$5.16 Billion ($29.9B total)
Inge G. Thulin, President & CEO
Joaquin Delgado, Exec. VP, Health Care Business
Frederick J. Palensky, Exec. VP, Research & Development and Chief Technology Officer
Christopher D. Holmes, Sr. VP, Corporate Supply Chain Services
Hak Cheol Shin, Exec. VP, International Operations
Roger H.D. Lacey, Sr. VP, Strategy & Corporate Development
NO. OF EMPLOYEES: 87,677 (total)
GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS: St. Paul, Minn.
Stick-to-itiveness (yes it’s actually a word). It’s a trait that most medical technology companies must possess to deal with the twists and turns of today’s healthcare market. It’s also a skill you’d expect the company that invented the original Post-it “sticky note” and Scotch Tape to have. The 3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is a multinational conglomerate that makes everything from adhesives and car care products to lighting systems and electronics.
One of the company’s most successful divisions is its Health Care business, which manufactures products including medical and surgical supplies, drug delivery systems, health information systems, medical adhesives, electrodes, stethoscopes, sterilization equipment, trans-dermal patches, patient warning systems, and orthodontic products. This division of 3M clearly was able to muster its particular brand of tenacity to eke out growth in fiscal 2012 (ended Dec. 31).
For 2012, the company’s overall sales across all divisions totaled $29.9 billion, an increase of 1 percent from 2011. Net income was $4.44 billion, or $6.32 per diluted share, compared to $4.28 billion, or $5.96 per diluted share, in 2011. Sales for the Health Care division were $5.16 billion up, 2.5 percent based on strong sales of health information systems, skin and wound care, and food safety technology, officials reported. 3M also identified slower sales of drug delivery systems as hurting the division’s 2012 bottom line. Acquisitions added little to the Health Care division’s results for 2012 (less than half a percentage point, in fact).
However, in April 2012, the company bought Bethesda, Md.-based CodeRyte Inc., which provides clinical natural language processing technology and computer-assisted coding solutions for outpatient providers. Terms of the deal were not released.
In 2012, 3M managed its operations in six operating business segments: Industrial and Transportation; Health Care; Consumer and Office; Safety, Security and Protection Services; Display and Graphics; and Electro and Communications. In October last year, the company decided to reorganize into five business groups: Consumer; Industrial; Health Care; Safety and Graphics; and Electronics and Energy. The change became effective at the beginning of this year.
“The change is a natural outcome of our strategy to increase relevance to our customers and to broaden our presence in the markets we serve,” said Inge Thulin, 3M’s chief executive. “By building scale more broadly, we create critical mass in each business group to take full advantage of innovation and commercialization opportunities.”
Thulin was named president and CEO in early 2012 following the retirement of George W. Buckley, who served at the company’s helm since 2005. Quickly on the heels of his new role as CEO, Thulin also was named board chairman in May last year. Thulin had served as chief operating officer since May 2011, with responsibility for 3M’s six business segments and international operations. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of international operations.
The company made notable product-focused news throughout FY12.
Under its Unitek brand, the company launched Incognito Lite Hidden Braces, which is placed on the inside of the teeth to realign the “social six” teeth (those in view when smiling or talking) and are used as a treatment method for mild to moderate misalignment cases that do not require the full Incognito system. Incognito Lite Braces require fewer brackets and only three preselected archwires, mounted exclusively on the inside of the teeth. According to the company, patients may experience shorter treatment time compared to other “invisible” solutions on the market, because Incognito Lite Braces are worn all day, every day.
In recognition of the company’s ingenuity and innovation, 3M Health Care was honored with a Silver Edison Award for Quality of Life in the Lifestyle and Social Impact category for its 3M Kind Removal Silicone Tape and a Silver Edison Award for Analytic Systems in the Science/Medical category for its Aerobic Procedure for Lactic Acid Bacteria with 3M Petrifilm Aerobic Count Plate. The Edison Awards, established in 1987, recognize the most innovative products in the world. Winners were announced at The Edison Best Products Award Gala in New York, N.Y., on April 26, 2012. Nominees were judged by a panel of more than 3,000 leading business executives including past award winners, members of the Marketing Executives Networking Group, academics and leaders in the fields of product development, design, engineering, science and medicine.
3M Kind Removal Silicone Tape, a next-generation medical tape introduced by 3M Skin and Wound Care, integrates 3M’s adhesive technology with a silicone base to provide a balance of securement and gentleness. The tape is repositionable, and according to the company, can be removed easily and harmlessly from patients’ skin, catering especially well to pediatric and aging patients and increasing nurse satisfaction.
The Aerobic Procedure for Lactic Acid Bacteria is a testing method developed by 3M Food Safety in collaboration with its food processing customers. This procedure provides a simpler way of testing food and environmental samples for their concentration of lactic acid bacteria, which can affect the shelf life, as well as the flavor and color of products. In addition to allowing for less waste in the food supply chain due to the ability to bring about longer-lasting shelf lives, 3M’s Lactic Acid Bacteria testing procedure offers processors the environmental benefits of needing less incubator space in the lab, and fewer chemicals and waste in their testing.
In the spring, the company announced the expansion of the pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) fill line at its facility in Northridge, Calif., significantly extending the company’s manufacturing capability. The addition of the pressure fill line complements the existing cold fill line in the facility and enhances inhalation manufacturing services for customers, officials said. In the early stages of product development, 3M Drug Delivery Systems offers formulation screening and optimization for both solutions and suspensions, including particle engineering to improve dosing performance. The company also offers pMDI components such as valves and canisters that can be customized to fit customers’ needs, as well as actuators and dose counters. The company claims it created the first metered dose inhaler 50 years ago.
In November last year, the company co-hosted a conference on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HAIs remain a significant threat to patient health and recovery and the financial viability of healthcare facilities. Approximately one in 20 hospitalized patients acquires an HAI, with an estimated annual direct medical cost to hospitals between $28.4 billion and $45 billion. The cost benefits of prevention range from $5.7 billion (assuming 20 percent of infections are preventable) to $31.5 billion (assuming 70 percent of infections are preventable), CDC figures estimate.
But, new approaches are needed to achieve sustainable HAI reduction. This was the focus of the 2012 Infection Prevention Leadership Summit hosted by the 3M Infection Prevention Division and its partners Sage Products‚ Belimed and Rochester Medical. More than 30 teams representing healthcare facilities from all regions of the United States, Brazil, Canada and the Netherlands convened at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., to tackle real-world business challenges and some clinical cases and challenges related to achieving sustainable HAI reduction. Unlike other meetings, IPLS brought together cross-functional teams for working sessions and leadership training.
Teams representing the various areas within the hospital were invited to attend the annual summit that spanned members of the infection control, sterilization, operating room and environmental services departments within their respective hospitals. The feedback, organizers noted, could be used not only to affect clinical change, but also identify new areas where product development innovations can lead to HAI reductions.
“One of the biggest issues facing the healthcare system today in the fight against HAIs is the breakdown in communication within the hierarchy of a facility. Many teams at IPLS were working on this specific challenge,” said E. Patchen Dellinger, M.D., University of Washington Medical Center and past president of the Surgical Infection Society. “The summit provided an opportunity to hear what is working for others and allowed teams opportunities to develop strategies they can use to achieve universal adherence in their own hospitals.”