Changes Ahead for Baxter in 2022

As a leader in the Service Parts industry (and someone who’s still living through a global pandemic), you know that unexpected changes can bring turmoil. But at its best, change is a structural crack that opens opportunities for positive growth. Here at Baxter Planning, we’re excited to tackle 2022 with an expansive new shift as a company. Baxter’s recent acquisition of the technical portion of Entercoms has landed us working with customers in more than 35,000 locations, and managing more than eleven billion dollars in inventory. It also gives us the technical prowess and collective industry expertise to deliver even more comprehensive solutions, zeroing in on our customer’s business outcomes. As I discussed in a recent webinar, we’re not just a service parts planning company anymore. We’re a complete Service Supply Chain Solution company, and we’re here to help everything related to your service parts evolve.

Critical Needs of Services Businesses

I think we can all agree our industry has faced “unprecedented” disruption over the past couple years, as services businesses still contend with a supply chain crisis, uncertain staffing, and limited access to customer sites. These challenges make it even more difficult for Service Parts companies to accomplish their baseline task of cost-effectively getting parts where they need to be on time. And on top of that, organizations must navigate inflation, rising interest rates, as well as the rise of servitization, the circular economy and the new customer expectations that come along with it. All of this industry evolution requires a massive amount of adaptability and resilience. That’s why we’ve been hard at work adapting our own approach to our customers’ success. In this article, I’ll share a glimpse of our exciting developments, as well as review what’s here to stay.

Predictive Service Supply Chain Approach

Baxter’s approach includes the three key pillars: prediction, automation, and insights.

  • Prediction: We’re about to offer more advanced predictive technologies—artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP)—to help customers anticipate disruptions and automatically accommodate them. This includes the difficult task of accurately predicting new product introduction (NPI) and end of life (EOL) demand.
  • Automation: Unfortunately, lots of planners end up spending too much time managing manual exceptions and fighting fires. We intend to help them find space to work strategically by automating tasks like the adjustment of minimums and fulfilling replenishments.
  • Visibility and actionable insights: This will help customers see and respond to trends in advance, as well as providing a look at their customers’ install base to see who could be an opportunity for upsell.

While Baxter’s existing solution, BaxterProphet, already brings significant benefits to customers, such as an average of twenty-five percent less inventory costs and a seventy percent reduction in stockouts, we expect to go well beyond this with our Predictive Service Supply Chain approach. We believe we can help our customers cut back on inventory costs by more than fifty percent, reduce ninety percent of stockouts, and sell more services.

Best of Baxter Here to Stay

In addition to advanced predictive analytics and automation technologies, Baxter will continue to invest in core parts planning capabilities like continuous data feed processing, embedded eLearning, and dynamic exchange curve analytics. But as a leader in a nuanced industry, you know that technology only gets you so far. That’s why we’ve always substantiated our solutions with Baxter Best Practices, a layer that continues to enhance results for our customers.

Best Baxter practice

Bottom line: We’re excited to evolve as an organization and offer even more advanced technology solutions, but we’ll always keep sight of the human—your unique needs as a non-robot, and our experience-based guidance. And now, thanks to our Entercoms partnership, we’ll offer our signature best practices with an even more dynamic team of experts on board.

Next Steps: Baxter Planning & Entercoms

As mentioned, Baxter recently joined forces with Entercoms, a recognized leader in transforming Service Supply Chains. Specifically, we acquired their Supply Chain Technology Unit to help you plan more effectively with predictive technologies and greater visualization, bridge the gap between planning and execution, and provide a generative approach to service delivery. This opportunity comes from combining Baxter’s closed-loop service of forecasting, optimizing, and executing with new capabilities from Entercoms:

  • Patented AI-enabled technology
  • Data quality and enrichment
  • Real-time visibility
  • Predictive technologies
  • Supply chain transformation expertise

The goal of this partnership is ultimately to help Baxter form more robust partnerships with our customers as well, now with a greater focus on their strategic business development.

You know your services business needs to operate as efficiently as possible to retain and gain customers, and this becomes possible by making it easier for your employees to do their jobs. Some of our new capabilities that come into play here include more streamlined order management, as well as the ability to execute and track orders in real-time. But the necessary conditions for business growth don’t end there. It also requires ingenuity and an ability to connect the dots in new ways—perhaps the most challenging, yet rewarding, element of running a business. Baxter’s complete Service Supply Chain approach is designed to help clients sell more by linking data for a complete view of their Installed Base to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

Learn More

To conclude, I’ll reiterate that I know how difficult these last couple of years have been for all of us in the service industry. But along with the sleepless nights and moments of panic, you’ve likely surprised yourself with a newfound sense of resilience. This industry is full of problem solvers, and as technology continues to advance, it’s truly our time to break new ground at an unprecedented rate. Realistically, 2022 might not be easy, but we can’t wait to work alongside many of you as your businesses rewrite the definition of “possible.”

This article is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Baxter’s new vision. We didn’t even cover our newest product, BaxterLynX! But don’t worry, we’ll have a lot of great information on BaxterLynX in one of our next articles. Stay tuned for more information, and feel free to contact us with any questions. If you missed our recent webinar, make sure to check it out here for more details on what’s to come!

Chad Hawkinson

Chad Hawkinson
Chief Product Officer

Chad Hawkinson has over 20 years of management and product leadership experience in both private and public companies. Before joining the Baxter Planning team, he was Chief Product Officer for Vertafore. Prior to that, Chad was the Senior Vice President and General Manager for a $350M division of IHS Markit (NASDAQ: INFO), where he managed over 1,000 employees across product development, sales, marketing, data science, and professional services. Mr. Hawkinson has done business in more than 30 countries.

Chad has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from MIT. Outside of Baxter, Chad enjoys spending time with his family and friends in Colorado. He also teaches engineering classes part-time at the University of Colorado at Denver.