CAST/Castforce Merging?

Does anyone have any information regarding a Castforce and CAST merging on the first of the year? I had a call earlier this week from CAST where I was told after the merger, they are switching to hourly employees instead of IC's.

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They are giving very little detailed info to ICs and they only told Castforce employees about it last Friday afternoon. All current ICs will have to submit an application with CAST if they want future work. You will be given a territory and you would be responsible for all projects in all stores within that territory. No more picking what you desire from a portal. Hourly wage will vary from project to project and no mileage paid below 60 miles of your home. From what I gather it sounds like a drop in pay to me as I am used to working up to 40 or more hours a week and covering a large part of my state. The employment application is very detailed as to experience with things such as using SPARC in Wal Mart and computer servicing on kiosks.I don't like what I heard when I was asking questions to a CAST employee over the phone.Very evasive and not forthcoming with specific answers to my questions. Hope they know what they are doing.Probably be using an app to track length of time in stores. I know of some ICs with Castforce who do not pick up projects in Wal Mart and my guess is that if you don't want to work in certain stores then you would not be welcome to work for CAST.
Thanks for the info on this. I have been getting calls and emails offering work, but no answers to my questions. This explains everything. I hate those words " responsible for everything within xx miles of home" As little as 9 miles would put me in some areas I won't even drive through at 9 in the morning, with the doors locked, and a loaded revolver on the seat next to me. Oh well, another one with a line through it.
Thanks, iwahstore. I spoke to the CAST recruiter also, and wasn't thrilled either. I was told they are going to be using an app where you log in and out at the stores. I was told they would load your assignments for the following week at he end of the week (friday I think she said), and then you have to schedule them for Monday and Tuesday. All visits have to be done on Mondays and Tuesdays. She also told me they would no longer be servicing CVS stores, which I did a lot of in my area. After learning that little bit, I didn't even bother asking about the multitude of convenience stores I usually picked up with Castforce.

Walmarts are a no-no for me, I lose "my" CVS stores, most likely less pay, and I'm restricted to two days of working and can't choose which areas to service? I'm with you cindy55. I'm not even bothering to fill out the application.

Now, if only i could figure out which company is going to pick up CVS and 7-Elevens...
Xxxx has the xxx contract. They bumped xxx out. Made them a cheaper offer. That is a scary thought! I found that out from two store managers. Xxx will still have a few jobs in there, but not many.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2016 10:48AM by cindy55.
CVS and 7Eleven were my favorites-I was looking forward to them. I wonder if Crossmark is going to do any IC work-there isn't enough of these two to keep an employee happy.
Most merchandising companies use w2 employees and route out the work. Castforce has always been a division of Cast Retail, operating under the same roof. I am not saying it is a better set up, I assume they are migrating to stay competitive with Crossmark, Advantage, etc. Cast retail has outgrown the IC model from my research. I have decided to stay on as a w2 employee and give it a shot.
Day specific jobs are usually non starter for me. I will occasionally take a 1 day window assignment, but, only for premium money. I did do 2 Sunday jobs this fall. I was paid an extra $5 per hour for a flat 1 hour, even though I was in the store for 20- 30 minutes. I do a great deal of work for this company which is a W2 employer, and they pay more than prevailing wage for the area, so I will do things that I usually won't for anyone else.
Unaware that they would be doing away with my favorites-CVS and 7Eleven also. The CAST person I talked to didn't even want to talk much. Makes me wonder how many hours we will actually get if the work is to be done on two days of the week. I would not want to spend most of my merchandising time in Wal-Mart, as I did when I was with Advantage. There is a limit on "stupidity" and it is a short time span! On the positive side, when filing out the new paperwork, they will be paying every other week via direct deposit into my bank. Goodbye Skylight card!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/2015 09:15PM by iwahstore.
Does anyone know when this is supposed to happen? Also, when i went to the Cast website it showed a person in a Cast polo and khakis and a lanyard with a photo ID. So im assuming that is what is going to be required. How do they expect us to drive 60 miles and not be reimbursed for that for a job? Any thoughts?
It starts Jan 1. Anyone using SPARC in WM has to have a photo ID per WM rules. The 60 mile limit for mileage is pretty much standard among merchandising companies such as Acosta, Advantage and Crossmark.
If you dont mind me asking, how were you able to find all of this out? So does that mean CastForce is going away completely? Any idea what the pay rate is going to be for the projects? Have you talked to other CastForce contractors? Im wondering what their opinions are regarding the changes, and especially not being paid unless its over 60 miles. I dont know how they expect everyone to do it that way and not be in the red, with time, gas, mileage, etc. Thanks for the information, its greatly appreciated.
Merchandising companies usually do not care if you are in the red as long as the work gets done. In the late 1990s it was possible to make a decent living doing this work and $400 to $500 a week income. Then until I began as an IC with Castforce the wages had been on a downward spiral as everyone discovered this work and jumped onboard. Castforce has been very good to me, letting me take on as much as I wanted and the pay was good. You just have to route your day and know the cities you are covering. I am hoping to continue as a CAST employee as I only have a few years time left before retirement,
I talk with other merchandisers all the time while in stores. It is networking that becomes friendships. You have to know who is telling the truth and who is spreading manure. Do good work and be valuable and good information comes to you.
If you dont mind me asking, what is SPARC? Im not familiar with that. Also Im wondering how they expect us to get everything done on Monday and Tuesday only. Im not aware of any other merchandising company that has that requirement. Wonder why all the changes?
Well, the above has definitely shed light on what is going on. I have not been contacted by Castforce. But, CAST has been dilligent in sending e-mails for me to sign with them. I have had one call. If I am not mistaken, I was told the pay would be $11 per hour with some jobs paying more. Also, work would be Mon., Tue., and Wed. I guess this is the reason Castforce has not posted any new jobs. I worked for another company last year that paid the $11. I worked Tue. and Thur. with some midnight runs. The travel was paid after 30 miles and time between stores. That company, one had to be available each Monday for a conference call which lasted around 30 minutes and was paid. It is sounding like Castforce is changing to CAST and modeling after Mosaic.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2015 05:12AM by cruiseguy.
@te123 wrote:

If you dont mind me asking, what is SPARC? Im not familiar with that. Also Im wondering how they expect us to get everything done on Monday and Tuesday only. Im not aware of any other merchandising company that has that requirement. Wonder why all the changes?
this is the supplier software program that you enter on to your smartphone so you can use your phone instead of a telzon or RF gun. Like all things Walmart, it is better in theory. You have to take a test and get a code from the store to use it. When it works, it is only as good as the information that was input. So, in a word, useless. I removed it from my phone and don't do any work that requires this. I can only hit myself in the head so many times out of frustration before I become brain dead. Of course, then I could become an employee.
The card and magazine companies usually have a day specific schedule. The grocery pricing data collection jobs are usually Monday and Tuesdays.
Is Cast going to take over all of the projects that were originally done by CastForce ICs? I have received emails and phone calls from CAST, but nothing from CastForce informing me that they are going away after the first of the year. Has anyone been notified by their Contract Administrator that CastForce will cease to exist soon? Wonder why all of the secrecy?
@te123 wrote:

Is Cast going to take over all of the projects that were originally done by CastForce ICs? I have received emails and phone calls from CAST, but nothing from CastForce informing me that they are going away after the first of the year. Has anyone been notified by their Contract Administrator that CastForce will cease to exist soon? Wonder why all of the secrecy?
According to my Contracts Administrator all Castforce employees in the home office are transitioning to CAST employees Jan 1st. The Castforce IC's will be transitioning as quickly as they can convert and/or hire field employees. So while the goal is to replace all IC's with W2 employees by the end of January. The reason they are being vague on timelines is because they will still need some IC's to get projects completed until they can fully transition... sometime in the spring. So you can see there are a lot of moving parts to the transition. I have been in the merchandising industry 15 years and have worked with both IC and W2 companies. Like mystery shopping, you have to work with several companies to make it worthwhile as the work ebbs and flows.

I can tell you that CAST is offering above average wages and work volume (at least here in the Southwest) than most of the competition. I am personally going to give them a shot. My advice to anyone considering working with CAST is to check out the competition before deciding, the grass may not be greener. A final note, with the new app I will personally save hours every week NOT doing data entry at home in the evenings. Those hours were NOT paid by the way, so you had to count on those $11 jobs only taking 20-30 minutes in store or you would lose with data entry, prep, travel time, etc.
While I won't be a Cast employee, I do work for a few companies that use an on site app. I check in, do my work, do the report, place the order and then check out and move on to my next store and check in. It automatically figures my store time, places my order, and figures out my drive time. You are absolutely correct, it saves on the non paid time at home in front of the computer doing hours of data entry. All my formerly wasted computer time is done by the time I leave the parking lot! Love it! and will try to get more work with companies that use this type of time saving app.
consider getting a tablet to use for data entry while in the field as each store is done. That is what I have been doing for well over a year. Believe me, there is nothing better than arriving at home and your work day is complete, instead of looking forward to spending more time inputting the wo9rk from a day of visiting stores. Although not supported by Castforce, I have been using an Apple iPad Air and there are apps to emulate flash programs. Super fast and easy while in a store. My Contracts Administrator knows I use this method and I even told them about the Puffin app to make it all work on their website. Never a problem.
SPARC is an inventory application used by WM to enable third-party vendors to access the backroom to check inventory and unbin items to place on the shelf. It eliminates most of the need to get a WM associate with a Telzon to help you find merchandise in the backroom. Using SPARC requires a smartphone or a tablet while in the store. WM requires each person with access to the system to wear a photo name tag anytime while in the store
Ok thank you. Has anyone talked to other CastForce ICs about switching over to Cast as regular employees? I was just curious how many were going make the switch, since there are limtations on when we can work. So far i have heard Monday and Tuesday only, and you must do every assignment in your area, no more picking and choosing from the portal. Has anyone else heard anything?
I had done work with Castforce and thought their jobs were way under timed fortunately I received hefty bonuses to do the work.
Thinking that maybe working for a W-2 with cast would make more sense I applied. The offer they made could make sense if you were already working in the store for other companies. They do the kind of work I'm looking for but to make it work for me I need to be able set up a work route that lines up with my other work.
Good Luck
Thank you. If you get any more information i would appreciate it if you could post it on here. Not knowing exactly what is going to happen is pretty stressful.
I think first of all you need to contact Cast Retail and not Castforce to get your questions answered. Some of the information on here is wrong and some is incomplete. The Contract Admins at Castforce don't have the info; and because it is 2 separate companies, you need to work thru Cast Retail. Cast has always been fair and I think what they are offering now is fair so I would at least check it out.
Thank you I will. Do you know if CastForce is going away? There are no new projects on the portal, and that is one of the things I have heard.
This morning I received the email welcoming me as a CastRetail employee and have viewed the new portal. Looks like a new client has been taken on as well as an old one from the other side.
I received an e-mail from Cast and filled out the application. I have not received an e-mail or a call back. I am under the impression that Castforce will not be there except for small projects. Castforce has had CVS forever but 7-11 was obtained when something happened with another company, I know this because I did 7-11 work for another company,.
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