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Management of Innovation and Technology

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Management of Innovation and Technology

Case #2 The 3M Company

Ossel Brown 12010332

Derron Brown 1100563

University of Technology, Jamaica


Introduction

The purpose of this assignment is to identify one of the numerous innovations that 3M Corporation has developed over the years and identify the market pull and technology push factors they considered when developing the innovation. The 3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (1902–2002), is an American multinational conglomerate corporation based in Maplewood, Minnesota.         

3M is fundamentally a science-based company that produces thousands of imaginative products, and they’re a leader in scores of markets, from health care and highway safety to office products and abrasives and adhesives. Their success begins with their ability to apply technologies often in combination to an endless array of real-world customer needs.(3M.com)

A technology push implies that a new invention is created through research and development and production and sales functions are pushed onto the market without proper consideration of whether or not it satisfies a user need. In contrast, an innovation based upon market research in response to a market or customer need is called a market pull technique.

This assignment will be focusing on the 3M’s Scotch-Brite.


MAIN IDEAS & EXAMPLES

  • Scotch-Brite is a line of abrasive cleaning pads produced by 3M. The original product line consisted of twisted polypropylene fiber with about nine grit variations
  • Scotch-Brite also contains "Alox", which is a trade name for aluminum oxide. Although polypropylene may be considered benignly soft, its composition with aluminum oxide greatly enhances its abrasive powers; to the extent that a Scotch-Brite pad will actually scratch glass.
  • Scotch-Brite™ Hand Pads, Sheets and Rolls are designed to offer the user a flexible and conformable abrasive for general purpose cleaning, blending, prep work, and finishing without damaging the work piece.
  • Technology push and Market pull was evident in this 3M Product’s advancements. Firstly, the Scotch-Brite product has several different types reinvented versions that where because of an either technology pull or Market push.
  • Technology push is used to take the design of a product and to advance it, a technology push implies that a new invention is pushed through research and development without proper consideration of whether or not it satisfies a user need. 3M used this method to implement its product the ‘More Aggressive = Coarser Finish’ these products were made based off the reengineering of their first line of products. 3M company looked at their first set of Scotch-Brite and a saw that improved quality and designed could be made to make the product better and they also incorporated new pad to attack different surfaces. An example of this is where a sponge was placed on one side of the companies most famous Scotch-Brite making it Ideal for general purpose cleaning.  
  • Market Pull, refers to the need/requirement for a new product or a solution to a problem, which comes from the market place. The need is identified by potential customers or market research. A product or a range of products are developed, to solve the original need (Ryan, 2013). 3M’s first line of Scotch-Brite Less ‘Aggressive = Finer Finish’ was created because of a Market Pull. 3M saw where there was a need for some sort of cleaning instrument a went out and did a market research and saw that a hand held product that could be aggressive enough to tackle the toughest dirt stains and could still be hand held was very much needed so they created the first line of Scotch-Brite.  They also continued to do their market research to create new products under the Scotch-Brite line an example of this their new Scotch-Brite™ Clean & Finish Rolls that Flexible web for finishing, blending and polishing, Conformable for access to hard-to-reach areas and can be cut to desired length for hand sanding or oscillating sanders.

IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT

  • Management has to be continuously pursuing new ways to advance their product development due to competition from other firms.
  • It is important for firms to develop their technology and innovation departments to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Management has to guarantee that when they are trying to accomplish efficiency and effectiveness they do not forget to include creativity in the process.
  • Also managers should try to understand that with the advancement of the technology that so department or work position will no longer be required to be operational.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • House hold users being the main users of the 3M’s Scotch-Brite product they should seek to get as much productivity out of their operations when investing in evolving the technology.
  • 3M should try to increase marketing procedures from them to continue to be successful and increasing profit and market share.
  • Employees should be trained to adapt fast to the continuous changes that the company will continue to make in product innovation

. CONCLUSION

        In conclusion, the Scotch-Brite line has been one of the most successful product that 3M has created. This product is one of the many great innovations of 3M, it has managed to grow to from just a simple cleaning tool to a tool that can be uses in almost all field technology and also grown and improved for household purposes. Since the 3M Corporation has come into existence they have managed to maintain their consumers and obtain new ones by revolutionizing and improving their products and their product line.

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