Grainger Sees E-Commerce Payoff, Adds SAP Technology



Maintenance, repair, and operating supplies provider W.W.Grainger Inc. has proved E-commerce is the way to go,posting stellar revenue growth from its online catalog,Grainger.com. At a shareholders meeting yesterday, thecompany said that for the month of April, Grainger.com hasalready generated more than the $13.5 million in salesrevenue for all of 1998. For the company's first quarter ofthe year, the site produced $10.1 million in revenue, anincrease of 339% over last year's first quarter. "We're capturing share online," says Daniel Hamburger, president, Grainger Internet Commerce. "According to our studies, sales to customers who order on Grainger.com are growing in excess of 32%, and average dollars per order are nearly twice that of offline orders."

Grainger also announced yesterday it is extending its E-commerce capabilities by integrating SAP's Business-To-Business Procurement technology with Grainger.com. B2BProcurement allows for seamless E-commerce transactionsbetween suppliers and buyers by providing a standardizedInternet-based procurement system. The system simplifies theonline purchasing process by giving users desktop access tocatalogs via a Web-based front end with a single entryscreen. From the entry point, the entire E-commerce processcan occur--from requisition to payment. Grainger says thiswill help online buyers increase their ordering efficiencyand reduce the costs and cycle time involved in purchasingproducts.

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