Grainger Vending Agreement
The company`s KeepStock inventory management programs act as a digital channel with options for buyers (or their sales agents), to place orders via mobile devices or to purchase products through Internet-connected vending machines placed on customer sites. Inventory management has recently been an important pillar of activity growth among industrial distribution companies, and for some it has been the case for more than 20 years. For the largest distributors with capital for an extensive inventory management program, it serves primarily as its own business unit and not just a value-added service. A handful of distributors in the Big 50 List of industrial distribution have their own automatons, lockers and more, while a growing number of other distributors are collaborating with third parties to be involved. Since then, Grainger has moved closer to this brand: digital channels account for nearly three-quarters of orders for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to less than half in 2012. Grainger`s websites, which offer total access to more than 4 million products, include the flagship product Grainger.com and its off-price Zoro.com site for customers who do not need full Grainger.com services. Grainger adds that its North American after-sales service centers handle more than 73,000 daily interaves for customers in the U.S. and Canada via e-commerce websites, telephone, email and online chat. And customers don`t have to worry about the excessive exchange of information with Grainger.
The company does not see supplier prices for this customer and this customer is able to maintain its relationship with all its current suppliers. Grainger will not even propose a change to the vendor, although it may appear as soon as the customer displays the data. For example, a customer can regularly store the same security glove from four or five different vendors, while the data might show that it is useful to limit themselves to one or two providers. At W.W. Grainger Inc.`s annual general meeting for customers and suppliers in 2017, CEO D.G. Macpherson said in a meeting with reporters that he would be “surprised” if the company`s digital sales did not account for 80% of total revenue in five years.