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MSC Industrial on digital evolution


Capitalizing on B2B ecommerce is an ongoing process, and companies that continue innovating and improving their digital operations stand to reap the rewards.

In a $1.6 trillion U.S. B2B ecommerce market, there is plenty of opportunity for companies of all sizes, but those that don’t keep up with the demands of today’s digital buyers will fall behind.

John Hill, senior vice president and chief digital officer, MSC Industrial Supply Co.

At EnvisionB2B 2023, John Hill, senior vice president and chief digital officer of MSC Industrial Supply Co. — which does more than 60% of its nearly $4 billion in annual sales through ecommerce — will address how MSC is expanding and fine-tuning its digital technology and strategy to bring more value to customers and grow both digital and offline sales. MSC distributes metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products.

MSC’s first chief digital officer drives tech strategies

Hill, an ecommerce veteran who last year became MSC’s first chief digital officer, is helping MSC to extend its digital evolution in multichannel commerce “so we can  support our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders at the highest level,” he says. His keynote address is scheduled for 9 – 9:30 a.m. Central time on Thursday, June 22.

“Technology is at the forefront of delivering value to our customers and enhancing our ability to solve their mission-critical challenges on the plant floor,” Erik Gershwind, president and CEO, said in announcing Hill’s appointment as chief digital officer last April. “John brings exceptional experience in driving and implementing technology strategies that will help accelerate our digital transformation.”

MSC says it reviews every customer transaction and feature on its website as it works to improve the customer experience; it also strives to provide a consistent customer experience in product displays and customer service across every online and offline channel.

Prior to MSC, Hill was the chief digital officer responsible for digital and technology strategies at workwear manufacturer and marketer Carhartt, where he led the company through an “end-to-end digital transformation.” Carhartt operates multiple ecommerce sites, including the B2B site Carhartt Company Gear and the consumer-oriented retail site Carhartt.com.

Earlier in his career, Hill led technology application development and maintenance at W.W. Grainger Inc. In addition, he worked in IT, strategic planning, business development and strategic sourcing at Roche, General Motors, Supply Access and IBM.

In all, EnvisionB2B 2023 will feature more than 50 speakers at the Hilton Chicago, each an industry thought leader, on conference tracks and sessions that will feature detailed best practices, “how to” advice and multiple networking opportunities. The sessions will educate and help B2B organizations succeed at launching and expanding their ecommerce program and achieve excellence in digital commerce execution and transformation.

Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 B2B News, published 4x/week, covering technology and business trends in the growing B2B ecommerce industry. Contact editor Paul Demery at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @pdemery.

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