Target Sports USA Hunts Success With Full-Service Help From FedEx.
To hit his target of becoming one of the largest online retailers of hunting and shooting products, Miodrag Delmic knew he had to find a shipping carrier that could provide more than just low price. Based in Farmington, Conn., Target Sports USA sells ammunition to hunters, law enforcement and military personnel. Delmic needed a vendor that could see the potential of his business and help him meet his strategic goals, streamline his business and increase his shipping speed.
“ In the early days of the company, I didn’t go with FedEx because I had an impression they were much more expensive. I made the switch to FedEx because pricing wasn’t that much of an issue, especially when you add in all the value they bring. FedEx pickup times are better and they’re willing to work with me in ways my old carrier refused to.”
Miodrag Delmic, Target Sports USA
When TargetSportsUSA.com first went live in 2008, the company showed up on page 16 of Google search results. As far as potential customers were concerned, the company barely existed. That quickly changed due to the political climate. “Rumors circulated about a ban on online ammo sales and a tax hike that would make ammo too expensive for people to purchase. That created a major buying spree and ammunition shortage throughout the entire country,” says Delmic.
Having focused on criminal justice in undergraduate and graduate school, he knew that cadets were regularly put in a tough position.
Target Sports USA
Category: Hunting and Shooting Products
Packages shipped per month: 10,000–15,000
|Challenge||Reduce shipping errors and claims, save money, streamline operations, and increase shipping speed.|
|Solution||Working with FedEx to integrate shipping functionality into their shopping cart; using FedEx Home Delivery® for fast, efficient residential delivery; and developing a consultative relationship to help position Target Sports USA for growth.|
“When police departments order directly from the factory, they need six months to a year of lead time. Cadets can’t wait that long when they need to pass a class. We’re able to deliver ammunition in a week or so.”
Word spread quickly. Delmic was hit with a barrage of orders that boosted his company to page one search results — a victory to be sure — but one that threatened to overwhelm his resources.
Delmic found himself facing a big challenge. Shipping capabilities were not integrated into the company’s e-commerce shopping cart. Each order that came through had to be manually re-entered into the shipping software by one of the company’s five employees — including Delmic. Human error cost them $4,000 a week in fees, double shipments and returns.
“If the address was 1198, we’d accidentally enter 1189 and the package would be delivered to the incorrect address,” Delmic says. “And not only would we ship a package to the wrong place, we’d then have to send a replacement package. We were paying for double the shipping. And if we caught the error in time, we had to pay the intercept fee.”
The first place Delmic turned for help was his shipping carrier, but they told him they wouldn’t work directly with him and would assign a third party to get integrated shipping capabilities built into his shopping cart software. Delmic refused. That’s when he first met Simon Volta, his FedEx account representative.
Volta suggested applying for the FedEx Tech Awards® program. The program offers qualified customers a subsidy to acquire the hardware or technology needed to access and use FedEx® shipping services. Target Sports USA received an award, which they used to work with FedEx Web Services code to integrate FedEx® services into their website, providing automatic address verification, shipping services and package-status tracking information.
“The whole idea was to remove the manual data entry for shipping labels. Now our system automatically takes shipping information, prints out a label and emails tracking information to our customers. It’s a faster way to process orders and it eliminates all data entry mistakes,” Delmic says.
Saving $4,000 a week was just one benefit of Target Sports USA’s new relationship with FedEx. Delmic was tired of constantly dealing with their former shipping carrier’s rough handling of their materials, which resulted in a large volume of damaged or lost package claims. In the first two months after switching to FedEx, Target Sports USA had one lost package, which was quickly found. It was a relief to Delmic because it boosted customer satisfaction.
Delmic also wanted to provide faster shipping to his buyers. Ammunition has to be shipped via ground due to transportation restrictions, so Volta recommended he use FedEx Home Delivery®. The service delivers directly to homes and includes Saturday delivery. It was an immediate hit with customers.
“So many people are home on Saturdays. Our customers really like being there for the delivery,” Delmic says. Another bonus: A large percentage of his customers live in the Midwest. FedEx Home Delivery gets packages from the East Coast to his customers two days faster, on average, than his former carrier.
With so many wins in such a short time, Delmic is happy he made the switch. “In the early days of the company, I didn’t go with FedEx because I had an impression they were much more expensive. I made the switch to FedEx because pricing wasn’t that much of an issue, especially when you add in all the value they bring. FedEx pickup times are better and they’re willing to work with me in ways my old carrier refused to.”
That’s why Delmic will continue consulting with Volta and FedEx as he plans for his next expansion. “We want to move into a bigger warehouse. When the time comes I’ll tap Simon and FedEx to help with the planning, because Simon and I work closely together. If we have any issues, he’s just a phone call away,” Delmic says.
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