The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

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. 

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Understanding Why You're In Business

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 17, 2021 4:28:52 PM

(Jeff Thompson, Courtesy of Jeff Thompson)

What do people do with the money they make from being in business? Let's dive into that question.

Businesses usually exist for reasons other than just making money. Making money is a necessity to keep the business going, but there is probably another reason "why" a business exists.

I encountered one of the most clearly defined reasons "why" a business exists in my recent conversation with Jeff Thompson of CI Express from Kennewick, Washington. Jeff is the subject of our most recent Success Story, and the interview on our website is worth a read. You may even be inspired.

Read More

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

Fuel Fraud Warning Signs

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 10, 2021 9:15:00 AM

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

As a Contractor, the work seems simple, deliver packages on time and customers will be happy.

It’s not always that easy, there’s an operational side to your business, the public never sees, that is just as important to your success. One example is managing fuel spend. Fuel fraud and misuse can tank your profits, and it’s not always glaringly obvious when it’s occurring, so it pays to introduce regular monitoring controls.

Keeping a watchful eye on expense trends can help catch fuel fraud early, before perpetrators have a chance to rack up extensive charges.

Read More

Topics: Business Planning, FedEx, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Business, Metrics, Fuel

2021 Insights for Business Owners

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 3, 2021 1:43:13 PM

We recently caught up with two guys heavily involved with building successful transportation companies to ask for their insights into 2021.

The first expert is a long-time CSP from the Midwest, Tracy Taylor. The second is the founder and CEO of eTruckBiz, Jeff Walczak. Both have spent the better part of their careers in the FedEx Ground arena. We engaged in a fast-paced conversation to produce our most recent Truck Talk podcast episode.

Some of the insights may surprise you.

Read More

Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Planning, Training, Intelligence, Business Metrics, ISP, FedEx Ground, Business, Negotiation, Metrics, Profit, leadership, safety, coaching, Scheduling

The Most Important Goals for Your Transportation Company

Posted by Bob Tiell on Dec 13, 2020 4:00:00 PM

This week’s blog is the first in a two-part series of posts by Bob Tiell, an eTruckBiz Coach, who resides in Lexington, KY. His experience includes years of operational management at FedEx Ground.

Goal Setting - Business Plans and Safety

Even though we're in the middle of peak, it's time to start planning our next twelve months. If planned well with the right goals set at the beginning of the year, we can make peak 2021easier and more efficient for everyone involved. If you haven't already started thinking about your 2021 goals, perhaps you'll find some helpful direction and starting points in this brief blog post.

Let's start with the likelihood that your company has grown throughout the years, and you’ve probably added supplemental routes. They then became full routes (after FedEx Ground approval).

Plus, you've probably added more drivers and a BC, or two, over the years. What's next?

Read More

Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Planning, Intelligence, Business Metrics, ISP, FedEx Ground, Business, Metrics, Profit, leadership, safety, coaching

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.

Read More

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

eTruckBiz Just Got Better - Unveiling The New Platform

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Nov 15, 2020 1:22:11 PM

For more than 8 years, we’ve been building products & services to help CSP’s transform the way they approach running their businesses.

Recently, the FXG model itself has been transforming in unprecedented ways. For most CSP’s , the days of being a “hands-on” operator are gone, and the need to provide leadership & management through systems, processes and people are quickly being implemented. The days where you or your BC’s could “jump in a truck” to fix things are gone.

Read More

Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Planning, Timekeeping, Bookeeping, Intelligence, Business Metrics, ISP, FedEx Ground, Business, Negotiation, model, Metrics, Profit, leadership, safety, coaching, Scheduling, Dynamic Route Optimization

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 ...

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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

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:

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Independent Service Provider (ISP) Tips And Advice

Learn From Industry Experts And Successful Contractors

Get valuable, actionable information from our founder and other industry participants that also have a deep understanding of your business and want to help you maximize your opportunity. Keep up with all the issues that affect your business.

  • Stay Informed
  • Find and Implement Other Best Practices
  • Learn Profit Maximizing Strategies
  • Make Running Your Business Easy
  • Create More Time To Do The Things You Want To Do

Subscribe to Receive New Posts

Recent Posts