If you ever have wondered what it would be like to take a trip to Boise, Idaho to visit Bodybuilding.com, well read on. I recently had the opportunity to visit with the people at Bodybuilding.com's world headquarters. I was so impressed by who I met and what I saw that I wanted to share some of the highlights of my visit. Yes, I can tell you right from the start that the people are terrific and the business they run is more excellent then you can ever imagine.
I have been working in this industry as a senior executive and expert in sports nutrition and dietary supplements for over 2 decades. From working in the contract manufacturing business and as a consultant I have seen the behind the scenes operations of hundreds of companies.
At this point in my life I thought I had done it all and seen it all. Guess what? I was wrong. Bodybuilding.com is writing a new chapter in the sports nutrition industry book of marketing; one that is customer focused in a way never before achieved.
My First Impressions
My first interactions with Bodybuilding.com started working with them as a contributing author. After a brief conversation with Ryan DeLuca, I was told to work with Matt Newbill in the web development department. Right from the start I knew that something special was going on with these people. Working with Matt I turned around my first two articles in two weeks; it usually takes months working with others.
The more I worked with these people, the more I was impressed by their professionalism, motivation, and drive to get things done fast while maintaining top quality.
Dan in our warehouse during his visit.
Bodybuilding.com has over 4000 articles on their website. Considering they have only been in business for 5 years, that's several hundred articles a year. Most magazine publishers are lucky if they publish a couple hundred articles in a year.
I think this is a monumental accomplishment in itself. However, publishing articles is not their main business, it is part of the Bodybuilding.com value added customer service program. They maintain this massive fitness and nutrition library just for you, to help you get the best results you can, without spending a small fortune.
The Bodybuilding.com Team And Facility
Interactions With Ryan
This impressed me to the point where I offered to take a trip to their headquarters to meet with Ryan DeLuca and his team. The night I arrived Ryan offered to take me to dinner. During our meal the conversation progressed from friendly chit chat to the intricacies of running a hardcore sports nutrition business. And let me tell you, there is nobody who knows more or cares more about doing a great job then Ryan.
After learning about why and how Ryan started the business, he went on to talk about how the entire staff at Bodybuilding.com is 100% dedicated to one major goal; cutting out the middle man and selling high quality products direct to the public at amazingly low wholesale prices.
Ryan went on to discuss how each person is charged with the responsibility of striving for constant improvement, with the ultimate goal of increasing efficiencies, while reducing operating costs, to pass even more savings on to the customer. I was certainly eager to get to the facility the next day and take the tour.
As we arrived at the Bodybuilding.com headquarters, Ryan explained that they were in the middle of moving their warehouse and office. We then proceeded to take a tour of the existing building. Right from the second I entered the building, I felt right at home. Everybody was friendly, energetic and fitness minded.
The Warehouse Tour
During the tour of the warehouse I noticed how incredibly clean everything was. I have been in hundreds of warehouses and have never seen one as clean as this one. I asked Ryan why it was kept so clean.
He explained that to him and the Bodybuilding.com team, this was not a warehouse in the typical sense it was like a grocery store, and if a grocery store can keep everything clean for the customer, so can we. This is just another example of the extreme customer focus underlying the Bodybuilding.com business approach.
Then Ryan introduced me to Jeremy DeLuca. Jeremy is in charge of purchasing. I asked him how he keeps track of the over 4,500 different products in their "warehouse store". He went on to explain how their customized inventory management system is designed to maintain inventory at optimum levels, while minimizing out of stock situations; again, very customer focused.
Jeremy also explained how his job is not just about getting as many products as possible in to the warehouse for customers to purchase it is also about getting quality products at the best prices. This means Jeremy is working on behalf of each of Bodybuilding.com's customers, to negotiate with suppliers to get the lowest possible prices. From what I saw, he is doing an outstanding job.
Jeremy then took me on a quick tour of the new facility, which was conveniently just across the parking lot. A major point of focus in the new facility is the automated order processing line. This new technology will result in processing more orders per day per person, which means even more savings to the customers, as well as getting orders to the customers faster.
I was introduced to Russ during lunch, and we scheduled a time on Saturday to meet. Russ has about double the energy of most people. His main focus is on marketing and promotions, and he is involved with running the entire business with Ryan and Jeremy as co-owners. Russ ran me through the variety of advertising and promotional activities he has in the works.
Russ' office is set-up like one of those command centers you see in the movies about billion dollar companies. Russ loves letting people know about Bodybuilding.com, and the savings they can get when purchasing sports nutrition and other fitness products from them. I even got to see some of the newest Bodybuilding.com ads Russ' team worked up, which are due out in early 2005. Let me tell you, these ads are HOT.
Russ also took time to give me a tour of Boise, which is a nice clean city, with plenty of fresh air and good food. During the tour we stopped at one of the Bodybuilding.com retail stores. The shelves are packed with thousands of sports nutrition products, the most I have ever seen in one store.
The Seminar And Meeting The Rest Of The Team
I also got to meet and spend some time with some of the Star Employees at a seminar I gave about my Dynamic Nutrition Approach to sports nutrition. I got to meet Bryna DeLuca, Will, Dan DeLuca, Diet Down Debbie, Tricep Tommy, Juiced Josh, Massive Martin, Jumping Jack Joe, and the rest of the great crew.
Meet The Rest Of The Team!
Everyone was focused on learning about the newest advancements in sports science to help assist their customers better. This is a fantastic group of people, with plenty of team spirit and winning attitudes.
Oh yeah, the shirts. During my tour with Russ, he took me through the growing line of Bodybuilding.com clothing, which also includes the newest addition to the line, Athletes.com clothing. There is everything from long-sleeve to sleeveless shirts, also shorts and tights, for men and women. Russ broke in to a new shipment of clothing, which included some nice fleece jackets. I got to take some of these clothes back home with me, and they are indeed top quality.
On my flight back to New Jersey, the few days I spent touring Bodybuilding.com started to settle in. I realized that I was just in the presence of greatness. A kind of greatness that is rarely seen in business today; complete dedication to doing everything that is best for the customer.
I think you will find it satisfying to know that the people at Bodybuilding.com are hard at work every day finding new ways to bring you top quality products at the lowest prices and provide you with the best possible customer service in the world.
So when you place an order with Bodybuilding.com you are actually making an investment in your future success to ensure availability to top quality products at low, low prices, and also have access to a library of top quality fitness and nutrition information.