Maintenance, repair, and operating supplies provider W.W. Grainger is extending its E-commerce capabilities through a partnership with SAP. Under the alliance, Grainger will be integrating SAP's Business-To-Business (B2B) Procurement technology with its online catalog, Grainger.com.
SAP's B2B Procurement allows for seamless E-commerce transactions between suppliers and buyers by providing a standardized Internet procurement system. The system simplifies the online purchasing process by giving users desktop access to catalogs via a Web front end with a single entry screen. From the entry point the entire E-commerce process can occur--from requisition to payment. Grainger says this will help online buyers increase their ordering efficiency and reduce the costs and cycle time involved in purchasing products.
Grainger's online strategy appears to be paying off. At a shareholder meeting today, the company disclosed that for the month of April, Internet sales on Grainger.com have already generated more than the $13.5 million in revenue for all of 1998. For the company's first quarter of 1999, the site produced $10.1 million in revenue, an increase of 339% over the first quarter of last year. Grainger says more than 32% of its sales are coming via the Internet, and that the average dollar amount spent by online customers is nearly double that of its offline customers.