Few Purchase Supplies via Net

Half of the businesses that do not purchase supplies online cannot do it because they lack access to the Internet, a recent survey found.

According to the US businesses surveyed, 85 percent of companies currently ordering maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies through the Internet plan to significantly increase usage for MRO ordering in the future.

Commissioned by Grainger, a leading distributor of MRO supplies and services, the survey asked 600 purchasing decision-makers representing small, medium and large businesses to comment on their use of the Internet for purchasing MRO products.

When asked about reasons for purchasing MRO materials via the Internet, 64 percent cited speed and convenience as the major advantages. Accessibility and accuracy of product information were also frequently mentioned as additional benefits of online ordering (25 and 20 percent, respectively).

“The survey shows that although the Internet is currently used by fewer than one out of ten (8 percent) companies to order MRO supplies, online ordering via the Internet is gaining an enthusiastic core of supporters,” says Daniel Hamburger, vice president and general manager, Internet Commerce for Grainger. “Those experienced with it find it an effective and efficient way to purchase MRO supplies.”

According to the survey, 49 percent of those not purchasing MRO supplies online lack access to the Internet, with 10 percent lacking access to a computer. Other barriers to online ordering cited most often by non-users include perceived lack of convenience (15 percent) and the current inability to fit with policies and processes (9 percent).

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