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3M Offers New Packaging Services To Improve Global Supply Chain Efficiencies

- New Offering Can Save Manufacturers Millions in Packaging Costs -

Monday, October 13, 2003 8:16 am CDT

Dateline:

ST. PAUL, Minn.
"Packaging is one of the last remaining frontiers in operational excellence"

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M recently introduced a suite of tools and services to help its customers manage packaging-related issues more cost effectively. 3M's new Global Packaging Services group was formed in response to a fast-growing global market demand for more efficient packaging management solutions.

Today, 3M is a world leader in packaged goods with more than 60,000 products sold in over 200 countries. As a result of its experience in manufacturing, the company has a thorough operational understanding of the critical issues in packaging, including enabling compliance, speeding time to market, managing product surety, reducing packaging costs, and increasing productivity and throughput.

"Packaging is one of the last remaining frontiers in operational excellence," said John Pohl, division vice president, 3M Industrial Services and Solutions Division. "Most companies focus on R&D and manufacturing, but have not considered packaging to be a strategic tool or a cost center. This missed opportunity is costing companies millions of dollars."

Using Six Sigma methodology, 3M evaluated its own complex manufacturing processes and determined that it would be possible to reduce packaging-related expenses by $50 million over a five-year period, if it could streamline and centralize the global packaging process.

"We worked with in-house experts in package engineering, logistics, information technology, manufacturing and other disciplines," Pohl continued. "We combined best-of-breed packaging products, services and processes with supplier resources. This strategic collaboration of tools and resources has formed the basis of our new business which leverages our many years of learning, saving significant time and expense."

3M Global Packaging Services' comprehensive suite of offerings helps customers reduce packaging costs per unit produced. One of the key solutions includes the Integrated Packaging Tool from 3M, a Web-based system that integrates structural, textual and graphical packaging information. The Integrated Packaging Tool from 3M also enables customers to seamlessly integrate disparate databases; artwork; internal and external business rules; and equipment such as scanners, printers and other input/output devices. Additional services include optimization of customers' processes, packaging design, packaging line engineering and packaging automation.

"At 3M, we saved a significant amount in a one-year period by re-engineering our packaging process in select locations and by implementing the Integrated Packaging Tool," said Pohl. "We're ready to put that expertise and experience to work for other companies around the world. We offer proven solutions that address multiple vertical industry needs. At one point or another, 3M has addressed challenges that global manufacturers face today, including customs, compliance, product recalls and corporate branding, to name a few. We've learned some hard lessons."

"We start by evaluating each client's unique packaging needs by working through a rigorous assessment process. Then, we develop a solution that best meets those needs," said Mike Haldane, business manager, 3M Professional Services. "The solution may include 3M products and services and/or complementary services from 3M's partners."

Target industries for 3M's Global Packaging Services include food and beverage, life sciences, industrial chemicals and consumer packaged goods.

About 3M Global Packaging Services

3M Global Packaging Services, part of 3M Industrial Services and Solutions Division, develops total solutions to help customers around the world optimize their packaging processes. For information about the Integrated Packaging Tool from 3M and 3M Global Packaging Services visit: www.3M.com/packagingservices or call toll free at 1-866-585-9945.

About 3M -- A Global, Diversified Technology Company

Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company's customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M's brands include icons such as Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Dyneon and O-Cel-O. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the company's 70,000 people use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets including consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; health care; industrial and transportation. For more information, including the latest product and technology news, visit www.3M.com.

3M, Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Dyneon and O-Cel-O are trademarks of 3M.

Contact:

Snow Communications
Katy Tanghe, 612-337-0740
or
3M
Ron Wenaas, 651-736-7918
http://www.3m.com/profile/pressbox/media_contacts.jhtml

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