Mark Bakker: Change Agent

Mark Bakker: Change Agent

Mark Bakker, head of supply chain operations, Americas, HP Inc.

Responsibilities: Manage supply chain operations for owned and channel inventory for commercial and retail markets for the Americas; meet financial goals for the printing, graphics, and personal systems product categories.

Experience: Vice president, supply chain operations, Asia Pacific and Japan; director of operations, EMEA; director, service business operations, EMEA; call center manager, support engineer, and project manager, all with HP.

Education: Business administration degree, Fons Vitae Lyceum, Amsterdam

We’re significantly transforming the supply chain environment at HP. Roughly three years ago, Hewlett Packard divided itself into two pieces: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. After that, we at HP Inc. took a critical look at our IT architecture and infrastructure.

We needed to retool the business for success in a landscape that’s moving from transactional to contractual customer relationships. We also needed better tools and processes to support new product introductions and business models.

We set out a roadmap. We cut 13 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems across the company to two. We recently implemented the first release of a new ERP in North America, and hope to complete implementations in all business units in two to three years.

We’re also implementing a new set of planning tools that improve forecast accuracy. Ultimately this will lead to us being more capable of supporting customers. We want to improve predictability in on-time delivery and provide better visibility to customers’ orders.

I started with the company in the Netherlands in 1994. I worked up the ranks in the services organization, and then decided to change careers. I wanted to be more involved in business execution and help grow the company. In 2005, I switched to supply chain.

I moved to Germany and spent five years in supply chain and production planning, and leading the logistics organization for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. I led the nearshoring of back-office activities and some production facilities from western Europe to the Czech Republic, and led several logistics consolidation initiatives.

Then I saw an opportunity to head the supply chain for our printing division in Asia-Pacific. I moved to Singapore for two years.

At this point, HP consolidated the print and PC businesses and supply chains. That offered an opportunity to take a broader role as head of supply chain for the print and PC businesses in the Americas.

In my current role, I’ve overseen the offshoring and nearshoring of different functions, network consolidation, and a transformation of the order management process.

In all my roles, I’ve had to balance optimizing cost structure, inventory, and cash flow while providing high customer service levels through our supply chain and services. This means constant change through transformation.

We try to help people understand the case for change. They can deal with change more effectively if given options, and time to react and execute on those options. Success requires balancing the company’s interests with the interests of the people affected by the change.

The Big Questions

What supply chain-disrupting technologies would you speed development of?

3D printing, smart packaging, and the Internet of Things. These impact the three cornerstones of supply chain practice—inventory, cost, and customer service—and allow for product personalization, a trend that will accelerate.

What song title best describes your job?

Under Pressure by Queen. We face constant pressure as we support top- and bottom-line business results, while serving our customers’ needs.

Words to live by?

Be happy, but never be satisfied. There is always more, better, cheaper, nicer.

What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

Your dreams will become a reality, as long as you put in the effort and work hard.

How has the work world surprised you?

In any job, there is always more to learn and achieve, as long as you remain engaged and hungry.

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