3M responds to covid-19

This is not a time to ‘sell’ to our customers, but we can help by staying in touch and letting them know that we care.”

Andy Moldenhauer | Chief Product Owner, CRM
90,000 employees
Salesforce customer since 2014


hours to stand up fraud reporting center


3M tackles COVID-19 fraud to help protect frontline workers.

As COVID-19 swept across the world in March 2020, 3M needed to dramatically increase the number of surgical masks and respirators it produced amid shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers. At the same time, the company became aware of a growing number of scammers trying to profit from the crisis by selling counterfeit or nonexistent masks, or charging grossly inflated prices.

“There was a lot of price gouging, and the price of masks was going through the roof,” said Andy Moldenhauer, 3M’s Chief Product Owner, Customer Relationship Management. “Our PPE division urgently needed help to deal with the number of reports about fraudulent activity they were receiving.”

Like many other organizations, the company also needed to find a way to empower its field-based sales team to work from home, while maintaining meaningful customer relationships and productivity.

3M is a Trailblazer in scaling production to help frontline workers.

3M is a leading manufacturer of PPE. The company supplies masks and respirators to healthcare providers in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and to organizations in other critical industries such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, and energy and food production.

The company rapidly scaled up production after the COVID-19 outbreak, doubling its output of respirators to nearly 100 million each month globally. In the U.S., the company is producing 35 million respirators each month, with 90% destined for use in frontline healthcare situations.

As the shortage of PPE put frontline workers’ lives at risk, 3M turned to Salesforce to help it quickly set up a hotline, website, and email address to make it easier for consumers to report fraudulent activities. This would allow the company to more easily track this activity and stamp it out.

Automated service options help streamline COVID-19 fraud response.

3M’s PPE division struggled to manage the number of reports it received about frauds, so the company extended its existing Service Cloud implementation to its new COVID-19 fraud hotline in just 48 hours.

It also integrated Service Cloud with the 3M website so customers could easily report fraud to the company. These cases went directly to 3M’s service agents, helping the team to respond faster and improve productivity.

The company also increased capacity by moving some sales team members to its service team, since the sudden and unexpected increase in cases led to a shortage of service agents.


The value isn’t in the data you put into the platform. The value is in the insights you get out of it.”

Andy Moldenhauer | Chief Product Owner, CRM

Data is the key to managing and predicting performance.

As stay-at-home orders and other measures to combat COVID-19 began to take effect, 3M needed to evaluate and manage the health of its business.

The company was able to customize Sales Cloud to help it meet new business challenges as they came up. For example, 3M quickly and easily added custom fields using clicks, not code, to assess the impact of the virus on customers’ businesses, as well as key areas such as inventory and the shelf life of products. Sales reps can also track new business opportunities during this period ─ and opportunities to retain existing business ─ then flag these to sales teams on a regular basis.

3M is also piloting Tableau CRM to create a single dashboard for its entire business. In times of crisis, the company does not have time to sift through thousands of dashboards and reports to find a singular insight. Now, 3M can get more production out of every minute and focus on sales and service insights that will directly and quickly impact their customers.

“The value isn’t in the data you put into the platform,” said Moldenhauer. “The value is in the insights you get out of it.”

Reskilling empowers sales teams to sell remotely.

With many team members now working from home and core tasks such as onsite sales visits considered nonessential, 3M has had to rethink how members of its sales team connect with customers. To empower sales representatives accustomed to selling face to face to sell from home, 3M partnered these team members with veteran inside sales representatives to help optimize their skills in a virtual environment. Team members were also given the opportunity to revisit basic skills like how to find accounts in Salesforce, build lists, and execute them. By upskilling team members, the company is giving them the tools to use their time effectively and maintain strong, meaningful relationships with customers.

“This is not a time to ‘sell’ to our customers, but we can help by staying in touch and letting them know that we care,” said Moldenhauer.

Productivity tools promote better collaboration.

3M is also taking the opportunity to rethink how it approaches many of its core business processes. For example, before COVID-19, 3M piloted Salesforce’s productivity platform, Salesforce Anywhere, to help streamline collaboration between internal teams and outside partners. This allows 3M to do things like access pipeline data from Salesforce and easily share that information with a distributor.

Salesforce Anywhere also enables the company to prioritize government and essential business production of masks and respirators. Built-in features such as Live Paste, which makes it easy to refer to the content of one document in many different documents, are simplifying how 3M to shift resources across its many partners and manufacturing centers. This means the company can more easily optimize production across its entire organization.

“There is always room for improvement,” said Moldenhauer. “Our goal is to come out of this crisis more productive than we went into it.”


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