Shaped Up, Shipped Out
The site has been well received by customers. In the fourth quarter of fiscal '03, 4.5 percent of orders were placed online. Last year, 30 percent were placed online; this year, 35 percent. In addition to offering full views of all its products, J&L also offers a virtual catalog on the site with flash functionality. "You can set cookies to return to pages," Tucker points out. "It works seamlessly back and forth with search."
The changes have also included a heavy emphasis on making J&L a better place to work. The numbers speak for themselves: Compared to 2001 when the average annualized employee turnover rate was 41 percent, last year's turnover rate was just 9 percent, according to Spawr, and most of those among that 9 percent were terminated for misconduct, as opposed to employees who leave on their own.
Better Work Environment
"Five years ago, you couldn't find a performance review here," Spawr says. "Now, we do monthly and quarterly reviews." What's more, 25.2 percent of J&L employees have made at least one internal career move over the past two years.
Virtually all of J&L's improvements over the past five years add up to a bonanza for MSC. With a customer base of more than 74,000 metal-working shops, J&L's presence gives MSC a significant growth opportunity to sell maintenance, repair and operating supplies to these customers — something MSC has done in the past with other metal-working customers.
When he announced the J&L deal, MSC President and CEO David Sandler said J&L's technical expertise and value-added metal-working solutions will appeal to MSC customers. "Combining the two companies increases our value basket," he said, "and will allow us to leverage the best attributes of both companies across the combined customer base."
What's more, adding J&L "not only expands our presence in the marketplace," he noted, "but also significantly enhances our customer base, and broadens our product and service offerings." MSC aims to leverage its combined relationships in the industry to maximize cross-selling opportunities, while cutting costs.