NM200: OrderZone

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Company:W.W. Grainger, et al
Location: Lincolnshire, Ill.
Category: marketplace
Positioning itself as the one-stop shopping headquarters for businesses has enabled a 3-month-old service to become a leader in electronic commerce., launched May 15 by W.W. Grainger division Grainger Internet Commerce, brings together the product lines from six business suppliers in one site.

"If I'm a purchasing manager and interested in buying indirect materials, one of the largest cost elements is not the cost of the goods; it's time spent in the process of buying," said Jim Roots, VP-marketing for Grainger Internet Commerce. "We call it our one-ness theme: one Web site, one order, one invoice, one payment, one customer service department, one solution."

The six partners are uniform provider Cintas Corp.; office and computer supplier Corporate Express; safety equipment distributor Lab Safety Supply, a wholly owned subsidiary of W.W. Grainger; electronics distributor Marshall Industries; laboratory and scientific supplier VWR Scientific Products; and Grainger Industrial Supply, a supplier of maintenance, repair and operating equipment.

More than 43% of the budget for Grainger Internet Commerce is devoted to marketing and content development of The division has said the initial expenditure for marketing the new service will exceed $10 million.

The five supplier partners contribute financially to the site's maintenance. Clients pay a nominal fee of $1 each order, whether the order includes one item or 1,000.

Grainger is in talks with more potential partners.

"We're going to let our customers determine what product categories and services they're interested in," Mr. Roots said. "That's been our plan since Day 1."

-- Karen E. Nussel

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