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Grainger's E-Commerce Evolution

Lessons learned from journey on the leading edge of technology

March 10, 2010
Grainger has long been known as ahead of the curve in its e-commerce initiatives. Here's an in-depth look at the $6.2 billion MRO distributor's journey and the lessons it learned along the way. This is part of an MDM series on trends in doing business electronically.

Today, Grainger is widely recognized as a leader among distributors in B2B e-commerce. But that wasn't always the case.

The launch of Grainger's first electronic catalog in 1995 marked a shift for the now $6.2 billion distributor of maintenance, repair and operations supplies. After all, the payback of such a move was still unknown, and that uncertainty could have prevented the heretofore "conservative" company from delving into that arena.

"The fact that [Grainger commissioned a team] to do this was unheard of at the time,"

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