The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

Tracking Financial Results Like FDX

Posted by Ben Weil on Sep 20, 2020 10:02:07 AM

Did you read FedEx’ Quarterly Results issued last week? The financial news outlets wrote absolutely glowing reviews.

Yahoo! Finance headline declared, “FedEx Corp. Reports Strong First Quarter Results” while Barron’s headline gushed, “FedEx Destroys Earnings Estimates. Things Are Getting Really Good.”

Reading further down the page you’ll find, “Operating results increased due to volume growth in...U.S. domestic residential package services, yield improvement at FedEx Ground..., and one additional operating weekday.”

Could Yahoo! Finance and Barron’s write the same headlines about your last three months? You don’t issue forecasts, but if you did - would you be blowing it out of the water, too? If not, why not?

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Business Results, Bookeeping, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Investment, Profit

Five Recruiting Changes to Make Before Peak

Posted by Ben Weil on Aug 30, 2020 7:42:14 AM

Let’s start today’s blog post with a multiple choice question.

What does EVERY FedEx Ground Contractor need?

a.) Qualified drivers.

b.) Available qualified drivers to replace current drivers in the future.

c.) Qualified drivers for Peak.

d.) All the above.

Answer: d.) All of the above.

If you’re covered up with spare qualified drivers, then you’re set. This business is your oyster.

If you’re not, then finding qualified drivers is by far the biggest moving component of your revenue generating machine. Here are five recruiting changes that must happen now to be successful.

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Topics: Driver Recruiting, Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Metrics, leadership

Have You Trapped Yourself?

Posted by Ben Weil on Aug 23, 2020 9:30:43 AM

In the last blog post about time management, I recommended tracking your tasks. Did you? If you really want to fix an issue, you follow a process.

So, if you want to improve at managing your time and tasks, you gotta start with accurate facts. It’s the first step to discovering time to do things you'd rather be doing.

Now, it’s time for the next step.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Results, Timekeeping, Management, FedEx Ground, Metrics, leadership

Time Management Is A Lie

Posted by Ben Weil on Aug 9, 2020 2:14:56 PM

Ever wished you could stop time? How about rewind time? Yep, you’ve had those thoughts. Your secret is safe with me.

The truth is our world spins around the sun in a cycle of light and dark we call days and nights. It's way beyond our control. Above our pay-grade as the saying goes. So, why do we think we can manage time?

A co-worker recommended a book written by Todd Duncan called Time Traps. Let me preface something right now, I haven’t read the whole book. I’ve skimmed the first few chapters. Gimme a small break, okay.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Results, Timekeeping, Management, FedEx Ground, Metrics, leadership

New End Of Agreement (EOA) Process Forces A New Business Strategy

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Aug 2, 2020 8:39:53 AM

July 20th, 2020, was the day that FXG announced via MGB that it would make significant changes to the way they will approach your End Of Agreement (EOA) process.

It is important to understand what’s going on here, as it will impact the way you think about contract renewals with FXG.

At first glance, it appears it’s just FXG flexing its muscles again, and in some respects that’s true.

However, when you study the process, it’s easy to see that it is really an attempt to ...

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Topics: FedEx, Ground, ISP, FedEx Ground, Business, Contract, Investment, model, Agreement

DROwning in a Tsunami of Changes

Posted by Ben Weil on Jul 26, 2020 11:57:25 AM

We recently hosted a webinar that obviously struck a chord with many Contract Service Providers (CSP’s). Attendance for the webinar was sizable. The topic was Dynamic Route Optimization, more well known by its acronym, DRO, which has understandably created a generous amount of frustration.

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Topics: Business Tools, FedEx, Training, FedEx Ground, Investment, Dynamic Route Optimization, DRO

What to Look For in a VEDR Safety Solution

Posted by Lauren Halbrich with Lytx on Jul 19, 2020 8:45:00 AM

Today's blog post is brought to you by our friends at Lytx.

Implementing new processes can be challenging. And when it comes to implementing a new process for your business, time is money.

FedEx Ground now is requiring Contractors to outfit their vehicles with dual-facing Video Event Data Recorders (VEDRs), to implement a driver safety program to meet industry standards, contractual obligations and to meet three out of four Key Indicators (KIs).

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Topics: Business Tools, Compliance, FedEx, FedEx Ground, safety

Are You Gambling On Getting The Most Out Of Your New Negotiation?

Posted by Carey Manders on Jun 14, 2020 12:48:33 PM

Don’t think it matters which MESO you choose when you negotiate?

Wanna bet?

We're sure you know you are gambling with the financial health of your biz when you pick a MESO based on:

  • What other CSP's say is the best one to take on Facebook
  • The one with the best incentive bonuses
  • Thinking they hide the best one behind door #3
  • No Research, No Analysis, No Data

This is what the other side hopes for, and knows many CSP's do.

It pays to do your homework and get some expert help to determine what the best offer is based on the unique characteristics of your CSA.

There's too much for you at stake to not give this issue the attention it deserves.

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Topics: ISP Negotiation, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Profit

DRO Expectations vs Reality

Posted by Dave Bowen on Jun 4, 2020 4:40:10 PM

In today’s world with the latest AI (artificial intelligence) technology, we can use voice commands to control not only our devices,- “Alexa” / “Hey Google” “Play Crazy Train by Ozzy Osborne” (yes choice of song intended), but we can also control our lights (remember the clapper?), garage doors, air-conditioning, and appliances through apps from the palms of our hands.

One would think that a world class company like FedEx would be able to offer a highly sophisticated routing solution software as a tool to fine tune the routing for today’s exploding e-commerce market. You would be correct to hope for that to happen.

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Topics: FedEx, FedEx Ground, Profit, Scheduling, Dynamic Route Optimization, DRO

Delivering Every Day All Year Long

Posted by Ben Weil on May 28, 2020 11:15:00 AM

Delivering every day. That was the title FedEx chose for its announcement in May 2019 about moving to a seven-day residential delivery operation.

The press release stated, “We’re accelerating our process of integrating nearly two million SmartPost packages previously delivered through the U.S. Postal Service into FedEx Ground operations. By the end of 2020, all home deliveries will be sorted and delivered within the same ground network. Streamlining the home delivery network creates greater density, more efficiency, and potential cost savings for our shippers.”

That’s old news now, but here we are in May 2020. Is hindsight really 20/20? Maybe some folks suffer from 20/40 hindsight?

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Topics: Training, FedEx Ground, Business, Scheduling

5 Reasons To Engineer Your Operation While Embracing DRO

Posted by Jeff Walczak on May 17, 2020 1:14:41 PM

Okay, we know what many folks are going to say. The DRO is troublesome and may not work.

While it is true that learning to use it effectively is difficult, it actually works fine. It’s the theory and engineering principals behind it that are difficult to maneuver and grasp.

The move from static route creation and management to that of a very dynamic (always changing) way of route management is now at hand. Thanks to the virus, the premature push to unprecedented levels of eCommerce, and the need for 7 day service, all are being forced to transform quicker than originally planned.

The time to embrace Dynamic Route Optimization is at hand. The fundamental culture change to Dynamic vs. Static planning is now underway.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Results, Management, Training, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Business, contractor

How To Crush Your Routing Goals

Posted by Ben Weil on May 5, 2020 1:58:27 PM

Ground CSP's, generally, possess exceptional area knowledge for the areas they service. They can utilize this knowledge to plan routes and take into account all the intricacies of a particular area.

Now, however, CSP's are starting to see that the old process of developing static routes to cover a particular service area is going the way of the horse and buggy.

Routes now need to be planned dynamically. This means that with the transformation of stop characteristics (residential) along with an evolving FXG business model (heavy focus on eCommerce), route planning needs to change constantly.

In order to remain successful, today's CSP must adapt to this new demand as the business continues to change. The number of routes and the actual route "boarders" need to be engineered in such a way to be flexible based on work load characteristics. 

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Business Results, FedEx, Ground, FedEx Ground, vendor

New Driver Safety Training

Posted by Ben Weil on Apr 27, 2020 2:45:00 PM

If we’re being honest with each other, where does safety rank in your business? You most likely thought, “Safety comes first. Or safety is our number one priority.”



It’s so predictable that Google Docs finished the sentence for me. Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought your safety culture was a differentiator. Everyone says it, but not everyone is being honest.

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Topics: Training, FedEx Ground, safety

The President and the FedEx Ground Contractor

Posted by Ben Weil on Apr 19, 2020 7:22:40 PM

Do you feel like you’re in a thankless job? If so, you’re not alone. Most FedEx Ground CSP’s can provide daily evidence to support that conclusion. You work daily ensuring that packages are delivered (and picked up) safely to and from the correct addresses. Many times, you do this based on information that leaves something to be desired.

That’s why last week’s ceremony in front of the White House was so extraordinary. The President of the United States spent a few minutes recognizing truckers including a FedEx Ground Contractor.

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Topics: FedEx Ground, contractor, leadership, safety

Lessons Learned & Adapting For The Future

Posted by Ben Weil on Apr 13, 2020 9:45:00 PM

The panic associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has forced you into ADAPTING how your business is run.

Only weeks ago, it was unthinkable that both our United States healthcare system and our economy would be under this kind of assault.

The good news is that this bizzare event has uncovered some things that will be useful to incorporate into your business strategies going forward.

Here are some tips & suggestions as you look ahead:

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Topics: Business Tools, Payroll, Business, Profit

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