Report: Grainger Moving 130 U.S. Jobs To Panama Branch

A report says the move is part of Grainger's initiative to become more efficient by restructuring its supplier performance management and sourcing operations.

According to information reported by the Janesville Gazette in Janesville, WI, Grainger plans to eliminate and move 130 jobs in supplier performance management and product sourcing from the United States to its branch in Panama City, Panama.

The Gazette, citing a Grainger spokesman, said the company confirmed Monday that about 30 of the jobs are from its Janesville location in southern Wisconsin.

The Gazette quotes an email from spokesman Joe Micuci, "The decision comes after much consideration. Ultimately, the company believes the move will enable it to more effectively support customers and the business."

The email said the first wave of layoffs will take place no sooner than October 2015 and continue to April 2016, and that Grainger would provide job placement assistance to those laid off.

The Gazette summarized a Jan. 30 memo from Grainger executives to U.S. team members, saying the company deemed it could be more efficient through restructuring its supplier performance management and sourcing operations.

“As a result of this evaluation, we will be transitioning order management and field support positions … into a single organization located in Panama," Fred Costello and Paige Robbins wrote in the memo. “Most manager, supervisor and individual contributor roles from these two organizations in Janesville, Lake Forest (Ill.) and Lincolnshire (Ill.) will move to our shared services office in Panama.

“…This incredibly difficult decision was taken after an extensive review. The next several months will be challenging for our affected team members, so please keep them top of mind.”

Grainger is No. 3 on Industrial Distribution's 2014 Big 50 List.