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If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That fairly well sums up the relationship between Silicon Graphics Inc. and its service parts inventory planning provider, Baxter Planning Systems.
Silicon Graphics, or SGI, designs and supplies a family of workstations, server and supercomputer systems that are marketed worldwide. Its products and parts number in the hundreds, so its need for inventory planning is evident.
It first partnered with Austin-based Baxter in 2002. Due diligence dictates that contractual arrangements be reviewed from time to time, and the alliance between Baxter and SGI, Sunnyvale, Calif., is no different, says Kipp Hooper, SGI logistics planning and procurement manager. "We have a contract with them, obviously, and each time it comes up for renewal, we evaluate our solution, and each time we've made the decision to stay with Baxter," says Hooper. In fact, SGI has signed on with Baxter three times now. "The relationship just keeps getting better."
Baxter Planning Systems has the contract for SGI's aftermarket parts, and Hooper credits the Texas company's Prophet by Baxter product with substantially reducing SGI's global inventory while maintaining a high customer satisfaction fill rate.
"The initial inventory improvement was realized shortly after implementation of Prophet by Baxter," says Hooper. "The better news is that the inventory has continued to reduce over the past six years and is appropriate for SGI's current service commitments around the world."
Baxter continues to make positive enhancements to Prophet, according to Hooper, "and the road map going forward promises very exciting capabilities, particularly in 'what-if' modeling and improvements in the areas of new-product introductions and end-of-life planning."
Baxter's commitment and dedication to its customers is well above average, Hooper says. It takes an active interest in its customers' businesses and proactively tries to enhance Prophet to meet those needs. In an effort to further improve communications with its customers, Baxter has recently developed and released a customer-based web forum that allows Prophet users around the world to communicate not only with Baxter but with each other. Hooper says that this tool will allow for the community of Prophet users to discuss and provide input on a variety of topics, including best practices as well as feedback and input that will likely influence Baxter on future developments of Prophet.
"Overall, SGI continues to expand its service offerings around the world. We look forward to working with Baxter to insure we have the best planning tool, and that it's Prophet," Hooper says.
Baxter Planning Systems, www.bybaxter.com
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