Becton Dickinson & Co.: VACUTAINER Systems Division (Condensed)
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.