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3M Preferred Converter Tape
Sue ChambersFeb 15, 20245 min read

3M Preferred Converter Advantages

How can you determine whether a converter is reputable?

While it’s easy to brag about a company’s excellence, being recognized by an industry leader sets them apart in multiple ways.

For companies in the converting industry, being honored for excellence by 3M is the top of the top. This recognition shouts to the world that this converter profoundly understands the industry leader and that the industry leader trusts them.

Strouse has worked closely with 3M for decades, so we recognize the depth of this title. However, if you’re searching for a converter, you might not realize the impact of this achievement (apart from sounding cool on our website). 

This article will help you understand the origins of the 3M Preferred Converter program and explain why it’s critical in a highly competitive marketplace.


An adhesive tape converter takes large rolls of adhesive tape and builds an effective manufacturing process for usable products and materials based on a client’s design. 

What Does 3M Preferred Mean?

A 3M Preferred business has been chosen as a 3M partner to work closely for mutually beneficial deals on converting and material products. 

From 3M’s perspective, choosing top-end converters as partners makes sense. 3M makes great products, but oftentimes, their material needs to be made into a specific shape for the end customer. If that experience goes poorly, it can reflect poorly on 3M. Therefore, 3M constantly connects to the world’s best converters, often sharing new technology and receiving feedback. 

This trust level is so high that 3M may provide new products to a converter with the full blessing of using them in applications. Whatever the raw materials, 3M has confidence and trust that the converter will manufacture a quality product

Your products are being converted using new and innovative technologies engineered by 3M material experts and converting professionals.  

Choosing the Best Medical Converting Company

Being able to say “We’re 3M Preferred” confidently demonstrates that a converter:

  • has access to the latest and most advanced adhesives
  • is welcomed into 3M’s laboratory by their design engineers
  • has engineers who thrive on complicated projects
  • is excited to trial new technology and products
  • sells a high volume of 3M products
  • maintains a high level of excellence

A preferred converter receives discounts and business development investment from 3M as part of its 3M Preferred status, and there are often ways to pass savings along to customers.

Being a true partner elevates a converter higher in the queue at 3M (for quicker customer deliveries); preferred converters naturally get more customer service attention. 

Certain exclusive products and/or product categories are only available to 3M Preferred converters. 3M Preferred converters are also often the first to be given access to new products. Regarding marketing, 3M Preferred connects a converter to 3M’s marketing minds to create solid strategies, get some financial assistance, and share sales insights.

It’s important to note that “3M Preferred” doesn’t mean “only 3M.” Not every complicated and unique application is appropriate for a 3M product. Many converters, especially the industry leaders, offer a wide range of adhesive products from other manufacturers and push themselves to keep a large bandwidth of vendors and products.

What’s the Difference Between Preferred Converters?

Of the thousands of converters operating throughout North America, only around 60 converters in the United States have 3M Preferred Converter status, making it a massive accomplishment. Yet, the important thing isn’t the fancy title— it’s what a converter does with the recognition that matters.

Some converters will just send a press release and add a line or two to their website. Others, however, truly embrace the opportunity and engage with 3M on a much deeper level.

  • Are a converter’s engineers talking with 3M’s design engineers?
  • Is a converter using 3M’s world-class lab?
  • Is the converter taking advantage of 3M’s training programs?
  • Has that converter used 3M’s training with their customers?
  • Does that converter discuss and advise market strategy with 3M to build the industry?

So, while a converter’s customers may see “3M Preferred” and think “quality,” “engineering,” and “sophistication,” the converter can (and should) lean into the relationship even more strongly to fully gain the benefits of the designation.

What Comes After “Preferred?” 

While there may not officially be a status level above “3M Preferred,” there are still more elite and exclusive ways to be recognized by 3M.

For instance, the 3M Medical Materials and Technology Preferred Converter program recognizes converters for developing adhesive applications for customers in the increasingly fast-paced medical device marketplace. 

Within this program, a 3M technical engineer may even consult, along with the converter, directly with a customer. Less than 20 U.S. converters have achieved this designation, far less than the 60+ U.S. 3M Preferred Converters. 


With thousands of suppliers in its global supply base, 3M annually chooses only a select few to be recognized as 3M Supplier of the Year. These suppliers are identified and rated based on strategic spending, contract compliance, actions taken to improve 3M’s relevance, and overall supplier performance. Often, a unique project that delivers noteworthy cost-effectiveness and/or value will spur 3M Supplier of the Year accolades.

The 3M Select Converter program is in place for recognizing lower volume converters than “Preferred” yet still maintaining a high level of excellence.

Why 3M Prefers Strouse

A converter may be called “preferred,” but do they act like a preferred converter? 

For Strouse, being a 3M Preferred Converter is a huge motivator. It’s about consistently striving for excellence at all levels and continually collaborating with 3M as a partner, not just a supplier.

See our converting capabilities

Strouse was an instant inaugural selection when 3M started the 3M Preferred Converter program over 20 years ago. 

Strouse has been recognized by 3M in these areas:

  • 3M Preferred Converter
  • Solventum (formerly 3M Medical Materials and Technology) Preferred Converter (14+ years and running)
  • 3M Supplier of the Year (2018)
  • 3M Preferred Converter Council Member

Plus, Strouse has partnered with more than 16 other 3M divisions as a customer and/or supplier!

Even among the dozens of 3M Preferred Converters in the U.S., our experience helps set us apart. Throughout the years, 3M has been a customer of Strouse, purchasing many converted finished products.

If you’re prepared to experience the benefits of working with a 3M Preferred Converter, check out our manufacturing capabilities above or contact our adhesive conversion specialists to discuss your products and needs.



Originally published: October 6, 2020


Sue Chambers

As the CEO and President of Strouse Corporation, Sue Chambers is responsible for leading all facets of the business. Sue has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience driving sales growth and operational innovation in the adhesive conversion industry. Sue possesses strong leadership, strategic vision, and savvy marketing skills. Sue has an MBA from Loyola University in Maryland. Since 1997 Sue Chambers joined Strouse and led the transformation into an enterprise-focused company while growing the company into a world leader in the innovative production of pressure-sensitive adhesive with revenue of over 20 million and growing. In the last three years, Strouse revenue has grown 62%; the number of employees has grown and continues to achieve and maintain ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certification. Strouse built a new production plant going from 40,000 to 62,500 square feet, increasing the production space by 50%. The building also can expand to 82,500 sq. Feet. Sue is active in the community serving on the Industrial Development Board presently and earning several business awards over the years. Most recently, 3M has recognized Strouse as a supplier of the year. She is also on the Dale Chambers Foundation board that raises money for local charities in the community.