The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

Put First Things First - CSP Best Practices Series

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 24, 2021 10:15:00 AM

Image by Gustavofrazao

In a recent blog post, we adapted Stephen Covey’s habit of Begin With the End In MindⓇ for effectively running a FedEx Ground contracting business. The key point being that success is defined by starting each task, each day, and each project with a clear vision of your destination. Success is not only focusing on what looks good, it’s focusing on what really matters.

In this blog post, we’re adapting another of Covey’s habits called Put First Things FirstⓇ. Our intention is ensuring that you and everyone on your team knows which priorities come first. When drivers and managers understand what comes first - profitability - they will be better equipped to work with you in achieving your vision!

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership, consulting

Tips for Transitioning to an EV Fleet

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 14, 2021 10:15:00 AM

Image by Workhorse Group Inc.

This blog post is written by our friends at Workhorse Group Inc.

Tips for transitioning to an EV fleet and the benefits for your business.

The adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) for fleets with daily return to base routes under 200 miles is becoming a fast-growing segment of the EV marketplace. More than two-thirds of surveyed fleets that have used BEVs plan to either pilot or purchase them in the next 12 months. *

This move to EVs can be attributed to the significant operational savings and the positive environmental impacts of an EV fleet. With more and more fleet managers moving to EVs, you may ask yourself - Is an electric fleet right for my business? Here are a few things to consider.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, Purchase, Fuel, Money

KC Linehaul Event Recap

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 3, 2021 10:40:00 AM

Image by Dave Bowen

If you missed the “Maximizing Your Linehaul Potential” event held in Kansas City, here’s a brief recap of the day.

We and one of our strategically aligned partners, Rolling Equity Leasing (REL), hosted a daylong seminar examining FedEx Ground Linehaul Contracting. The presenters swiftly covered much ground. Much has changed from the old linehaul ways and more changes are on the way.

After quick introductions, the first presentation and following discussion predominantly impacted newcomers to linehaul contracting. Topics included subjects to focus on when starting, successful business habits, and thriving in a challenging market.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, consulting, linehaul

3 Tips to Relieve Stress & Help Stay in Control This Peak

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Sep 22, 2021 5:23:48 PM

It happens every year.

As the package volume builds, so do CSP / TSP stress levels, as well as the risk of an operation getting out of hand.

We surveyed a large number of our "veteran" clients to find out which tasks cause the most stress. Then, followed that up by asking how they alleviate the pressure and stress.

The results were interesting.

The good news is that the actions needed to relieve the stressors are easily accomplished and readily available.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Driver Recruiting

Begin With The End In Mind - CSP Best Practices Series

Posted by Ben Weil on Sep 19, 2021 1:15:00 PM

Image by Daniel Tadevoseyan

In a recent blog post, we adapted Stephen Covey’s habit of Be ProactiveⓇ, into a best practice of running a FedEx Ground contracting business. The key point being that success is consciously controlling what you can and not blaming what’s beyond your control for hindering your vision.

In this blog post, we’re adapting Covey’s habit of Begin With the End in Mind Ⓡ . This is defined by starting each task, each day, and each project with a clear vision of your destination. Being financially successful doesn’t happen by chance. Success is not only focusing on what looks good, it’s focusing on what really matters.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership, consulting

8 Reasons to Consider Moving Your Fleet to Electric Vehicles

Posted by Ben Weil on Sep 13, 2021 1:25:30 PM

Image by Xos Trucks

This blog post is written by our friends at Xos Trucks.

The passenger transportation sector has seen a significant uptick in Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption over the last several years, yet the commercial side has been slower to follow.

Now, that’s changing. Increasing environmental regulations and a growing interest in reducing costs have begun to tip the scales toward more widespread fleet electrification.

As a fleet owner and operator, you might be asking yourself, “When, how, and why should I consider electric trucks for my business?” Unfortunately, there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to “how” you should go about transitioning to electric, but “when” and “why” you should go electric can be more easily summarized.

Going electric can positively impact the efficiency and profitability of your business. Here’s a summary of the main reasons why you should consider electrifying your fleet.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, Purchase, Fuel, Money

Being Proactive - CSP Best Practices Series

Posted by Ben Weil on Aug 27, 2021 1:15:00 PM

Image by Fokusiert

Have you read Stephen Covey’s book titled 7 Habits of Highly Successful People? If so, have you thought about applying it to being a Contract Service Provider (CSP)?

We’re adapting the most relevant of his seven habits into best practices of highly successful CSP’s.

Covey’s first habit is Be ProactiveⓇ Focus and act on what you can control and influence, instead of what you can’t. This habit is especially important and a great starting point.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership, consulting

The Dark Side Of Increased Density

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Aug 8, 2021 1:16:08 PM

In this uncertain time, it seems like there was one thing that was certain.

It appeared that stops and volume were marching forward, with no regard for the turbulence and difficulty that we were told surrounds us. 

In a roughly 2+ year environment of growth, the rising revenue tide hid many tree stumps, and kept the good ship Contracted Service Provider sailing happily into the sunset.

All was well.

Until it wasn’t.

Recently, the volume has leveled off and in many cases, retreated.

This dip is not too much different from a “normal” summer, but this time, it hurts...bad. 

Let’s look at why.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Management, Business, Investment, contractor, Profit, Money, less, settlement, Cash flow

The Look of Success

Posted by Bob Tiell on Jul 25, 2021 10:15:00 AM

This blog post is written by eTruckBiz Business Coach, Bob Tiell.

You've heard people say, "There's strength in numbers." And I'm sure you've heard, "Two heads are better than one." People say them because they're true.

Both can be said about entrepreneurship. There are lots of moving parts in a business which leads to some things getting overlooked and others missed altogether. So, business owners may benefit by asking an expert to see what can make their company stronger down the road.

I can be that other set of eyes. I am someone who’s learned what success looks like by working alongside hundreds of AO’s and BC’s throughout the United States. I’ve gained perspective on how business owners achieve their goals.

My “second career” as a Business Coach (after departing the management ranks at FedEx Ground) affords me opportunities to alternately learn from and guide the brightest Contractors in the business. Today, I’m sharing a few of the best tips that can strengthen your company for the long haul.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership, consulting

Entrepreneur of the Year - Hutch Motors, Inc.

Posted by Ben Weil on Jul 7, 2021 1:00:00 PM

(Courtesy of ...)

Hutch Motors, Inc. is an eTruckBiz customer that was recently recognized as a Regional Entrepreneur of the Year by FedEx Ground (FXG). The award recognizes service provider businesses that have excelled in service and safety - both of which are keys to success.

In addition to those two criteria, FXG considers business growth, customer satisfaction, ethics and community involvement as award components. Winners are selected from six regions in the United States plus one in Canada.

We caught up with Eric Hutchcraft, the Authorized Officer (AO) of Hutch Motors, Inc. asking him about keys to success. 

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership

Profitability Profile - Ron Levine

Posted by Ben Weil on Jun 28, 2021 3:45:00 PM

(Courtesy of Ron Levine)

The first Unboxed event in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was our last pre-COVID event. For that reason, the two-day seminar held in February will always stick in my memory. The pandemic had not yet reached the United States. Socializing in-person was normal.

The poolside cocktail party stands out because it was a perfect sunset over the harbor, and I had the pleasure of meeting many successful Contractors there. One of the best aspects of my job is people sharing their stories of becoming FedEx Ground Contractors and what it means to them today.

In particular, Ron Levine and his son, Scott, entered into the transportation business unconventionally. Neither worked as a driver, nor a package handler, and they did not know anyone already in the business.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership

Changes Are On The Way. Could These Be The Big Ones?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Apr 12, 2021 2:00:00 PM

What do you get when you combine:

  • the current regulatory environment, 
  • significant shifts in market demand resulting in large changes in CSA characteristics,
  • the demand from Wall Street & investors for increased ROI,
  • and a cult following of litigious regulators and attorneys looking for big paydays?

Let’s just say that it looks a lot like today.

All these forces are coming together to bring about what could be the largest, most sweeping change in FXG’s business model ever, which will in turn, drastically change how you monitor and run your businesses. 

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Topics: Business Planning, Business Outlook, Compliance, Ground, FedEx Ground, Business, Regulation, Co-employee, change

Autism Awareness Month

Posted by Ben Weil on Apr 4, 2021 2:15:00 PM

This blog page generally addresses business problems and solutions associated with operating a last mile delivery transportation company. Today's post is just as important, but in a different way.

Speaking of different, the CDC reported roughly 1 in 54 children in the U.S. was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) last year. In fact, 1 in 34 boys identified with autism and 1 in 144 girls identified with autism.*

April is designated as Autism Awareness Month and part of the impetus for this post.

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Topics: autism awareness, autism awareness month

What's Happening with Fuel Prices?

Posted by Ben Weil on Feb 14, 2021 4:25:52 PM

(Stock Image from Canva)

Experts are predicting fuel prices will continue to increase in 2021. Why is that the general consensus?

First, we have to look at the main components of fuel pricing. The underlying components are a.) the cost of crude oil, b.) refining costs, and c.) distribution and marketing costs. Seems simple enough, but then federal, state and local taxes are added. That’s why pricing generally differs from one state to another.

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Topics: Business Results, FedEx Ground, Business, contractor, Fuel, fuel card, fuel management program

Exploring the Need for Training

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 24, 2021 3:48:15 PM

(Jeff Thompson, Courtesy of Jeff Thompson)

Thursday and Friday of last week I watched Gary, my co-worker, leading our Engineering & Operations training class. He’s a former FedEx leader with decades of operations experience. His expertise is unmatched.

Most of the students last week were BC’s. They paid close attention. That’s impressive because earlier in the week they attended the Leadership & Management class, too. BC’s are accustomed to spending most days on their feet. Sitting in a classroom all week is rare for them, but so important.

The attendees, alongside several AO’s and new owners, were truly interested in changing the trajectory of their businesses. Change is not for the weak, nor for those who cannot handle uncertainty.

The week begins by asking attendees to write down the most important questions they want answered. Some of last week’s replies were predictable, and others not so much.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership

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