The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

Cashflow - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jun 30, 2022 5:47:12 PM

How can one the most attractive elements of FXG contracting be the most detrimental to it as well?

Current economic conditions are uncovering some of the large stumps that have been covered by high tides for many years. 

Business as usual used to consist of volume growth, turnover & recruiting challenges. 

Volume growth meant revenue growth, and this growth usually meant a steady or rising checkbook balance that could be relied upon to make payroll and other bills. Revenue growth also covered up deteriorating productivity and dare we use the term “efficiency”.

Now, growth, at least until FDX unlocks more of the upcoming plan (which we'll be addressing in detail, stay tuned, much more to come on this), is now not there to keep the boat from hitting the stumps.

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Is The Service Provider Financial Crisis Getting Worse?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on May 1, 2022 11:56:52 AM

By now, it’s easy to see that everyone’s operating margins are being seriously squeezed.

In an effort to force some sort of helpful response, some made a plea to FXG asking for assistance in various areas to solve a worsening financial situation. 

Trust us when we say that FXG is very aware of the plight of CSP & TSP’s.

But now, there is another added challenge that has reared its head. This one, along with inflation not seen for generations, is going to create some unprecedented financial problems that will test even the best operators…

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Topics: Business Results, Bookeeping, Training, Intelligence, Business Metrics, Negotiation, Profit, consulting, Money, Cash flow, Inflation, Costs, recession, expenses, renegotiation, Financial, Rates

The 2022 CSP Financial Crisis

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Mar 13, 2022 1:51:46 PM

So it’s not the 2008 financial crisis, but in the FXG Contracted Service Provider world, it could ultimately prove to be worse.

A combination of events has spawned a crisis that we foreshadowed back in August of 2021 in our post:  the Dark Side Of Density.

What we described in that post has ultimately proven to be true, and is now exacerbated by the quickly deteriorating economic conditions.

As business owners, solving problems is a daily occurance. This one however is going to need full attention, for an extended period of time.

Let's begin our look at what to do about all this by analyzing the root causes of why the issues now exist...

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Topics: Business Results, ISP Negotiation, Payroll, Business, Contract, Profit, consulting, Money, Inflation, Costs, Holiday Season

Paying Drivers Daily or Hourly? (Part 2)

Posted by Gary Wade on Jan 9, 2022 10:15:00 AM

This post is the second in a two-part series.

In my last blog post, I shared that people often ask me, “Should I pay my drivers by the day or by the hour?”  My answer is based on comparing both methods, and I'll tell you why I recommend paying drivers by the hour.

Paying by the day is still most common because it’s a holdover from when delivery volume was consistent and only 5-days per work week.

As a result of adding residential service and e-commerce, package volume swings now vary widely on a daily basis. Paying drivers by the day has made business owner profitability more challenging.

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Topics: Business Structure, Payroll, Ground, FedEx Ground, overtime, leadership, Money

The Question That Never Goes Away: Paying Drivers Daily or Hourly

Posted by Gary Wade on Dec 19, 2021 2:53:48 PM

This post is the first in a series on choosing to pay drivers by the hour, or by the day.

Almost every week, another new Contractor will ask me an old question.  Should I pay my drivers hourly, or by the day? There’s truly one right answer, but complex dynamics cause many new CSP’s to believe that the old ways of paying drivers are acceptable.

Many new Contractors do not bring transportation industry experience with them. Although it’s likely they achieved significant success in their previous ventures. That success can lead to a variety of ways they address driver compensation.

New Contractors typically choose to either keep the same practices as the previous owner, or they make drastic changes. If they choose the latter, it’s because they recognize the existing compensation method is not financially feasible.

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Topics: Business Structure, Payroll, Ground, FedEx Ground, overtime, leadership, Money

Introducing The Transportation Business Academy

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Dec 12, 2021 1:15:00 PM

 

Any investment made into a business should be measured by its return. Simply put, when businesses invest in a product or an initiative, they expect that the profits created by the investment will outweigh the cost of the investment.

This is no different in the transportation industry.

If you take a minute to think about what options you could invest in, that could provide you substantial returns, what is it that comes to mind? New trucks? The latest software package that promises the world? Some other shiny object?

There is one thing, that may not be obvious, that will no doubt provide you with a lasting return on your investment. Most larger companies understand that investing in this one thing provides big time returns, and don’t mind the investment it takes.

And now, this type of investment is available to you…

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Topics: Classes, Training, Ground, FedEx Ground, leadership, Money

Metrics that Matter Most: What Are Key Performance Indicators (KIs)

Posted by Nicole Arend on Dec 2, 2021 10:45:00 AM

Image by Lytx

This blog post is written by our friends at Lytx.

Why are KIs important to your business? We explain everything, from the metrics that matter the most to KI fleet management tips.

Keeping track of fleet management metrics is necessary in order to make objective decisions and improve performance over time. Tracking KIs is an important aspect of measuring efficiency and productivity and is integral to identifying problems and making corrections. Safety KIs, in particular, are essential to keeping your fleet running at optimum levels while ensuring minimal risk.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Results, Compliance, Training, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, safety, coaching, vedr

A Look at the ROI of Employee Development

Posted by Ben Weil on Nov 21, 2021 1:22:00 PM

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve your transportation company operations? If you’re a FedEx Ground Contractor, there are thousands of Contractors like you sharing the same questions.

And if you’re not a FedEx Ground Contractor, but are thinking about getting in the game - there are tens of thousands people like you asking themselves questions.

Or, if you’re a Business Contact (BC), thousands of transportation company managers are wondering the same things. What are some easy ways our team can get to the top of our game?

Zig Ziglar’s famous catch phrase was, “See you at the top!”  Well, Zig, how do we get to the top?

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Topics: Business Results, FedEx, Classes, Training, FedEx Ground, Metrics, Profit

9 Reasons To Invest In Management Training

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Nov 15, 2021 2:15:24 PM

As you may know, FXG Contractors and their Managers have chosen eTruckBiz University for in depth training for almost a decade. Since our very first class in Huntsville, Alabama, we have received a tremendous response from those who understand the importance of continuous education. Thousands of hours have been spent updating, refreshing, and tweaking our curriculum. Why? Because it's critical to our customers' success.

Training your team is the same as putting fueling in your trucks. Without regularly filling up the tank, your people are running on fumes. 

In fact, FXG requires continuous safety lessons, right? That's because statistics prove when training stops, people assume it's no longer important. Hitting your Service Levels requires fuel in the trucks. Staying compliant with your Agreement requires completed safety lesson. And making your business profitable requires essential, off-site training for your key people.

However, some AO's still want to know why this type of training is important, and, is there a return on this investment? That's a great question.

Well, here are 9 reasons why the question shouldn't be if I should send my managers to the University, but how soon can we attend?

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Management, Training, Investment

The Rise of Amazon and the Motivation for Efficiency

Posted by Brian Reeves on Nov 14, 2021 10:15:00 AM

This is a guest post by Brian Reeves of Reeves Delivery Group in Kentucky.

E-commerce is the way of the future. Customer shopping habits are rapidly changing, due to the convenience of online ordering versus traditional in-store shopping. Online shopping is predicted to continue its rapid growth. The next phase for our delivery companies will be same day delivery. Our businesses still have a long way to grow.

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Topics: Business Results, FedEx Ground, Business, Metrics, contractor, Profit

Recruiting vs Hiring: What Are The Differences?

Posted by Ben Weil on Nov 4, 2021 10:15:00 AM

There are a lot of blog posts with unrealistic driver recruiting promises. This isn’t one of them. This post is the truth about recruiting FedEx Ground drivers.

Why is recruiting drivers difficult? Mainly because recruiting is convincing good, qualified people to leave their current jobs. Plus, employers mistakenly equate recruiting with hiring. And a lack of continuously recruiting is the source of most CSP's difficulties.

There are five major differences between recruiting and hiring.

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Topics: Driver Recruiting, Business Results, FedEx Ground, Business, Metrics, contractor, Profit

Put First Things First - CSP Best Practices Series

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 24, 2021 10:15:00 AM

Image by Gustavofrazao

In a recent blog post, we adapted Stephen Covey’s habit of Begin With the End In MindⓇ for effectively running a FedEx Ground contracting business. The key point being that success is defined by starting each task, each day, and each project with a clear vision of your destination. Success is not only focusing on what looks good, it’s focusing on what really matters.

In this blog post, we’re adapting another of Covey’s habits called Put First Things FirstⓇ. Our intention is ensuring that you and everyone on your team knows which priorities come first. When drivers and managers understand what comes first - profitability - they will be better equipped to work with you in achieving your vision!

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

Tips for Transitioning to an EV Fleet

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 14, 2021 10:15:00 AM

Image by Workhorse Group Inc.

This blog post is written by our friends at Workhorse Group Inc.

Tips for transitioning to an EV fleet and the benefits for your business.

The adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) for fleets with daily return to base routes under 200 miles is becoming a fast-growing segment of the EV marketplace. More than two-thirds of surveyed fleets that have used BEVs plan to either pilot or purchase them in the next 12 months. *

This move to EVs can be attributed to the significant operational savings and the positive environmental impacts of an EV fleet. With more and more fleet managers moving to EVs, you may ask yourself - Is an electric fleet right for my business? Here are a few things to consider.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, Purchase, Fuel, Money

KC Linehaul Event Recap

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 3, 2021 10:40:00 AM

Image by Dave Bowen

If you missed the “Maximizing Your Linehaul Potential” event held in Kansas City, here’s a brief recap of the day.

We and one of our strategically aligned partners, Rolling Equity Leasing (REL), hosted a daylong seminar examining FedEx Ground Linehaul Contracting. The presenters swiftly covered much ground. Much has changed from the old linehaul ways and more changes are on the way.

After quick introductions, the first presentation and following discussion predominantly impacted newcomers to linehaul contracting. Topics included subjects to focus on when starting, successful business habits, and thriving in a challenging market.

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

3 Tips to Relieve Stress & Help Stay in Control This Peak

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Sep 22, 2021 5:23:48 PM

It happens every year.

As the package volume builds, so do CSP / TSP stress levels, as well as the risk of an operation getting out of hand.

We surveyed a large number of our "veteran" clients to find out which tasks cause the most stress. Then, followed that up by asking how they alleviate the pressure and stress.

The results were interesting.

The good news is that the actions needed to relieve the stressors are easily accomplished and readily available.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Driver Recruiting

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