Thank you for your replies. The OP was for prospecting purposes
more than anything. I have many years of experience inside with one,
but the other was a prospect. Of course, taking care of customers is
everyones number one priority. WWG lacks technical knowledge in house
and is more of a "white collar" work force, where as the others tend
to be a little more blue collar and arent afraid to get their hands
dirty and tend to possibly have "hands on knowledge" . OF course the
WWG rep can get you through to the tech support, which are extremely
knowledgeable people if you can get on the same page as them. Bit if
you call and don't know that 5 digit part number, it's like flipping
off a light switch with the rep on the phone or at the counter, they
know less about that catalog then you do. Fastenal is gaining ground
and market share at an astounding rate, double digit growth this YTD.
Grainger is pretty flat. Being an insider I can give you guys a little
heads up. Everyone is after the contractor market. WWG I believe only
has 5%, not sure who has the rest, most likely is HD or Lowes..
McMaster is an awsome outfit and yes it its true that 99.9% of what
is in that 5,000 page catalog is available to ship same day. And they
hae excellent service to boot.
Get ready to pay more at WWG as they have changed their pricing
structure. You might be a less than $5K customer accustomed to getting
an approx 10% discount on most of your products, thats gone and if you
havent noticed it yet, you will. I don't remember exactly what it is,
but it is designed to get you to consolidate your purchases under one
supplier. Thats great, the downside is that to get that same discount
you will need to spend almost $15-20K per year, and there are bigger
discounts beyond that, if you can spend $100K, but that may not be
feasable, for most anyways.... The $5-10K threshold is now getting
between 0 and 5%.
One thing WWG does have going is a good contractor program. For
qualified contractors, IOW, thats the occupation you claim on your tax
form, you can get all kinds of great discounts. I think, and it may
have changed, but it was 30% off of filters and HVAC, 15% off of
motors and transmission, and 5% off of electrical, again to qualified
contractors. Check it out at www.grainger.com/contractor for more
info. You might be required to give a fecal sample to prove you are a
business or a contractor, LOL.
BTW. I don't work for WWG or Fastenal (these days, LOL). From the
post you should be able to figure where I came from. From what I hear,
nice place for customers, bad place for employees, (thats why if you
have done business there for years you may have seen alot of new faces)