Post-it Note To Self: 3M is a Model for Success

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 9:40
Comments Off on Post-it Note To Self: 3M is a Model for Success

The popular press and popular blogs are often highlighting companies that get FWOKed in China…. the entire book Mr. China is devoted to the story of losing 500M USD in China.

Sometimes the stories are well written and use humor to hid the fact that someone or some company lost a lot of money because they were not fully prepared to enter China or did not have the systems in place to effectively manage the operations (if someone steals from a company… some fault lies in the fact that the company had a loophole somewhere to be exploited).

However, as the WSJ is reporting today, some companies do get it right… and 3M is one of them.

For 3M, their 23 years of investment in China is paying off. they are profitable, they are expanding, and they are fully leveraging China’s potential to manufacture for domestic and export markets.
Many companies these days look to take China by storm. They want to be able to set up a stand and sell their lemonade nationwide within 12 months, while managing the construction of their facility, hiring employees… and so on.

For companies looking to enter China, Looking at where 3M started 23 years ago (imagine the red tape) and where they are today should serve as a good example as to how China strategies are planned and executed… in steps.

3M’s patient approach to developing a presence in China has paid off. Today, 3M China has more than 600 employees and sells more than 5,000 products. It still has its headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Shanghai. The company also has Customer Service Centers in seven major cities, with additional centers planned

Fortunately, the market is much easier to traverse than it was when 3M first entered so it will not take the same amount of time, but it will still take time to build a platform that is stable and scalable.

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