3M makes everything from masking tape to asthma inhalers. The company has six operating segments:display and graphics (specialty film, traffic control materials); health care (dental and medical supplies,and health IT); safety, security, and protection (commercial care, occupational health and safetyproducts); electro and communications (connecting, splicing, and insulating products); industrial andtransportation (filtration products, tapes, and adhesives); and consumer and office. Well-known brandsinclude Scotchgard fabric protectors, Post-it Notes, Scotch-Brite scouring products, and Scotch tapes.Sales outside the US account for about two-thirds of 3M's sales.
From Small Business To Big Business: 3M Company
Entrepreneurs need inspiration. Because building a business is abouthaving a vision and the will to succeed. The businesses in this series of articles have all started small and have since become icons of the business world. In this article we feature the 3M Company.
The 3M Company originally known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company began life all the way back in 1902 in the Minnesota town of Two Harbors on the NorthShore of Lake Superior. The company was originally formed by five partners Henry S.Bryan, Herman W. Cable, John Dwan, William A, McGonagle, and Dr. J. Danley Budd whohad come up with the idea of selling a mineral known as corundum to manufacturers on theeast coast. The mineral they thought would sell well as it could be used to make grindingstones and sandpaper or so they thought. Well the idea didn’t really pan out to well for the partners but as they were not willing togive up just yet they turned there attention to another mineral known as Spanish garnet.This mineral it turned out worked really well in the making of sandpaper. After some initialproblems that were soon dealt with sales of their new sandpaper product began to take off.But these early trials for the company had taught the founders the value of a good R&Ddepartment. Forever after innovation at the company would lead the way.In fact each year new products created by their R&D labs account for about 25% of saleseach year. Products such as waterproof sandpaper in 1921 and masking tape in 1925 provide just two examples of the kinds of innovations that 3M Company has become known for. Thecompany has strayed some from their path over the years though. It was during the late 60’sand early 70’s that 3M began creating its own line of board games. And although the games were very popular it was eventually decided that the division should be sold off to AvalonHill. After that 3M decided to stick to what it does best. Of course one of the areas that 3M is bestknown for is tape. Besides masking tape they produce other products such as scotch tapeand in 1980 the company brought out the now famous Post-it-notes. This little officeinnovation has brought the concept of leaving messages for people to a whole new level all by itself.Finally in 2002 the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company officially changed itsname to the 3M Company since that was how the world really new the company anyway.The company now employs over 75,000 people worldwide. It has labs and manufacturingfacilities in countries across the globe. And it has become a global conglomerate best known