The class had an opportunity to visit Baxter International´s Costa Rican manufacturing facilities. Baxter is a global player in the healthcare industry with the manufacturing of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology products. We were first met by a top plant manager, Jose, who provided us with an educational video outlining Baxter International and its operations. Then, after a question and answer session, Jose took us on a full plant tour. The facility was exceptionally organized and followed lean practices and 6 sigma opertional guidelines for quality.
Jose was proud to tell our class the following information:
Baxter has existed in Costa Rica since 1987 and is the country´s is the fourth largest exporter of goods. The company employs roughly 1,200 people to manufacture its major products of intravenous administration kits, blood monitoring sets, and cancer screening kits. Employees are paid high wages for the country and are treated exceptionally well. The company provides a 60% food subsidy in its cafeteria and has an on site dental clinic that can be used free of charge for the employees and their families. The plant we visited is internationally known for high standards in quality and safety, evidenced by its ISO 9001 certification and its receiving of the Shingo Award for operational excellence.
Some additional facts about the plant include:
1. The plant´s lost time incident rate per 100 employees has decreased from 0.63 incidents in 2000 to just 0.06 incidents in 2006. This is a strong indicator of increased safety measures being successfully carried out at the plant.
2. The facility has also reduced its lost time days per 100 employees from 3.85 in 2000 to 0.6 in 2006.
3. The manufacturing facility is carbon neutral, using high efficiency machinery and fixtures while purchasing carbon offsets to reduce its burden on the environment.
4. The facility exports $190 million of products worldwide, with 90 percent of the goods going directly to the United States.