The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

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

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

Independent Service Provider (ISP) Tips And Advice

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