As we explained in a recent blog post, Baxter Planning is all about baking the latest technology into our solutions. While our technology has continued to advance, one thing has stayed constant over the years: our goal to keep our customers at the center of everything we do. This commitment is the seed that grew into a major customer success initiative, our Center of Excellence (COE). With the processes established by COE, customers can see exponential increases in value from Prophet and our new solution, LynX, as well. This blog will share how our COE came to be and the role it plays when serving our customers.
Your Partners in Planning
Baxter Planning’s COE helps make us a partner to our clients rather than just a vendor. With a focus on continuous improvement, the COE collaborates both internally and with customers to create Best Practice processes and educational content related to Baxter Planning solutions. This enables our internal teams and customers to be more efficient and effective in their day-to-day jobs.
Through multiple channels, the COE constantly collects feedback from internal Baxter Planning teams and our customers to identify improvement opportunities. These improvements can be related to internal company processes as well as processes or documentation utilized by customers. Once an improvement opportunity has been identified, the COE works with appropriate teams to define and document a better solution. From there, the solution is piloted with a subgroup of customers or internal users. Once everyone is happy with the outcome, the improvements are published, and the COE promotes these improvements and educates our users.
After an improvement has been published, the next important step is measurement of user adoption. We want to ensure our customers are following Best Practices so they can get the most value out of our solutions and achieve their supply chain goals. Key metric tracking enables the COE to score customers on Best Practice adoption and provide opportunities to improve adoption.
Finally, the cycle of gathering feedback and working on new improvements starts over again to ensure Baxter Planning’s processes are always evolving and customers are always achieving success with our solutions.
How COE Started
Recognizing the importance of customer success is not something new to Baxter Planning. Early on, the Best Practice Scorecard was created as a systematic way of measuring customer performance. Over the years, the Best Practice Scorecard continued to improve, and additional customer success initiatives were completed, such as defining the Planning Responsibilities Outline (PRO) and the creation of Best Practice consulting offerings.
These concepts were treated as side projects until it became clear how much more value customers could achieve from Prophet when they followed Best Practices. This led to Baxter Planning leaders formalizing this initiative in 2018 and assembling a team focused specifically on customer success with an eye toward improvement. Kimberlin Marston, our head of the COE, continues to work with her team to establish repeatable processes around Best Practices, product education, and continuous improvement.
In the few years the COE has been in place, this team has made a significant impact both internally and externally with our customers in many different areas.
- Product Education – Tools are only useful if you know how to use them. The COE works to ensure our users have access to any information they may need to utilize our products and solutions successfully.
- The COE team writes and publishes all our online Help documentation. The Help not only provides information on how to navigate through screens but also includes all our defined Best Practices. The content is updated monthly with new Best Practices, enhancements, and new feature information, so it is always up to date and available for users to utilize.
- The eLearning center is an online, interactive training tool created and maintained by the COE team that includes video content and guided walk-throughs on how to utilize our products. eLearning has significantly helped with onboarding of both Baxter employees as well as new customers.
- Metrics & Best Practice Adoption – Not only does the COE define and document Best Practices, it also creates the processes to measure how well customers are adopting these Best Practices. Structured KPIs and benchmarks are set and adjusted to meet clients’ unique goals and objectives. These metrics are regularly reviewed with customers to track progress and determine improvement recommendations based on data, objectives, and Baxter Planning’s decades of industry experience.
- Planning Analytics – The COE team consistently drives success in new and exciting ways, with a recent example being the Planning Analytics dashboards. This COE project involved the creation of new analytics dashboards that provide users with visualizations of data to improve data analysis. These dashboards have been a great addition to the product, allowing users to easily view data and analyze performance.
While investing in the latest technology certainly helps us and our clients adapt, our COE’s focus on continuous improvement of processes and Best Practices is what gives us the day-to-day flexibility to match our customers’ evolving needs.
If this article got you curious on the Baxter Planning origin story, you can learn all about that here.