The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

How to Handle a VEDR Audit

Posted by Ben Weil on Feb 17, 2020 9:10:06 AM

In October 2019, James Sheban, an FXG Contractor, reached out to eTruckBiz about an urgent problem. His company, Sheban Express, had recently failed its VEDR audit. He needed expert guidance to correct the situation. And he knew that his company may lose its contract if the audit wasn't quickly addressed.

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Topics: FedEx, Training, FedEx Ground, safety

Walking In The Spider Webs

Posted by Ben Weil on Feb 10, 2020 2:15:00 PM

Did you pay attention to the CEO's quotes in last week's press release? Maybe the rhetoric sounded familiar.

"We demonstrated once again the power of our unrivaled network and our ability to provide solutions for our customers while growing package volumes during our peak period."

"We will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to generate profitable revenues and drive greater operational efficiencies under our current structure..."

No, the above quotes weren't from FDX. In fact, those were quotes from the U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan last Thursday.

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Topics: Business Outlook, FedEx, Ground, FedEx Ground, vendor

Profitability Profile - Preston Wengert

Posted by Ben Weil on Feb 3, 2020 4:36:12 PM

HOW A COMMUNITY COLLEGE DROPOUT FOUND ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS

You think your market conditions are tough, what about Colorado? According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the Denver area's average weekly wages are $1,242. Think it's easy to find drivers? The BLS also lists the area unemployment rate at 2.4%. Way lower than the U.S. average.

What made a young guy from out of town who knew nothing about the logistics industry think that he could buy a Ground business to support his growing family? Sure he's smart, but he's so young.

"There's no selling, no advertising, no collecting money from past due accounts. I'm not saying it's easy, but it beats a lot of other options out there," Preston Wengert says.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit

Financial Health Assessment: More Important Than Service?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jan 27, 2020 3:52:54 PM

As of 1/10/2020, it’s a new day for FXG CSP’s.

You may recall we’ve talked about TRANSFORMING your Lifestyle Business into a 

Transportation Compan y for the past several years.

FXG's announcement of the new Financial Health Assessment added a new, critically important component for how they keep score on your business performance, and your value to them.

Engaging a third party, RapidRatings, to examine your financial health, then reporting those findings to FXG will create a measurement (number) that will become just as important as your daily service - if not more so.

As a CSP, you should understand the significance of this announcement and the reasoning behind why it will be so crucial going forward.

Let’s take a look at what is going on here...

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Topics: Business Planning, Business Results, ISP Negotiation, Business Metrics, Contract, Profit

Business Coaching Benefits CSP's

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 19, 2020 2:43:03 PM

An Extra Set of Eyes

Dustin Franz bought an RPS route twenty years ago in Pasco, WA. Today, he's a successful FXG contractor with multiple routes. He's traveled an interesting path to profitability.

Buying a route was his first time owning a business. Much of how he learned to deliver packages came from his own experiences plus talking to contractors in his terminal.

Others taught him what they had learned from their own mistakes, and they really couldn't teach him how to be more profitable any faster. It was no fault of their own. They hadn't been trained themselves.

Dustin performed some online research and determined he needed outside assistance.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit, coaching

Do Your Drivers Want to be Safety Compliant?

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 12, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Are your drivers forced to comply with safety rules?

Or do they want to comply?

If you prefer the latter, maybe you should consider Ashiq Mizan’s unique approach.

Do Your Drivers See the Big Picture?

Ashiq Mizan is a CSP in Philadelphia, PA, who had grown increasingly frustrated with his drivers’ lack of safety training compliance.

Despite the safety training lessons being super-easy, compliance in October was around 5%. Not only did his drivers' indifference put his money at risk, but it also showed that they were missing the bigger picture.

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Topics: Compliance, FedEx, Ground, ISP, FedEx Ground, Business, Contract, Selling, contractor, Purchase, safety

Profitability Profile - Tracy Taylor

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 6, 2020 1:15:00 PM


YOU CAN'T LET DRIVERS RUN YOUR BUSINESS

Business owners (CSP's) are generally likable. Drivers want to work for them. People enjoy being on their team. Nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing.

However, it's a problem when CSP's are too nice. Tracy Taylor learned that lesson early in his career as a Contractor. 

"I had 12 employees, 15 trucks and two operations hundreds of miles apart. My people needed me to make tough decisions instead of letting them manage themselves," he recalls.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit

What If Someone Buys FDX?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jan 2, 2020 1:20:10 PM

Is FedEx about to be purchased?

The answer is probably not...maybe.

Truth is we'll never know for sure until it happens. But don't lose sleep over it because it's not under your control.

However, it's good business to think about and reasonably prepare for change. Focus on things you can control.

Let's take a look at what a sale of FDX might look like for CSP's.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Outlook, FedEx, Ground, ISP, FedEx Ground, Business, Contract, Selling, contractor, Purchase

Profitability Profile - Steve Ellis

Posted by Ben Weil on Dec 8, 2019 10:15:44 AM


RETAINING EMPLOYEES IN TIGHT LABOR MARKETS

Steve Ellis has been a contractor for almost twenty years. Many business owners who've been operating that long think their processes work because they've "always done it this way."

However, Steve's openness to studying and changing his processes make his operations exceptionally successful in a state with some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit

Profitability Profile - Marena Markel

Posted by Ben Weil on Sep 2, 2019 1:07:00 PM


THE PERILS OF BUSINESS OWNERSHIP

Marena and Ralph Markel bought their first FedEx Ground route in 2005.

Of course, they were inexperienced owners, but they were committed to their future and each other. Like many couples who work together, each spouse brought different skills and strengths to the business.

After experiencing significant growth, the pair were overwhelmed by the responsibilities of leading a large team of commercial drivers including:

  • Scheduling
  • Payroll
  • Compliance
  • Training

Would the couple remain happily in business?

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit

Who Decides How Much You Earn?

Posted by Ben Weil on Jul 14, 2019 2:43:41 PM

It's a simple question with a simple answer. If you're a FedEx CSP, you may think - of course FedEx decides how much I'll earn because they decide what to pay for my services.

But it's not the right answer.

Focus instead on two key words, "decides" and "earn."

FedEx offers, or negotiates, estimated fixed and variable revenues, but they don't decide how much of that you'll keep.

You will make decisions during the course of the contract  determining how much you'll earn.

Don't confuse income with earnings.
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Topics: Business Structure, Business Outlook, FedEx, Training, Ground, FedEx Ground, Negotiation, Profit

Keeping Score and Making Money

Posted by Ben Weil on Jul 7, 2019 10:40:00 AM

Wayne Gretsky, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, and Pete Rose. Each was phenomenally successful at scoring goals, points, or runs in their respective sports. Coaching others to do the same? Not so successful.

Bill Belichick, Pat Riley, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa. Polar opposites to the previous four athletes.

"What's your point?" you ask.

Business people, like athletes, don't have to be great players to be great coaches and vice versa. However, great coaches can bring out the best in others.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Outlook, FedEx, Training, Ground, FedEx Ground, Negotiation, Profit

WHY Is FXG Transforming Its Biz?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jun 30, 2019 10:33:52 AM

We’ve established for quite some time that the Transformation is coming, and now we’ve seen that it’s here.

The entire transportation industry, especially the last-mile small package segment is undergoing swift transformation.

In order to compete and even survive, FXG, and you, are going to have to accept and embrace change as it sweeps through the industry.

But why change the business model, and what does changing the model mean?

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The TRANFORMATION Is Underway

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jun 23, 2019 2:52:57 PM

We’ve been preaching it, to those who would listen, for years.

Recently, FXG finally admitted it

You’ve been a part of it for years. But I bet a lot of you don’t even know what it is.

Now, you are actually living it.

It’s not being disguised anymore.

FXG has been telling you change is coming, but downplaying its severity in order to not upset the apple cart...too much.

So what is it?

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Topics: Business, contractor

3 Steps to Prepare for 7-Day Service

Posted by Ben Weil on Jun 16, 2019 9:00:00 AM

FedEx recently announced that seven-day service will be starting in 2020. This means big changes for FXG Contractors.

"Eight Days a Week" is a popular song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon in the 1960's about love. According to McCartney, the title was inspired not by love, but by work.

He has been quoted as saying when he asked his chauffeur how he was doing, the chauffeur replied, "Oh working hard, working eight days a week." (Wikipedia, May 22, 2019).

You and your drivers probably feel the same about FedEx' recent announcement to move FXG to a seven-day work week.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Outlook, ISP Negotiation, FedEx Ground, Negotiation

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