W. W. Grainger, headquartered in Skokie, Ill., is one of the nation’s largest wholesalers, with more than 600 branch locations. The company sells mainly industrial products such as electric motors, fans, blowers, air compressors, power transmission equipment along with thousands of different components and replacement parts. Inventories and order processing are managed with advanced computer systems. Grainger buys products from about 2,000 manufacturers and resells them to almost one million customers. The principal means by which Grainger competes, according to the company’s top management, is by offering such extras as wide availability of local stocks, outside salespeople, and customer service. Grainger has also put its complete catalog online so that customers have the option of visiting the company’s Web site to place their orders. In a fundamental sense, is giant W. W. Grainger different from the host of mostly much smaller wholesalers in any other line of trade? Discuss in terms of the set of distribution tasks presented in the chapter.

  • CreatedJuly 14, 2015
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