3M was a famous company in the USA, even before the pandemic situation. However, the coronavirus introduced this name to the entire world because of its product, N95 respirators. It was there in the market for a long time, but the respirator demand increased to combat the deadly virus, which is highly contagious. As the N95 masks can block up to 95% of airborne particles, the need for the same increased drastically in these past months. Even this lead manufacture of N95 respirators has faced a shortage of products too for the high demand and sale. 3M manufactures not only N95 masks but also other PPE. Ever wondered what the other businesses that this giant company runs? Here, in this blog, we are going to discuss this.
In selling goods across five different market markets, 3M produces billion in net sales per year. 3M has been one of the world's leading suppliers of various goods in both these sectors and other sectors for more than a decade of history. The company directly sells its goods to customers and several wholesalers, distributors, and dealers. It also invests rigorously in R&D to strengthen and expand its product lines further. The company spent about $3.6 billion in R&D and capital spending in 2019.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company started extracting corundum, a mineral one step below the Mohs hardness mark. Today, 3M has evolved beyond corundum to market a more varied product line than just any other manufacturing conglomerate. 3M demonstrates sound financials reliably. According to its annual report, 3M retained an operating margin at almost 22 percent even as the inventory levels were reduced by $370 million in 2019, while 3M faced losses in key business ends such as China, the car and the electronics industries, thus representing the strength of the 3M model.
Beyond Scotch Tape, 3 M produces almost 55,000 products, which are contemporary but equally innovative. These various operations are grouped into four main business sectors: defense and automotive, transportation and communications, healthcare, and consumers.
Safety and Industrial Business
Secure and commercial enterprise dwarfs 3M's activities in all other segments. A representative list of 3M's industrial goods is all but difficult to come up with since there are so many of them. 3M makes it. The first is a layer between other layers, say, on cardio keypads at your fitness center. The latter is used for the manufacture of gaskets and insulation of sound. These are items that most of us embrace as obvious, but which are technological marvels.
Transportation and Electronics
The real genius of 3M adds value to goods already sold elsewhere. 3M's transport & electronics business manufactures the conspicuous filters that protect them, rather than producing computer screens. 3M supplies the versatile circuits within the cartridges for inkjet printer cartridges. Much of 3M's transport and energy goods are far from daily consumer use, ranging from power cables to pressurized resins. However, 3M is the largest press-sensitive tape firm in the United States by July 2019, producing goods on more than 25 percent of the US market. For 2019 this segment represented 30% of the overall net sales of the company.
In comparison, the 3M healthcare corporation provides the right products such as operative sheets and teeth whiteners instead of transport and electronics. But 3M is still running the gamut, also in the medical sector. Health care products all range from inhalers and apps to stethoscopes and personal products. The latter comprises the "invisible" braces for the tooth, skin cleaners, and antiseptic foam. In 2019, health care represented 23 percent of overall net sales of 3M.
Unsurprisingly, office supplies are part of 3M's market activities. This is added to other products that cannot be combined with the brand 3M but are likely to regularly come together, including air conditioner filters, sponges, bandages, shower pad,s, and many insulating products, snow boots, and coats. 3M produces household swab, which determines plumage levels and steel jumps, less prominent but equally important. Market operations are the smallest of 3M segments considering their stature. The customer sector produced almost 16 percent of the overall revenues of the enterprise in 2019.
The Pandemic and N95
3M produced and approved in 1972 the N95 respirator mask. The use of viral particles during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic was proposed as a filtering process, but supplies were soon shortened. Before the epidemic, much of the stock of the company was sold.
The shortage leads to the U.S. government requesting that 3 M stop the exportation of N95 respirator masks manufactured in U.S. countries to and from Canada and Latin America. President Donald Trump called on the Defence Procurement Act to mandate that 3M prioritize federal government orders.
In recent years, 3M has undergone a significant revision of its business model from 40 firms to 23. In 2018, the company sold its communications business to streamline its operations further. Investors should expect 3M to continue adjusting in the same direction in the future. 3M's financial targets by 2023 include growth per share of profits from 8 to 11% and expansion of organic revenue from 3 to 5%. 3M was a promising company for a long time but with the pandemic situation, it made a substantial amount of profit. Hopefully, this organization will grow more and manufacture more products to support people in need.