The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

Jeff Walczak

Jeff Walczak is the Founder and CEO of eTruckBiz. He spent 16 years at FedEx Ground holding many varied management positions. He then owned a small trucking company and spent 10 years in the Banking industry, mainly with Bank of America.

Recent Posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...

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

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

How To Solve Your Two Biggest C-Crisis Problems

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Mar 22, 2020 5:04:50 PM

 

This week’s post comes with the following disclaimer:

There is a serious health issue (Pandemic) running its course and it should be given any and all attention and appropriate measures to curb the spread. Protocols need to be respected and followed. We are in no way attempting to downplay this issue or deny its existence. No attempt is being made to ignore or suggest that action contrary to any official recommendations be taken.

Keep in mind that anything we are about to say below is in the light of our disclaimer above.

Read on for some insight on how to deal with your two biggest issues right now.

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Financial Health Assessment: More Important Than Service?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jan 27, 2020 3:52:54 PM

As of 1/10/2020, it’s a new day for FXG CSP’s.

You may recall we’ve talked about TRANSFORMING your Lifestyle Business into a 

Transportation Compan y for the past several years.

FXG's announcement of the new Financial Health Assessment added a new, critically important component for how they keep score on your business performance, and your value to them.

Engaging a third party, RapidRatings, to examine your financial health, then reporting those findings to FXG will create a measurement (number) that will become just as important as your daily service - if not more so.

As a CSP, you should understand the significance of this announcement and the reasoning behind why it will be so crucial going forward.

Let’s take a look at what is going on here...

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Topics: Business Planning, Business Results, ISP Negotiation, Business Metrics, Contract, Profit

What If Someone Buys FDX?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jan 2, 2020 1:20:10 PM

Is FedEx about to be purchased?

The answer is probably not...maybe.

Truth is we'll never know for sure until it happens. But don't lose sleep over it because it's not under your control.

However, it's good business to think about and reasonably prepare for change. Focus on things you can control.

Let's take a look at what a sale of FDX might look like for CSP's.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Outlook, FedEx, Ground, ISP, FedEx Ground, Business, Contract, Selling, contractor, Purchase

WHY Is FXG Transforming Its Biz?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jun 30, 2019 10:33:52 AM

We’ve established for quite some time that the Transformation is coming, and now we’ve seen that it’s here.

The entire transportation industry, especially the last-mile small package segment is undergoing swift transformation.

In order to compete and even survive, FXG, and you, are going to have to accept and embrace change as it sweeps through the industry.

But why change the business model, and what does changing the model mean?

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The TRANFORMATION Is Underway

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jun 23, 2019 2:52:57 PM

We’ve been preaching it, to those who would listen, for years.

Recently, FXG finally admitted it

You’ve been a part of it for years. But I bet a lot of you don’t even know what it is.

Now, you are actually living it.

It’s not being disguised anymore.

FXG has been telling you change is coming, but downplaying its severity in order to not upset the apple cart...too much.

So what is it?

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Topics: Business, contractor

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