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The 3 big issues

Supply Chain

Supply chain management is defined as the integration of business processes among channel members with the goal improving performance for the entire channel system (Alvarado & Kotzab, 2001). It aims to integrate activities of a whole set of organizations such as sourcing and procurement, conversion, and logistics (Salam, 2011). These activities refer to marketing-dominated areas such as new product development, and customer relationship management (Alvarado & Kotzab, 2001). The coordination and collaboration with channel members such as distributors and intermediaries is vital in the management of a supply chain. The goal is to achieve a seamless integration through streamlining business processes within and across firms. Logistics is an integral part of the supply chain that needs constant attention and coordination. Organizations such as 3M would rely on its logistics system to deliver products in a timely, low cost manner to its end consumers (Hutt & Speh, 2010). 3Ms supply chain would involve suppliers of raw materials used in production and distributors or retailers who sell the products to end consumers.
Idiosyncratic Investments Idiosyncratic investment refers to the concept of making investments specific to a channel relationship (Salam, 2011). Such investments in channel relationships may include spending on activities such as training or recruitment personnel to service the manufacturers products or adopting a common order processing system. Investment programs can aid in achieving strategic initiatives that enhance coordination efficiencies (Salam, 2011).By making an idiosyncratic investment in the relationship, organisations can signal sincerity and long term intentions to the other. Over time, idiosyncratic investment transforms an economic exchange into a socially embedded relationship. SCM commitment will have a direct impact on the integration of the SCM
business process (Salam, 2011).

Business integration
Cooper et al. (1997) pointed out supply chain structure, management components, and business processes in their framework of supply chain management. To achieve better SCM performance, a firm has to understand how to operate and integrate these 3 elements seamlessly (Salam, 2011).

Many business processes, which need planning and coordination within a company, involve supply chain relationships with other organizations (Wu, Chiag,Wu, & Tu, 2004). A major obstacle to achieving business process integration in the supply chain of a company is determining how many functions or activities should be included in SCM (Wu et al.,

2004). The need for information systems integration, as well as planning and controlling activities; have been highlighted as important activities. Supply chain management may include cooperative efforts among channel members in areas such as marketing research, promotion, sales and information collecting, research and development, product design, and total systems (Wu et al., 2004).

Marketing Programs
Power of Brand Identification Companies such as 3M use a distribution network of independent intermediaries, relying on other
channel members such as wholesalers, retailers, and distributors to sell their products effectively to to the end user and possibly to other channel members ( Hughes, & Ahearne, 2010). Resellers would rarely serve one supplier; more often the resellers product line includes products from competing suppliers. The challenge for the manufacturer is to motivate the reseller to allocate resources for its products relative to the resources allocated in support of competitive products.

Due to the fact that the resellers agenda that may differ from that of the manufacturer, the extent to which manufacturer and reseller goals, plans, and control systems are aligned will have a notable impact on what is ultimately in the market (Hughes & Ahearne, 2010). Manufacturers interests are best served if the resellers salesperson is highly focused on its products relative to those of the competing manufacturers. However, the manufacturer has no direct control over the salesperson (Hughes & Ahearne, 2010). In their attempts to gain the reseller sales- persons allegiance: identification. Drawing from social identity theory (Tajfel and Turner 1985), we conceptualize organizational identification as occurring when an employee forms a psychological connection with the organization by incorporating the attributes that he or she believes define the organization into his or her own self-concept (Dutton, Duk- erich, and Harquail 1994). Identification can serve as a powerful motivating influence for a person and an impor- tant one to the firm because, as self-goals and organization goals merge, the realization of the latter becomes more intrinsically satisfying.

Using the sales force to identify opportunities

Previously, the role of the sales force was largely limited to the back end of the product development process. The sales force was typically involved in testing customer reaction to new products prior to their market introduction (Gordon, Schoenbachler, Kaminski, & Brouchous, 1997). Organizations using their sales force only after the development of the products are potentially missing out on a valuable source of information. Gordon et al. (1997) assert the sales force as a valuable source of marketing intelligence, citing the low cost of using the sales force in market research; combined with the value of exploiting the established relationships that the sales force holds with customers. This established relationship would make customers more willing to share information with the sales representatives. Carpenter (1992) has argued that by forming a strong alliance with the sales force, marketing managers can gain direct access to customers minds, thus avoiding the undertaking of marketing strategy development in a vacuum.

Sales Model IBDs focus on what to sell had to be replaced with what to sell. A transition from the present product/division centric model needs to be replaced with a customer/account centric model (Hutt & Speh., 2010). By catering to the national distributors, 3Ms sales representatives would have to deal with large organizations that are driven by protocol, procedures, and networks. Instead of communicating personally with the customer, 3Ms salespeople will have to coordinate the requirements of various branches of the same customer.

Recommendations One of the recommendations regarding the 3M structure is the merging of


R&D with sales and marketing, which would lead to the creation of a number of small cross-departmental innovation teams. Realignment of goals and business planning would be crucial during this phase and reappointment according to respective areas of expertise must be communicated positively, offering alternative thoughtfully designed posts, linking salary to performance. . By allowing R&D , Sales and Marketing to mix and to participate in decision-making, their suggestions could have changed the outcome by allowing them to respond in a timely manner and adjust their strategies to fit their consumers. 3M should create independent small units that can rapidly respond to customers' needs or changes in the business environment.

Retailers want to hold limited stocks of products to reduce warehousing costs. 3M should implement a just-in-time system to provide an efficient inventory system. Just in time means that just enough product is made to fulfill orders and limited stocks are kept (Hutt & Speh, 2010). To do this it must first develop an integrated computerized stock holding systems that would allow it to work closely with the channels in order to deliver products on time (The Times 100, 2009). 3M needs to get the balance right at each section of the supply chain. Late deliveries of raw materials from suppliers or inability to deliver products might make retailers buy from competitors. Elimination of unnecessary inventory levels by postponing customization towards
the end of the supply chain. By building on their strong brand 3M could use organizational identification

as employee forms a psychological connection with the organization by incorporating the attributes that he or she believes define the organization into his or her own self-concept