Supply-Chain Move For 3M

Manufacturer to acquire software vendor

3M Co., best known for its Post-it Notes and Scotch tape, already has its hands in everything from fiber optics to mosquito repellent. Now the $16 billion-a-year company is extending its offerings in supply-chain services with the acquisition of supply-chain software vendor HighJump Software Inc. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Steve Banker, a director at consulting firm ARC Advisory Group, says his first reaction was that the move didn't make much sense because 3M isn't considered a software company. "There might be a marketing problem around that," he says. But Banker and others say the acquisition gives 3M opportunities in the supply-chain market. "3M, being such a diversified business, can be a test bed for solutions that come out of this group," says Dwight Klappich, an analyst at Meta Group.

HighJump, which had revenue of $36 million in 2003, will operate as an independent subsidiary. Its software suite will join 3M's current supply-chain software, Integrated Packaging Management, which helps companies manage customer requirements for product packaging.

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