Danaher Corporation: The Hach Sl1000 Portable Parallel Water Analyzer

15 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017

See all articles by Marc L. Lipson

Marc L. Lipson

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

The Hach subsidiary of global science and technology leader Danaher Corporation was about to introduce an innovative handheld water quality testing device: the SL1000 Portable Parallel Analyzer. There were, however, some critical decisions left regarding how best to bring it to market. Olaf Boettger, the Business Unit Director of Hach's Laboratory Solutions division, needed to decide on the exact timing of the launch and how the PPA would be priced and promoted. Boettger's decisions would impact a wide range of stakeholders inside and outside of the company, and he must carefully weigh a series of tradeoffs and concerns. Danaher's Business System, a culture emphasizing continuous improvement as well as a set of tools or structures that drive performance, provides him with the structure to frame these decisions. This case was used successfully as an introductory case at the start of the Darden Business School MBA program and would be useful in any class to emphasize the need for an “enterprise perspective.”

Excerpt

UVA-S-0261

May 26, 2016

Danaher Corporation:

The Hach SL1000 Portable Parallel Water Analyzer

Early in April 2014, the Hach subsidiary of global science and technology leader Danaher Corporation (Danaher) was about to introduce an innovative handheld water quality testing device: the SL1000 Portable Parallel Analyzer (PPA). Development of the PPA had been guided by extensive market analysis and executed under Danaher's rigorous product development system. It had cleared a number of important hurdles including an earlier proposal review to determine whether to proceed with the significant investments required to develop the device and build a production line to produce it. There were, however, some critical decisions left regarding how best to bring the PPA to market, and responsibility for these decisions rested with Olaf Boettger, the Business Unit Director of Hach's Laboratory Solutions division.

The remaining decisions focused on two areas: the exact timing of the launch and how the PPA would be priced and promoted. As for timing, the device itself was ready for market—it could easily and reliably indicate the presence of selected chemicals where selection was made by inserting up to four of a suite of prepackaged chemical reagents, specifically designed for the PPA (the Hach-patented Chemkey™ cartridges). There were many good reasons to bring the innovation to market as soon as possible, not the least of which was to start generating a return on significant capital investments. But although five of the seven planned Chemkey cartridges were ready for production, the two that were experiencing challenges in development were vital to one desirable segment of customers. Furthermore, even though the device and cartridges functioned well and approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in regulatory reporting contexts was expected, that approval had not yet been given.

. . .

Keywords: laboratory solutions, water quality, product development, stakeholder value, enterprise perspective, marketing, market penetration, best practices, competition, pricing, lean, growth, leadership

Suggested Citation

Lipson, Marc Lars, Danaher Corporation: The Hach Sl1000 Portable Parallel Water Analyzer. Darden Case No. UVA-S-0261. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2975249

Marc Lars Lipson (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4837 (Phone)
434-243-5021 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/lipson.htm

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