How 3M delivered greater value to customers by embracing business transformation with Basis Technologies.
Embracing change with confidence
Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States, 3M is an American multinational conglomerate operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, healthcare and consumer goods. Employing more than 10,000 people globally, and made up of four distinct business groups, 3M combines science, technology, creativity and innovation to make a real impact, stimulating progress to inspire people and communities across the globe.
Delivering greater value to customers with Basis Technologies
A customer since June 2021, 3M tasked Basis Technologies with helping to address specific operational challenges facing its Healthcare group, which contributes 25% of 3M’s $34.2bn annual revenue. Through the partnership, 3M accelerated business transformation for its Healthcare group by improving visibility, compliance, synchronization and business continuity across its global operation of more than 10,000 employees across six sites.
With four distinct business groups – Safety & Industrial, Transportation & Electronics, Healthcare, and Consumer – 3M is committed to delivering high quality, customer-centric solutions. A longstanding SAP customer, the organization was suffering from a lack of continuity and consistency across its widespread global operation, with a slow and inefficient approach to change management holding back customer service and business growth potential.
Specifically, 3M’s existing methods of implementing change across its SAP landscape were labor-intensive and lacked transparency and control, impacting business operations. 3M recognized that the tool it was using – SAP Change Request Management (ChaRM) – didn’t provide the functionality it required as an organization that is serious about agile operations. It was experiencing user frustration, missed milestones and lack of visibility, with slow project delivery due to inefficient processes including manual spreadsheets, impacting quality of work.
As an organization reliant on SAP, 3M knew that agility and innovation could not compromise its core businesses processes. It therefore required a more modern, agile approach to managing change across its business, all while reducing downtime and without compromising on quality.
To enable continuous innovation and to take control of its complex business processes, 3M chose Basis Technologies’ change automation software, ActiveControl.
ActiveControl empowered 3M with a globally integrated platform to ensure a more efficient and resilient global operation, underpinned by common global business practices and IT capabilities.
Specifically, ActiveControl would give 3M the visibility and flexibility it required to interchange quality assurance (QA) systems as part of the regular changes it was making in multiple areas of the business – from development to deployment – across large-scale projects, protecting against downtime and system failure.
ActiveControl’s comprehensive feature set – including out-of-the-box APIs – was the obvious choice for 3M looking to improve its Healthcare group’s business processes, integrate with its internal systems more efficiently, and ultimately provide more transparency into the way change was managed across the operation.
Through ActiveControl’s powerful automation capabilities, 3M has successfully implemented efficient change management across its Healthcare division and made business-critical improvements including: enhanced working capital management, increased customer intimacy and responsiveness, improved business planning and decision making, and greater operational efficiencies.
Crucially for 3M, ActiveControl has significantly reduced time to market and accelerated delivery of value to its customers. Acting as the engine at the heart of 3M’s global business processes, and integrating with the multiple providers 3M already used, ActiveControl has provided the customer with a new level of control and visibility. A ‘single source of truth’, it has provided a complete record of all changes across 3M’s business-critical SAP landscape, automating approval workflows for increased efficiency.
3M’s deployment of changes across its SAP landscape with ActiveControl finished six hours ahead of schedule; time which the team could then give back to the business. This is particularly impressive considering the business cost of SAP being down. Just one minute of an unplanned outage costs a business $9,000 on average, which is more than $500,000 per hour (Ponemon Institute). For certain industries, including manufacturing, the cost can reach $9 million per hour (Statista). The project finishing ahead of schedule therefore significantly reduced the impact on 3M’s revenue.
Equipped with ActiveControl’s unique capabilities, 3M now has the confidence to deliver high quality change more frequently to meet its business needs. Longevity is also critical, and the flexibility of ActiveControl provides a platform to support 3M as its approach to change management evolves in future – for instance, as it considers when and how to transition to S/4HANA.