The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

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

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

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

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

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

DRO Expectations vs Reality

Posted by Dave Bowen on Jun 4, 2020 4:40:10 PM

In today’s world with the latest AI (artificial intelligence) technology, we can use voice commands to control not only our devices,- “Alexa” / “Hey Google” “Play Crazy Train by Ozzy Osborne” (yes choice of song intended), but we can also control our lights (remember the clapper?), garage doors, air-conditioning, and appliances through apps from the palms of our hands.

One would think that a world class company like FedEx would be able to offer a highly sophisticated routing solution software as a tool to fine tune the routing for today’s exploding e-commerce market. You would be correct to hope for that to happen.

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Topics: FedEx, FedEx Ground, Profit, Scheduling, Dynamic Route Optimization, DRO

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

10 Differences Between New CSP's & Old Contractors

Posted by Ben Weil on Mar 15, 2020 3:06:54 PM

Here's a quote that correctly sums up today's blog post , "The past is in your head. The future is in your hands."

You'll recall that our last blog post dealt with the fact that today's FXG Contracting environment is very different than it was several years ago. More specifically we said what is being done has not changed as much as how it's being done differently.

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Topics: FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit, leadership

What A New CSP Looks Like

Posted by Ben Weil on Mar 8, 2020 8:30:00 PM

What was once “wild speculation” has now obviously become reality. As most of you know, we were among the first and few trumpeting the change of your business from lifestyle to transportation company. Now that the transformation is at least halfway complete, it should now be obvious that “what worked in the past won’t work in the future”.

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Topics: FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit, leadership

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

Independent Service Provider (ISP) Tips And Advice

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