Leading Baxter's Longest-Operating Plant

Betsy Aguzzi, Site Director at Baxter's Cleveland, Mississippi (U.S.) manufacturing plant, shares her perspective on how connecting with employees and encouraging diversity of thought leads to better planning and process improvements.

The Cleveland plant was built in 1950 and today has more than 500 employees. Products produced there include solutions in both plastic and glass containers, reconstitution devices and plastic pour bottles. These products are used across the hospital setting, including in drug delivery and irrigating tissue and wounds.

Aguzzi has held her current role since April 2021. She joined Baxter in 1998 as a Quality Associate and gained experience that enabled her to develop her career in Quality Operations, Quality Engineering and Quality Systems. She led people in all her roles, developed and managed department budgets, and completed numerous successful projects to reduce waste and improve manufacturing processes. 

What is the most important part of your job? 

Betsy: The most important part of my job is the safety and well-being of the employees who work at the Cleveland site. 

Describe a typical day in the plant.

Betsy: My typical day starts by reviewing the shift reports for every department to see how we ran the previous shift. I go out on the production floor as soon as I get to work to see how we are running and how the employees in the different areas are doing.  

I like to spend lots of time in the production areas with the employees to field questions, talk about their day, congratulate them on keeping the plant running well and drive them to have friendly competition with other departments on exceeding daily production goals. At the end of the day, I again check on the production areas and employees before I leave.

So many different people in various roles work at the plant. What is the key to managing a diverse team? 

Betsy: The key to managing a diverse team is listening to all inputs and perspectives and taking those into consideration to develop the best plan possible. Diversity of experience and knowledge allows for better decisions. We encourage all functions to work together and present ideas for improvement.

What's the most fulfilling part about working at Baxter? What makes you commit to a career here? 

Betsy: The most fulfilling part about my job is being at a plant that manufactures products that save and sustain lives. Like many of us, I've been a patient in the hospital, as have members of my family. In my case my treatment included the Plastic Pour Bottle and Mini-Bag Plus Reconstitution Device we make right here in our plant. Experiences like that make me feel proud about the Cleveland site and, most of all, in the employees that make it a success.

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