Careers at Danaher
Danaher Corporation’s mission is to innovate forward-looking technologies to solve its customers’ most complex challenges.
Danaher is a provider of medical, professional, commercial, and industrial products and services. The firm operates five reportable business segments:
- Test & Measurement – Provides products, services, and software used to create actionable intelligence by measuring and monitoring a range of physical parameters in industrial applications, including electrical current, radio frequency signals, distance, pressure, and temperature. Accounted for 13% of total revenues in 2015.
- Environmental – Provides products and services that protect the global water supply, facilitate environmental stewardship, enhance the safety of personal data, and improve business efficiencies. Accounted for 18% of total revenues in 2015.
- Life Sciences & Diagnostics – Provides analytical instruments, consumables, reagents, software, and services that physicians’ offices, hospitals, reference laboratories, and other critical care settings use to diagnose disease and make treatment decisions. Accounted for 14% of total revenues in 2015.
- Dental – Provides products used to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease and ailments of the teeth, gums and supporting bone, as well as to improve the aesthetics of the human smile. Accounted for 13% of total revenues in 2015.
- Industrial Technologies – Provides solutions that protect the world’s food supply, improve packaging design and quality, verify pharmaceutical dosages and authenticity, and power innovative machines. Accounted for 16% of total revenues in 2015.
In 1969 DMG, Inc. was formed as a real estate investment trust in Massachusetts. In 1978 it was restructured as a Florida corporation named Diversified Mortgage Investors (DMI). In 1980 a new holding company was established with the old name DMG, and DMI became one of its subsidiaries. In 1984 the holding firm acquired two businesses, enabling it to enter the manufacturing field.
That same year brothers Steven and Mitchell Rales, majority stockholders in DMG, gave it the new moniker Danaher Corporation. The name was a reference to a mountain stream in western Montana. The guys had gone on a fishing trip there and envisioned a different kind of manufacturing company, one revolving around the Japanese philsophy of kaizen, which focuses on continuous improvement.
Within two years of Danaker’s launch it acquired 12 firms as part of its efforts to expand its manufacturing operations. It had specific criteria – the companies had to have high performance potential (even if not performing strongly at the time), prominent trademarked brands, a large distribution network, significant market shares, and innovative technologies.
Following acquisition, the firms were grouped by product lines and likely markets. If they underperformed, they would be divested, with the funds being used to invest in new technologies. Danaker experienced success following this strategy, and by 1986 it was generating $456 million in annual revenues. Through the next two decades it achieved leadership in several markets.
In 2015 Danaher revealed that it would eventually be splitting into two independent public firms. The first would be Danaher (nicknamed “New Danaher“), and it would include the company’s Dental, Environmental, and Life Sciences & Diagnostics business segments. The second would be called “Fortive“, and it would include its Industrial Technologies and Test & Measurement segments.
Business model of Danaher
Danaher has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at firms across industries and sizes.
Danaher offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, innovation, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It has bought hundreds of firms since its founding, acquiring Nobel Biocare and Pall (the largest acquisition in its history) in 2015 alone. These actions have enabled it to diversify its portfolio and enhance its capabilities. For example, its purchase of Pacific Scientific Company enabled it to enter the automation control industry and its purchase of Videojet enabled it to enter the product identification market.
The company embraces innovation as part of its culture. It utilizes the Danaher Business System (DBS), a set of leadership processes and tools based on kaizen and created to enhance business performance in the areas of quality, cost, growth, delivery, and innovation. It uses this framework as part of several strategic initiatives involving idea generation, product development, material/service sourcing, manufacturing improvement, sales/marketing, and commercialization.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It is a family of over 20 different operating firms based around the world, from Copenhagen to California. Further, its brands maintain leadership positions in many industries, including industrial, environmental, and health care.
Danaher’s main channels are its direct sales team and its network of distributors. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in conferences.
Danaher’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products and services while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Danaher’s business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products for its customers as well as designing and delivering its services.
Danaher’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the raw materials it needs to manufacture its products. Specific materials it utilizes include copper, steel, cast iron, aluminum, electronic components, plastics, and other petroleum-based products. Suppliers can access the Supplier Portal on its website, where they can register their businesses and share information.
Danaher’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers that design, develop, and manufacture its products, the salespeople who promote them, and the customer service employees who provide support.
It maintains important physical resources in the form of its 336 manufacturing and distribution facilities in 50 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. The numbers of facilities by segment are: Test & Measurement (38), Environmental (46), Life Sciences & Diagnostics (143), Dental (48), and Industrial Technologies (61).
Danaher has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of sales, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing, research/development, and administration, all fixed costs.
Danaher has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sale of its products and services to customers.
info: Thomas P. Joyce, Jr. earned a B.S. in Economics at the College of the Holy Cross. He previously served as Executive Vice President, Group Executive/Corporate Officer, President of Hach, and President of Delta Consolidated Industries at Danaher Corporation.
info: Daniel L. Comas earned an undergraduate degree in Economics at Georgetown University and an MBA at Stanford University. He previously served as SVP, Finance and Corporate Development and VP, Corporate Development at Danaher.
info: Robert S. Lutz earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Tulsa. He previously served as Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and as Vice President, Audit & Reporting at Danaher Corporation. He has 15 years of experience at the firm.
info: William H. King, IV earned a B.S. in Economics at University of Maryland and an MBA at Harvard Business School. He previously served as VP of Sales and Marketing and Managing Director of the Special Purpose Systems Motion Control Group at Danaher.
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