The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

Ben Weil

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Profitability Profile - Dawn Nyen

Posted by Ben Weil on Nov 22, 2020 4:26:43 PM

(Dawn Nyen, Courtesy of Dawn Nyen)

A co-worker recently suggested that I reach out to a customer who has an interesting history with entrepreneurship.

My conversation with Dawn Nyen developed into our most recent Success Story.  And just in case you don’t venture over to that page on our website, I’ll share one of her lessons learned in this blog post, but trust me the interview is worth the few minutes it takes to read.

Dawn’s path to becoming a FedEx Ground Contractor started in a hotel ballroom. She answered a local newspaper ad instructing people to attend a local recruiting meeting about owning a business. Dawn and her sister were the “last ones standing” in the room. Then, her sister dropped out leaving Dawn standing all alone.

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

Time Traps: Action & Assessment Phases

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 18, 2020 9:45:00 PM

As we’re approaching peak this year, conversations with FedEx Ground Contractors reflect a sense of urgency caused by the expected increase in package volume. From California to the east coast, everyone is feeling the pressure. Rental trucks have long been reserved by others, new trucks are scarce, the competition for finding and hiring temporary drivers is tough, and the new pre-load technology is time consuming at best.

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

An Organization Time Trap

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 4, 2020 7:33:46 PM

A common thread amongst FedEx Ground Contractors is the amount of time and effort required to handle everything that’s expected to stay compliant, safe and profitable. If you’ve been tracking our blog posts about time and task management, this is the third in a series.

First, we suggested tracking where your time is spent. From there, we looked at the likelihood that working seven-days a week has resulted in losing your identity. You’re known by your job.

Now, let’s examine how to improve your working situation.

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

Six Reasons To Set Up Retirement Plans

Posted by Ben Weil on Sep 27, 2020 11:45:00 AM

If you’re like most FXG Contractors, you don’t spend much time thinking about your retirement. You’re caught up in the daily swarm of running your business. Tucked far away on a backburner of your brain, you understand your eventual exit will happen. Will you be ready?

Thinking about retirement isn’t enough. It’s not a plan. Developing and acting on a plan will provide certainty when the time comes to exit your business.

What’s holding you back? Maybe you don’t know where to start. Maybe you think it’s too expensive, or your company is too small.

Actually, setting up a 401(k) plan isn’t expensive nor is it difficult.

Here are six reasons why you need to set up a 401(k) retirement plan.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Investment, Metrics

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

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

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

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

Brian Reeves on Recruiting

Posted by Ben Weil on Apr 2, 2020 5:08:08 PM

Today's blog post is by our guest blogger, Brian Reeves, of Reeves Delivery Group.

By Brian Reeves, Reeves Delivery Group

MANAGERS WHO RUN ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES NEED TO BE RECRUITING HUGE NUMBERS OF NEW EMPLOYEES TODAY, JUST IN CASE THINGS GET 50 TIMES WORSE.

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Topics: Business Planning, Driver Recruiting, FedEx Ground, Business, leadership

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