coverage in any dictionary. Anyway, his version of mapping was a “walk in the park” for me. I used the same analytical approach that I would use to create an EDI document.

EC-BP.COM Best of 2014 (by Michael Martz)

2014 is almost in the books and it’s been a wild ride! We’ve posted a lot of articles and blogs that we hope have been useful to you this year. As usual, we like to go back and see what piqued your interest so we can find themes and topics to update in the new year.

In reviewing the stats, we have yet another mixed bag. By a wide margin, our single most viewed article was Ken Kinlock’s “Where Will EDI Go- When VANs No Longer Interconnect” (read it HERE), a summary of how EDI processes are affected by an ongoing business dispute between two large players. Ken also mined the same topic for his “Recommended Next Steps for Open Text” blog (read HERE), which was also one of the top articles of the year.

 

Lastly, the prolific Ken Kinlock contributed a number of articles related to supply chain control towers, a couple of which ended up on our ‘Best of’ list for this year. Both “Supply Chain Intelligence: Utilizing the Services Hub” (read HERE) and “Supply Chain Intelligence: Using Your Visibility (2 parts)” (read HERE and HERE) are worthwhile reads that can help you understand the growth in this aspect of supply chain technology. Ken has covered this topic like a rug and several of his other articles on control towers are likewise extremely informative.

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Why Jesse Jackson Isn’t Happy With Tech Companies

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson spent most of this year pressuring the technology industry into facing up to the glaring scarcity of women, blacks and Latinos at companies renowned as great places to work.Now comes Diversity 2.0–finding ways to reverse a deep-rooted problem that isn’t going to be as easy to fix as writing new lines of code for a computer bug.

Some of the potential solutions will be explored  at a Silicon Valley summit organized by Jackson and his group, Rainbow Push.Representatives from  Google, Apple, Facebook and more than other 20 other tech companies will be on hand to elaborate on their plans to diversify their workforces. They’ll also hear from entrepreneurs, academics and nonprofit groups that have been trying to overcome the cultural and educational challenges that turned computer programming into an occupation dominated by white and Asian men.

“It definitely feels like we are entering a new phase,” says Laura Weidman Powers, CEO of Code2040, a San Francisco nonprofit that has been lining up technology internships for black and Latino college students for the past three summers. “When we first started, diversity just wasn’t on the list of these large companies that have power and potential to make change. Now, it really feels like it is. They may not know exactly what to do yet, but they are interested in taking steps in the right direction.”
With a few notable exceptions like Intel Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., most major technology employers had long resisted requests to release the employment data that they regularly file with federal labor regulators. Google Inc. finally relented to Jackson’s demands in May, triggering a domino effect across the industry.Jackson, 73, says he intends to hold the companies accountable for promises to make their workforces look more like the overall population. He met with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella last week and had what he described as a “positive and productive dialogue” Monday with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

He has another closed-door meeting scheduled Thursday with Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich (Intel is hosting Wednesday’s workshop at its Santa Clara, California, headquarters). Next month, Rainbow PUSH will release the first of what Jackson promises will be an annual scorecard rating the diversity progress of major tech companies.

“Many of these companies had an unfounded fear that we wanted to disrupt them,” Jackson says. “We came not to disrupt, but to build. Inclusion will lead to growth.”

Silicon Valley, a place that prides itself on progressive thinking and meritocratic policies, has a lot of ground to make up. For instance, only 2 percent of the U.S. workers at Google and Facebook are black and the number of Hispanics is below 5 percent at both companies. Cutting across the U.S. in all industries, 12 percent of the workforce is black and 14 percent is Hispanic. Meanwhile, less than one-third of the worldwide workforces at most major technology companies, including Google, Apple and Facebook, are comprised of women.Diversifying the tech companies “is going to be a multi-decade process,” predicted Gary May, the engineering dean at Georgia Tech University, which has a long track record for training minority students in technical fields. “But this isn’t rocket science. It’s going to be about how serious we are going to be about trying to fix this. We are going to have to put some resources and time into it.”

Google already has underscored its commitment to bringing more women into the technology industry by pouring $50 million into a program called “Made With Code” during the next three years and partnering with nonprofits such as Girls Who Code, which has been running summer educational programs for girls since 2012.

 

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With help from Penney Vanderbilt