McMaster-Carr is an industrial supply company that maintains a large inventory of hardware and accessories. It’s a one-stop shop for DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists. There are some who are stable customers but surprisingly there are still many people who would benefit from using your website who have never heard of McMaster-Carr. To highlight this extraordinary business, here are twenty things you didn’t know about them.
1. The company is more than 100 years old.
McMaster-Carr was founded in 1901 in Elmhurst, Illinois. It has been in business for 117 years. This is quite remarkable, especially when you consider the number of companies that have failed and closed their doors forever since the 2008 financial crisis hit the United States. There are still companies struggling to make a profit and stay in business, but McMaster-Carr is still going strong.
2. The company changed its name in 1917
When this company was founded, it was under the name McMaster Davis. It did not become known as McMaster-Carr until 1917, when Harry and James Channon bought the company. It was the same business, so the founding date of 1901 is accurate. This was the only time the company name was changed in its history to date.
3. The second owners were involved in the maritime industry.
This is a fun piece of trivia on the McMaster-Carr story. Harry and James Channon’s father was Henry Channon, the well-known founder of the H.Cchannon company. This was a steam engine and maritime supply distributor in Chicago and it was one of the largest in the country at the time.
4. Initially they catered to an elite class
This does not mean that the Channons only dealt with the very wealthy, but that their company only sold merchandise to a select group of customers. The print edition of the catalog they shipped had a limited distribution that was only for established customers. This is a tradition that is in force today. They release a new catalog annually and it contains most of the products the company sells, but not everyone receives one. If you want to be on the mailing list, you have to become an established customer with them.
5. Your website has received praise.
The McMaster-Carr website has been well designed and the user interface is among the best on the internet. It is obvious to professional designers that a lot of thought and careful planning has gone into its development. The search engine is easy to use and offers easy navigation for viewers searching for a specific part or just browsing the categories. Not all online retailers can say the same about their sites.
6. Stanford University used the McMaster-Carr website in a study
Due to the number of products the company offers, their website was an ideal study for students who were using the site to do an analysis of how a good website was designed compared to poor ones that needed a redesign. The McMaster-Carr site passed with flying colors in 2002 due to how well organized it was. It is still as useful today as it was 16 years ago.
7. They were ranked third behind Amazon and Barnes & Noble for their dignity.
The same Stanford University study that rated McMaster-Carr’s website design also rated them in terms of reliability and credibility. The company ranked third only behind Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble with the best ratings. This is one of the biggest compliments an online retailer can be paid, and it comes from a study conducted at one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country.
8. McMaster-Carr stays current
There have been many changes in the way companies and customers do business since McMaster-Carr first opened its doors. It all started with a physical face-to-face transaction that moved to a catalog sales approach. Then came online sales over the Internet, but there has been another major shift in consumer behaviors and demands. Now, with the invention of smartphones, more people and businesses prefer to order through their phones. Operating systems are different and the way certain websites appear on these devices is also different. The need for online businesses to offer specialized mobile applications became an issue. The website must be optimized for the access of this type of devices and companies that want to keep up to date and offer what customers demand to develop …