W.W. Grainger McKinsey 7S Model

By John Dudovskiy
August 20, 2020

W.W. Grainger McKinsey 7S model illustrates the ways in which seven elements of industrial distribution business can be aligned to increase the overall effectiveness. The framework specifies strategy, structure and systems as hard elements, whereas shared values, skills, style and staff are considered as soft elements.

According to McKinsey 7S model, there are strong links among elements in a way that a change in one element causes changes in others. As it is illustrated in Figure 7 below, shared values are positioned at the core of Grainger McKinsey 7S model. This is because shared values guide employee behaviour with implications on their performance.

W.W. Grainger McKinsey 7S Model

W.W. Grainger McKinsey 7S model

Hard Elements in W.W. Grainger McKinsey 7S model


Grainger pursues differentiation business strategy. The B2B distributor differentiates itself in the market by offering the widest range of MRO products. Specifically, Grainger offers about 1,7 million types of products supplied by about 5000 suppliers worldwide.[1]  Moreover, the differentiation strategy pursued by the industrial supply company also relates to inventory management,  technical support and differentiated sales and services.


Grainger has an hierarchical organizational structure with Chairman and CEO DG Macpherson sitting at the top of the hierarchy. The B2B distributor had a major restructuring in 2013 in Americas business segment. Moreover, taking into account growing competition from Amazon business, increasing integration of internet of things into industrial distribution practices and other changes in external business environment, it can be argued that Grainger organizational structure may change in the medium term perspective. It can be forecasted that changes in Grainger’s corporate structure will be directed in increasing the flexibility of the business so that it can react to changes in external marketplace more effectively.



There is a wide range of business systems that keep MRO products distribution at the global marketplace up and running. These include employee recruitment and selection system, team development and orientation system, transaction processing systems, customer relationship management system, business intelligence system, knowledge management system and others. Particularly, inventory management system is one of the critically important systems for Grainger to increase its long-term growth prospects.

W.W. Grainger Report contains a full analysis of W.W. Grainger McKinsey 7S Model. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Ansoff Matrix and Value Chain analysis on W.W. Grainger. Moreover, the report contains analyses of W.W. Grainger leadership, business strategy organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of W.W. Grainger marketing strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

[1] Fact Book 2019 (2020) W.W. Grainger

Category: McKinsey 7S Model