Minnesota Roots

3M is in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.  Their headquarters are in St. Paul Minnesota.  They operate their business in over 70 different countries, but their products are in almost 200 different countries.  In those countries,  3M operates manufacturing facilities, laboratory research centers, advertising sites, distribution offices, and a series of corporate headquarters.

The organization began their international operations in the year of 1951.  Half of the manufacturing of 3M’s products takes place in the United States.  There are only 28 states in the United States where this product manufacturing takes place.  The other places where 3M manufactures their products are in the west part of Europe, Japan, and parts of Canada.  Around a third of the organization’s total business takes place in the United States.  This number is expected to rise however in the near future according to the company’s annual report and projections.  A large part about why this is the case is because, according to that annual report, Most of the research and development of the organization also happens in the United States.

The annual report issued by 3M also stated that the organization strives to localize their brand and their company in the international markets.  The organization says that they believe this method will give them an advantage over other companies trying to achieve similar goals in the common markets.  They say that they believe this can be accomplished by starting to build new buildings that would counteract competition from other businesses in the international marketplace.  It is also important to have employees that understand what the market is like in the region where the company hopes to conduct business.  This knowledge of the employees is part of the reason why 3M has been successful with their global business is because of the local talent hired by the company.  This provides them with a local insight about what works in each individual international marketplace.  They say that their aim is to make the company seem ‘borderless.’  One of the ways that the organization accomplishes this is through their way of targeting products to their consumers.  This means that the products are sold in the same region where they are manufactured.

I think this method makes a lot of sense.  It would cut down on transportation and distribution costs and allow the company to focus solely on manufacturing the products.  I also think finding people in the market where they want to expand is a good idea because they would obviously know it better than anyone else.  I don’t think 3M’s international businesses are necessarily taking away jobs from the United States because the international businesses are selling locally to the people in the region.






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