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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Independent Service Provider (ISP) Tips And Advice

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