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Founded in year 1902 Business was highly diversified Sales of $14 billion 3900 profit centers, 47 divisions and operations across 57 countries Andy Wong manager of Optical Systems Target:25% sales from last 5 years product 30% sales from last 5 years product

Wong faced the problem of getting the expenditure sanctioned from the senior management

Optical Systems has been losing money since 1979 as a business unit

Various layers in the approval process

Started as a mining company and then shifted to sandpapers Two basic products
Waterproof Sandpaper Adhesive Tape

Large R&D infrastructure was developed and 6-7% of sales were incurred on R&D Implementation of the 15% Rule Company had the objective of a 10% sales growth and each business unit was expected to contribute to that

Operations became more globalized As a result the management was more centralized and disciplined After 1986 Alan Jacobson took over as the CEO The traditional approach changed into a more technology driven approach and more of financial commitments were made In 1991 DeSimone took over as the CEO Focus was on the new innovations which was 3Ms legacy

Optical system business unit developed in 1979 Main objective was to exploit the light control film The optical microlouver technology was expected not to meet the targets Hence this was collated with other optical technologies In spite of that the unit was losing money at a rate of $3-$5 million every year Downsizing in terms of financial commitments were made

Focus shifted more towards developing a core technology and unique competencies Presently more focus was on new inventions rather on operation realities Hence a three year manufacturing strategy was developed
Process Streamlining Process Streamlining Extrusion Process

Manufacturing costs b/w 1987-90 were expected to come down by 50% The OS unit was merged with SSSD

Main challenge was to address the declining sales volume No new applications were developed to replace the od ones Three Initiatives taken by Wong

From Ammunition to Aiming Device Tightening the Standards Testing the Business

Need to capture more external opportunities by using the internal assets As a result Wong needed a marketing manager Rob Noirjean joined as marketing manager in 1990

Major potential markets were identified for e.g. Museum lighting, ATM, Government computing etc
Each segment had some problems as a result Rob identified a new segment as the corporate computing

Corporate computing opportunity

Computer privacy filter for general office applications An entirely new market segment Sell through computer supply distributers

Pricing strategy
Retail price to be $140 100% mark up for distributers

Sales reached $10,000 in the first month

Growth stalled due to two basic problems: - Requirement of different sizes of screens - Perceived value of the screen costing over $100 Screen created an uncomfortable glare

Way forward
The new multiprotection filter : -Reposition to Antiglare filter -Total market potential of $32.7 million -CAGR of 20.3%

Development of the product concept Feasibility Assessment Development of Business Plan

Implementation of the plan

Antiglare filter market estimated to become $70 million by 1991, growing at 20 % annually Four major players in antiglare filter market
Strong supplier to office supply market, have good channel access Market share of 14%

Sell low cost plastic filters to both computer and office supply distributers Market share of 10%

Strong supplier to office supply channel, dont have privacy feature Market share of 13%

Optical Coating Laboratories

Market leader with 37% market share Doesnt have a privacy filter and distribution position

3Ms Advantage over its competitors

Unique privacy filter feature Distribution channel to office supplies through COSD


Additional features
Electrically conductive coating which would prevent dust

buildup on the screen

Block E field electromagnetic radiation

Two development subteams were formed

One to explore the feasibility of glass specification Other to explore the feasibility of screen frame

Developed a proprietary process for laminating coated glass with microlouver film Designed an inexpensive frame with all the competitors features

Derive the cost estimates and sales forecasts to the product concepts and design parameters Development of risk assessments categorizing the various elements into various risk zones and building mitigation plans Forecasted a sale of $1 million in first six months faced a good deal of skepticism


Postpone or reject the proposal Try to fund it within the unit

Outsource a standard frame Cut inventory Take incremental approach



Try to get divisional funding Take the proposal to one of the mentors

Arguments (For) 2 previous market failures

Comment Counter-argument Product has been transformed, after analyzing the market and identifying an unmet need Exploratory nature of R&D high risk, high return 3M has been allowing several years of research (e.g. post-it notes) Support-argument Price Distributor prices of similar products Anti-glare screen: $40.77; Anti-glare + anti radiation + glass: $54 ( Average over all such products available in the market) Distributor price for multi-purpose filter = $79 Sales (quantity) There is no basis given in the case for such optimistic sales (apart from the project teams belief) More realistic estimates of price and sales need to be figured out.

Argument Strength

Financial viability questionable , overoptimistic forecasts

Incremental approach + operational measures

Arguments Comment (Support-argument) Argument Strength

(Against) Slow process Sumitomo Chemical may launch -> fear of losing market a similar product (though not as share to competitors good as the one from 3M) (Against) More costly to acquire resource on its own -

Arguments (For)
Less costly to access existing resources rather than trying to acquiring them on its own

Comment (Counter-argument)
Hard to convince and get support from top management as well as managers of other divisions, given the history

Argument Strength

(For) Personal contacts can be leveraged to get top management support

Comment (Counter-argument)
It is essential to get support from other divisions like COSD and DSMD, so top management support will not suffice Mentor will be conscious in approving the project due to profitability concerns

Argument Strength

Better forecasts
Conduct market research to find out the

appropriate price premium and expected sales

Build a stronger business case, backed by realistic data Stronger case will help the unit to get support from other divisional managers and topmanagement

OS had low credibility

Situation in OS contrasted sharply with other divisions nominated to the Pacing Program Wong championing two risky proposals
Privacy screen Brightness enhancement product

Wongs personal evaluations

Encourage and nurture innovativeness

Set standards for performance

Empower to identify opportunities

Paul Guehler

Balance between performance and support


More disciplined approach (3-phase review passed) Highly Committed team Funding relatively low ($750K) Future of OS Unit at stake (promising project in pipeline)


Two previously unsuccessful launches

Ideal time for a harvest strategy Other managers in div. highly skeptical 2 of 4 BUs in SSSD nominated for the Pacing Program OS losing $3 mn on sales of $10 mn

How does Wong's effort fit within the 3M culture in 1992?


Andy Wong joined the OS division in 1984 The unit was losing $3 to $5 million per year & morale was low due to downsizing

Identified micro replication as the core technology of the unit Used formal & informal channels to recruit specialists Streamlined processes and emphasized operating realities Developed a manufacturing strategy that reduced costs by 50% and increased quality


Wong took over as the business manager in 1989 Current products were deemphasized since they were not profitable
Wongs Actions

Recognized that they had the ammunition but not an aiming device Sought a professional marketing manager to address the situation and was asked to give up a technical position in exchange Hired Rob Noirjean through internal recruitment to focus the technology on the right products


Paul Guehler replaced Rob Mitsch as divisional vice president Threatening & disciplined environment Give and Take strategy Reduced resource allocation Focus on 3 opportunities Computer filters Electronic display enhancement Automotive optics Wongs personal evaluations had been low for the past 3 years

Wongs Actions Four main responsibilities Attract & retain good people Build motivation & commitment Ensure progress towards objective Earn support of top management Adopted a 4 phased development approach Drew in experts from various divisions and did more with less Continued to support the privacy screen proposal & another risky project for electronic display enhancement

Changing management style more efficiency and profit driven (short-term) against traditional growth-driven style
Difficult targets for all business units, irrespective of their state in maturity cycle Paradox of exploitative and explorative efforts (efficiency vs. innovation)

Solution ambidextrous organization

Different set of rules for difference business units depending upon their position in maturity cycle

Technology Drivers
High Focus on Innovation
Portfolio of large number of products
25% of sales from last 5 years products R&D 6-7% of sales

Pacing Program

Organizational Culture
Employees devote 15% time on non-program

activities Products belong to divisions but technology to the company Extensive informal networks Cross-divisional transfers

The 3M growth process

Creative Developments Project Teams Departments Divisions

Extensive Management Support

Commitment not to damage careers of project

champions Balance between discipline and flexibility Committed to create an entrepreneurial environment

Feature High Focus on Innovation

Comment -A strong Innovation focus can be developed - Increased R&D spending

Transferable Yes

Organizational Culture

-Difficult to replicate the strong informal, crossdivisional network - Huge amount of time needed to develop a strong organizational culture


3M Growth Process

- Unique process


Extensive Management Support

-Leaders with an uncanny ability to identify creative projects that can add value