Careers at Baxter
Baxter International’s mission is to save and sustain lives.
Baxter International is a provider of healthcare products. The firm operates two reportable business segments:
- Hospital Products – Provides products used in the delivery of drugs and fluids to patients. These include intravenous (IV) and other sterile solutions and administration sets, pre-filled vials and syringes for injectable drugs, premixed drugs and drug-reconstitution systems, IV nutrition products, infusion pumps, inhalation anesthetics, and biosurgery products. The segment also offers products and services related to drug formulation, pharmacy compounding, and packaging technologies.
- Renal – Provides products and services for patients with end-stage renal disease, or irreversible kidney failure and acute kidney injuries, with a range of therapeutic options across home, in-center, and hospital settings. The portfolio includes technologies and therapies for peritoneal dialysis (PD), in-center hemodialysis (HD), home hemodialysis (HHD) continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), multi-organ extracorporeal support therapy, and additional dialysis services.
In the early 20th century, only university hospitals and large research centers had the facilities to manufacture intravenous solutions. Even then, they were limited in quantity and of variable quality. Iowa physician Donald Baxter sought to address this problem. In 1931 he partnered with his colleague Ralph Falk to establish the Don Baxter Intravenous Products Company.
The purpose of the new firm was to produce large, closely-controlled quantities of intravenous solutions and sell them commercially to hospitals in the Midwest. In 1933 it opened a plant in Chicago, where six employees manufactured its line of five products and packaged them in glass containers. Its partner the American Hospital Supply Corporation distributed the items.
In 1935 Falk bought Baxter’s interest in the company. Soon afterwards, he started a research and development division and established a second manufacturing facility, in Canada. In the 1950s, the firm expanded greatly through acquisitions, enabling it to introduce a variety of new products such as irrigating solutions, dialysis solutions, respiratory therapy products, and disposable devices.
In 1961 Baxter began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The next few decades saw the development of many technological innovations and the expansion of its international presence. In 2014 Baxter split into two firms, Baxter International (a medical products company) and Baxalta (a new biopharmaceuticals spin-off). Later that year Baxter International exited the vaccines business.
Benefits at Baxter
Business model of Baxter
Baxter has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at providers of health care services, including hospitals, kidney dialysis centers, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and doctors’ offices.
Baxter offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, innovation, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It markets products in a broad range of therapeutic areas, including Anesthesia & Critical Care, BioSurgery, Drug Delivery, Infusion Systems, Intravenous Access, Nutrition, Renal Therapies, and Pharmacy Workflow. It is able to do so because it has acquired numerous companies since its founding, enabling it to diversify its portfolio. These include Hyland Laboratories; Flint, Eaton and Company; Fenwal Laboratories of Boston; Medcom; American Hospital Supply Company; Caremark; and Baxa.
The company has embraced innovation from its very start. Its product breakthroughs include:
- The first commercially-manufactured intravenous (IV) solutions
- The first portable (home-based) kidney dialysis machine
- The Transfuso-Vac blood collection system, a sterile vacuum-type collection unit for blood that enabled storage for up to 21 days, giving rise to the practice of blood banking
- The Plasma-Vac container, which enabled the separation of plasma from whole blood
- The first disposable total bypass oxygenator for open-heart surgery
- The Autoplex anti-inhibitor coagulant, a major innovation in the treatment of hemophilia
- Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, an alternative to hemodialysis for kidney failure
The company has established a powerful brand due to its success. It manufactures its products in 25 countries and sells them in 120 countries. Its offerings can be found everywhere, from clinics and hospitals to homes in major cities and rural areas. They are used on millions of patients daily, with over a million units of IV solutions being shipped to its U.S. customers each day. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the following:
- Recognition as one of “America’s Best Employers” by Forbes
- Recognition as “Most Socially Responsible Enterprise of the Year” by Health News — China
- Ranking as a Top 50 Employer by Workforce Diversity for Engineering & IT Professionals
- Recognition as one of the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine
- Ranking in the Civic 50 by The National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light
Baxter’s main channel is its direct sales team. It also sells its products through independent distributors, drug wholesalers, and specialty pharmacies. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, direct mail campaigns, catalogs and merchandising bulletins, trade publications, advertising, and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Baxter’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website provides an “eServices Center” where product users can access useful resources and obtain information. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Baxter’s business model entails designing, developing, manufacturing, and distributing its products. The company manufactures 90% of its offerings.
Baxter’s key partners are the suppliers around the world who provide raw materials for use in the manufacture of its products. It maintains a long-term supply relationship with Baxalta, which manufactures ARTISS, FLOSEAL, TISSEEL, and stand-alone thrombin.
Baxter relies on independent distributors, drug wholesalers, and specialty pharmacies to assist in the distribution of its products.
Baxter’s BioPharma Solutions business unit partners with pharmaceutical firms to support their commercialization goals by offering scientific expertise, parenteral delivery systems, sterile contract manufacturing solutions, and customized support services.
Lastly, Baxter operates Baxter Ventures, which identifies young firms with innovative and promising products, technologies, and/or therapies, and provides them with capital and expertise. Its specific areas of focus for investment are Healthcare Information Technology, In-Hospital Solutions and Therapeutics, Medical Devices, Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools, Pharmacy Technology Tools, Renal Therapies, and Surgical Tools.
Baxter’s main resource is its intellectual property, which includes its patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The company depends upon these to maintain its competitive position. Baxter also relies heavily on physical resources in the form of its 50 manufacturing facilities and more than 100 distribution facilities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. Lastly, it depends heavily on its R&D and engineering staff for the design and development of its products.
Baxter has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is cost of sales, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and research/development, both fixed costs.
Baxter has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sales of its products and related services. Its offerings are sold through contracts formed with its clients, often long-term in nature.
info: José E. Almeida earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia. He previously served as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Covidien PLC, and as Vice President of Worldwide Manufacturing at Tyco Healthcare.
info: James K. Saccaro earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Engineering-Economic Systems at Stanford University. He previously served as Treasurer of Baxter and as Senior VP and CFO of Hill-Rom Corporation.
info: Paul E. Martin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems at Western Kentucky University. He previously served as Group Chief CIO at Rexam PLC, and held senior roles at CIT Group, Frito-Lay, and BNSF Railway.
info: Marcus Schabacker earned an M.D. and a doctorate in Anesthesia at Medical University of Lübeck. He previously served as Head of R&D at Baxter's Medical Products business unit and as SVP and Chief Scientific Officer of ConvaTec.
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