Barely one month into the new year, diversified manufacturer 3M Co. already has announced an acquisition that it says will help boost the solutions it provides to its customers. The St. Paul, Minn., company reports that it has entered into an agreement to acquire HighJump Software Inc., a provider of supply-chain execution software and solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Adding HighJump Software's suite of supply-chain execution solutions gives 3M a powerful new platform to grow our existing service and solutions business, focused on helping customers optimize their business processes," says John Pohl, division vice president, 3M Industrial Services and Solutions Division. 3M noted that the acquisition would help it provide customers with solutions across a broader range of industries and geographies. In January 2003, 3M launched the 3M Integrated Packaging Tool, a Web-based, data-enabled packaging information management system. According to HighJump CEO Chris Helm, "A key part of 3M's strategy is to preserve the autonomy, focus and culture of HighJump Software. We will be known as HighJump Software, a 3M company and be an important part of 3M's Industrial Services and Solutions Division. Our management team, employees and location will remain in place so we can maintain our strong focus on serving our customers and partners." The deal, subject to regulatory and other approvals, was expected to close in late January. HighJump Software was formed in 1983 and is located in Eden Prairie, Minn.