Baxter Planning: Origin Story

The Beginning

At the launch of our new blog here at Baxter Planning, we thought it would be fun to share where it all began. The year was 1993; the same year Jurassic Park made movie-goers think bringing dinosaurs back might actually be possible, Whitney Houston hit number 1 on the billboards with her rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” and NASA lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft resulting in a failed mission to explore our neighboring planet. Greg Baxter was a service parts planner at Texas Instruments and a notion kept nagging at him – “there has to be a better way.”

The Inspiration

At that time, service parts were planned by using binders of large reports where the planner would have to flip through different reports to find demand, inventory, orders, and more. It was exceedingly time consuming, and subject to errors as Greg and other planners would have to figure out what to buy/repair with pen and paper.

Spreadsheets were new at the time, and Greg saw potential there. He started plugging the information into a spreadsheet with equations. Spreadsheet started to get more sophisticated, but Greg ran into the 768K memory maximum that they had at that time quickly.

Service Parts Planning Software

During his professional career, Greg developed a deep understanding of how complex planning parts can be. After Texas Instruments sold their computer and printer divisions to HP, Greg came up with the idea of starting a company that focused exclusively on service parts planning with software. He learned basic programming and eventually created a program that did service parts planning through calculations – forecasts, target stock levels, and orders.

Starting a new company while supporting his young family certainly had its risks, but Greg learned how to manage cash flow early on out of necessity. The thought of automating the process of planning and execution was exciting and energizing.

The Baxter Planning journey was not without its bumps in the road. Greg admittedly is not the ‘salesmen type’ and, well that’s pretty key in growing any business. Greg was still able to network and grow to a couple large initial clients by addressing an unmet requirement in the market. Restructuring and mergers and acquisitions caused a couple setbacks early on as well, but persistence paid off as the young product, Prophet, spoke for itself and more clients signed on.

As the company grew, another thought of Greg’s had potential to become reality, Planning as a Service.

Baxter Planning

He had seen first-hand how planners would get distracted and not have time to work all the parts, which costs companies millions of dollars. He knew that by providing both the software and expert planners, those clients would save huge amounts in expedited shipping, expired products, and more. Planning as a Service joined Prophet in the Baxter Planning offerings, giving the company a well-rounded software + services approach, but also the need to hire more planners!

Greg learned early on to hire and retain the best. This is why Baxter Planning has the best subject matter experts in service parts planning, hands down –and many of them have been with the company for 5, 10, or even 20 years!

Innovation Continues

All the team members here at Baxter Planning are proud of how far the company has come, how many clients we have partnered with, and what a great place it is to work, but we’re also looking to the future.

With cultural values including passion and creative discontent, we will continue to innovate on our service parts planning ecosystem. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the origins of Baxter Planning and that you will find the Baxter Planning Blog helpful.