Grainger: A Facilities One-Stop Shop Worth Visiting

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Grainger: A Facilities One-Stop Shop Worth Visiting

Charter schools are gravitating to Grainger for process savings, value, a vast inventory and extensive experience serving educational organizations

Brian Driskell doesn’t work for a charter school, but he has worked closely enough with charter school procurement people to know the all-too-common predicament many of them face in their jobs.

“These people almost always wear multiple hats,” observes Driskell, senior strategy manager, education, at Grainger, one of North America’s largest broad-line maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) product and service suppliers. “Because of that, in a lot of cases they don’t have the time to develop and manage multiple supplier relationships, and to always aggressively shop not only for the best pricing but for the best value.”

Therein lies the appeal of working with Grainger. The company’s ability to help procurement officials address time and resource constraints with the combination of a huge and varied marketplace, lengthy experience serving the K-12 education segment, a vast supplier network and strong customer support, is helping it to build relationships with charter schools throughout the United States. “We’re a one-stop-shop, with very aggressive contract pricing, and we provide access to products from so many different suppliers, along with fast shipping,” explains Driskell, who is based in Reno, NV. “So if they’re looking for a specific product or something breaks and they need a replacement, quickly, we’re going to be able to help them.”

Grainger’s marketplace includes upwards of 1.5 million products, he says, in such areas as:

  • HVAC supplies (including filters)
  • plumbing supplies
  • lighting supplies (including light bulbs)
  • cleaning and paper supplies
  • energy and resource assessments and management
  • inventory management
  • STEM classroom supplies (including 3D printers and laboratory supplies), and
  • safety/security (including safety assessments).

The latter area, unfortunately, has become a high priority for schools. It’s also a focal point for Grainger, which provides security cameras, metal detection solutions and other equipment, along with trained field safety specialists for schools to deploy onsite.

For charter schools, the best deals in these and other areas typically come via contracts that Grainger has with group purchasing organizations such as BuyQ. BuyQ’s MRO contract with Grainger has recently been updated with lower pricing across the board, plus a variety of new category discounts, according to Driskell. In some instances those discounts run as deep as 20%, he notes.

But the value proposition Grainger offers charter schools goes beyond upfront pricing, to total cost of ownership, which for many resource-challenged educational organizations is a key consideration. “For them, it’s total value that matters most. And that’s where we offer an advantage. We save them on process costs, in terms of the time it takes to find, price and order products, we save them on freight costs [Grainger educational customers don’t pay freight charges], and we provide category discounts. It adds up. And it definitely beats shopping retail.”

The process savings start immediately via a fast and easy sign-up process in which charter schools can establish an affiliate relationship with Grainger and start enjoying BuyQ’s contracted pricing in a matter of just several business days. Charter schools can get started here.

Once onboarded, schools can shop online on the Grainger site using the company’s traditional shopping cart or via Click2Buy Direct, an app that works seamlessly with the popular SchoolDude operations management software platform, integrating work order management, e-procurement and inventory management. Click2Buy automates the purchase process, from request to procurement to payment to closeout, across multiple departments, another potential timesaver for busy charter school officials who happen to be wearing the procurement hat, among others.

Interested in accessing BuyQ’s preferred pricing and other benefits with Grainger? Reach out to us at info@buyq.org.

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