In Two Harbors, Minnesota, in 1902, by five businessmen, Dandle Bud, Henry Bryan, Hormone Cable, John Dawn, and William McConnell.

In 1909, the headquarter of the company moved to SST. Paul, Minnesota until now. The headquarter of MM company is still in SST. Paul, Minnesota. Nowadays, MM company has 74 branches in 65 countries.

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The largest subsidiary of MM company is in India, founded in 1988. There are more Han 84,000 employees all over the world.

The company’s current CEO Is Engine G. Thule. He Is also the president and chairman of the board.

MM company has a very short slogan. It Just has one word “innovation”. The company’s mission statement is ” MM is committed to actively contributing to sustainable development through environmental protection, social responsibility and economic progress”. MM company produces more than 55,000 products, including adhesives, abrasives, laminates, passive fire protection, dental products, electronic materials, medical products, car-care products, electronic circuits, and optical films.

The company’s products are available for purchase through distributors and retailers in more than 196 countries, and many products are ordered online directly from the company. MM has a lot of famous brands, Including ACE, Command, Filtrate, Future, Ensnare, Post- In, Scotch, and so on.

The products of MM company are very popular in the world. They have a potential of four diverse target markets. The first target market is outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hunting, camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, boating and outdoor sports.

The second target market is families who encompass parents and children In outdoor activities. Equipment in army. The fourth target is outdoor workers who need to work outside all the time.

These four groups as target markets are chosen because the company have the greatest buying potential. MM company has own values. The first value is to provide investors an attractive return through sustained and quality growth. The second value is to satisfy customers with superior quality, value and service. The third value is to respect the social and physical environment.

The fourth value is that being a company employees are proud to be part of. As a kind of MM company culture, I think the most preventative culture is innovation. For the development of the company more than a century, innovation has been the hallmark of m’s progress. That is why MM can create more than 55,000 kinds of products. We are hardly to find another company that can produce so many kinds of products like MM company. That is the motivation of innovation.

No matter senior managers or employees, they all consider innovation as the core of the company’s development. M innovation enables MM to create new products that can attract more consumers constantly. MM company has many shared ideas and technology. MM innovation enables MM to continuously create practical and ingenious solutions to solve everyday problem. MM company manufactures many types of products with 30 billion dollar in sales every year. The following is m’s financial statement: Profit & Loss [pick] From above the form, we can know that Net Sales are 29,904 million dollar and Total Operating Expenses are 23,421 million dollar in the year ended December 31, 2012.

And Net Income is 6,483 million dollar. Balance Sheet From above the form of MM company’s balance sheet, we can know that 12 months ending in December 31 , 2012, the company’s assets are 33,876 million dollar, liabilities are 15,836 million dollar, and Equity is 18,040 million dollar. Cash Flows From above the form of m’s cash flows, we can know in 2012, Cash Flows from Operating Activities are 5,300 million dollar. Cash Flows from Investing Activities are -2,686 million dollar. And Cash Flows from Financing Activities are -2,058 million dollar. Totally Net Cash Flows are 556 million dollar.

Overview of the Case This case talks about the MM Medical-surgical Market Division’s experience in developing a new process called “Lead User research”. Initially, it is considered as a new methodology for mastering future customer and market needs. A team in the Division applies Lead User research to the area of surgical infection control. The team not only discovers new product concepts, but also promise to implement a business strategy. As a result, the Division changes a cycle of incremental in its innovation process.

This case was proposed in 1997, at that time MM had been a world leader in Medical-surgical market.

Despite MM dominates world Medical-surgical market, however, overall development of the company is stagnating. In past decade, the many Just introduced only one major successful product. Now, Senior Product Specialist Rata Short has been charged with the mandate of developing a new breakthrough product with the existing business strategy. The Medical-surgical Markets Division has searched from prior experience that its market research does not always provide sufficient information for conceptualizing breakthrough products because it provides an abundance of invaluable data.

However, Short has heard of a new process to learn about unarticulated customer needs and their solutions.

That process is called Lead User research. It is a kind of recess which seeks to tap into expertise of certain innovative customers that experience market needs ahead of other customers. It is possible to emerge surprising and new innovations through the hands of these lead users. And it is hoped that new process will provide a way to make these innovations into companies. Through the help of the consultants, Short has taken a Lead User study within her division in September 1996.

Along the way,followed by a change in senior process, because most of them are used to working with more traditional methods which are quantitative and have more predictable outcomes. The team comes up with three innovative products concepts in the area. The first is breakthrough products and services. MM case series illustrates the difficult managerial and process issues are the company face in its attempt to overcome incremental and develop new breakthrough products and services. The second is Lead User research.

The series has very detailed step-by-step descriptions and examples of how to conduct Lead User research studies, preparing students and executive to use the process in their own academic projects or companies. The third is managing change. If the many wants to make progress, it must change its management process. Meanwhile, it must face a lot of challenges. Lead User research was firstly presented by Eric von Hipped. It provides a means to of finding market opportunities by systematically tapping the expertise and experience base of lead users.

The premise is that certain consumers experience needs ahead of the market. The company will operate the businesses in the market and seek to innovate on its own. Lead users may lead in either the target or analogous markets. The Lead User process helps get MM back to its roots of working ore closely with customers to develop breakthrough products and services. Question & Answers Question 1 : How does MM company innovate in Medical-surgical markets? The large MM company endeavors to maintain an innovative status through dispersing decentralized units based on new core product technologies.

However, an increasing proportion of m’s business comes from incremental product changes.

In an attempt to move away from this philosophy of incremental through expansion of pre-existing product lines, MM pursued to produce 30 percent of sales from reduces that did not exist in the past. In the mid-asses, the Medical-surgical market was almost owned by MM company with more than a hundred million dollars in sales annually. However, it is no apparent growth sector, because of the high cost of MM products in markets.

The company had nearly no breakthrough products within a decade. To make sure the needs and trends in the market, MM products develop the Health care units, such as utilized several tools, including data from medical sales representatives, consumer focus groups, customer evaluations of currently marketed reduces, site visits by MM technologists to hospitals, and data on risk factors for diseases. However, the cycle of incremental product changes gets strong as it concentrates on information from traditional MM customer bases.

Through experience in the past, the company started to new products with high quality and technologies. As a result, thousands of patented MM technologies awaited markets and produced for MM. Traditional market research methods at MM company? For traditional development process at MM company, the company lacks direct contact with customers. It is not accountable for understanding customer needs. And marketing research is outsourced to third parties or “thrown over the wall”. Besides, traditional methods are linear and tend to support primarily incremental innovations.

For Lead User research process, it puts the company to contact with users directly. It focuses on a few individuals with extremely rich need and solution- specific information. It also allows the company to learn from users outside traditional business focus. Additionally, it pushes the company toward leading edge with potentially radical new concepts. Finally, it can be complemented with traditional market research techniques. Question 3: What are the risks to the new Lead User process at MM? There are some potential advantages of the Lead User research.

It is more accessible to richer and more reliable information on emerging customer needs and innovative solutions to those needs. And it can develop better products and service concept and breaking the cycle of incremental product extensions. Specific managerial challenges to successfully using the Lead User process have two difficulties. They are very hard to predict the process path and outcome and to assess the contribution of any given individual’s participation in the process. Meanwhile, it also needs for a high level of commitment needed in terms of quality and quantity of human resources.