Case | HBS Case Collection | October 1991 (Revised August 2000)

Becton Dickinson & Company: VACUTAINER Systems Division (Condensed)

by V. Kasturi Rangan and Frank V. Cespedes


Becton Dickinson, a phenomenally successful company with an 80% market share in the blood collection needles and syringes market faces a change in the customer buying environment (cost containment pressures at hospitals). This forces a reevaluation of the company's highly successful product policy and channel strategy. One of the company's largest customers threatens to leave them for refusing their "low-price" request. It is obvious to students that giving in to this customer's threat would compromise the company's "value-added" thrust, yet the potential business at stake makes it difficult to be inflexible.

Keywords: Business Divisions; Customer Satisfaction; Demand and Consumers; Market Participation; Distribution Channels; Success; Corporate Strategy; Value Creation; Health Industry;


Rangan, V. Kasturi, and Frank V. Cespedes. "Becton Dickinson & Company: VACUTAINER Systems Division (Condensed)." Harvard Business School Case 592-037, October 1991. (Revised August 2000.)