Business / Companies

Sticking to plan in firm with diverse portfolio

By He Wei in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-06 07:17

Sticking to plan in firm with diverse portfolio 

3M Co's booth at an international medical device exhibition in Shanghai. In the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 3M reported overall operating profits had surged 21 percent year-on-year. Provided to China Daily 

3M doesn't just produce Scotch Tape: It sees scope in health sector

James McSheffrey, chief executive officer of 3M China Ltd, says, paradoxically, that running a business in China can be "both easy and difficult".

For the record, the industrial conglomerate has a string of well-established brands in the world's second-largest consumer market. Sales in China alone jumped to around 15 percent of its global revenue in 2013.

Sticking to plan in firm with diverse portfolio

Sticking to plan in firm with diverse portfolio
But to prioritize its more than 50,000 product types, ranging from Scotch Tape to Post-it notes, decision-making requires deep deliberation in a country the sheer size of which predicates varying market needs.

The task is tricky even for McSheffrey, who has spent 31 years at 3M, largely in North America and the United Kingdom.

Unlike many Fortune 500 chief executives, who witnessed the transformation of China from a vast rural land two decades ago into a vibrant economic powerhouse, McSheffrey regards Shanghai, 3M China's headquarters, as the only "highly cosmopolitan" city.

His first China trip - both for business and personal reasons - took place last July, two months before he was appointed to his current position.

"During my five manufacturing plant review tours, I was deeply impressed by the well-designed facilities and the consistent level of global expertise," he recalled.

So such standardization is also "heartening news" for McSheffrey, who has rich experience in managing a full spectrum of 3M companies in mature markets.

"Within a developed economy, you have to make choices. We have 35 product divisions, which means not all of them share the same opportunity at the same time," he said.

Just as China, in the last 10 to 15 years, went through incredible growth in all sectors, so did 3M within the company. As certain sectors slow down or others speed up or remain steady, considered planning is essential, he said.

Sticking to plan in firm with diverse portfolio

Top 10 world's most admired companies

Sticking to plan in firm with diverse portfolio

Top 10 most valuable Chinese brands

Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks