Feature Stories

Spotlight on Max Denton

September 18, 2018

Get to know Max Denton, one of our Toronto Buyers!

Question: When did you join the Baylis team?
Answer: I joined Baylis on June 20, 2016.

Q: Where did you work and what was your role before joining Baylis?
A: I was a fresh grad out of university, so this is my first job. I was in McMaster University’s first-ever graduating class for the Supply Chain and Purchasing Management program. I did do some summer work for an IT firm called Advanced Knowledge Networks, where I did a lot of project management and purchasing.

Q: What’s your day-to-day role at Baylis?
A: I do all the indirect purchasing for the company out of Mississauga. From computers for staff, to R&D prototype materials, and everything in between. The only thing I don’t touch are raw material purchases.

The most interesting part of the job for me is procuring capital equipment; buying a big-ticket item and negotiating with the vendor to meet Baylis’ needs at a price point that’s mutually beneficial to both us and the supplier. That’s the key to a good long-term relationship with a supplier.

Engineers will come to me with a request for whatever equipment they need. Sometimes they don’t yet have a clear picture of what it is they’re looking for, but they’re involving me early in the process so that I can start building relationships with the vendors. From there, I work with our engineers to narrow down exactly what we’re looking for, and then work with the supplier to negotiate things like pricing and warranty terms. Once that’s done and an agreement is in place, the engineers will present it to the managers. Once the project is approved, I normally do one last push with the supplier to see if I can get the price even lower, and then create the purchase order and submit it to the supplier.

A recent negotiation I led was for the extrusion lab, which was a six-month negotiation process with the supplier. It was probably the most stressful but fun negotiation I’ve ever been part of.

Q: What is it about Baylis and its mandate that motivates you to come into work every day?
A: It’s the fact that we are moving medicine forward. Being heavily involved with R&D purchasing, I get to see the advances we make in medical technology before they hit the market. Once they are in market, it’s a great feeling knowing that I played a role in ensuring that these new devices will help save lives.

Q: What’s your favourite part of working at Baylis?
A: My team. The supply chain team is like a little family. We all work together, we help each other out, especially when crises come up.

For Baylis as a whole, the fact that we’re growing and expanding so rapidly makes working here exciting. It allows me to show off my purchasing knowledge and talent because we are always adding new tools or production capital. It’s also beneficial in terms of career development, since we get to learn new things and experience parts of the business we normally wouldn’t be exposed to.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I volunteer as one of the head coaches for the North York Gladiators, a hockey team for athletes with special needs. We were recently featured on Hockey Day in Canada. I’ve been volunteering with them over the course of 10 years now.

Working with athletes with special needs really improves your communication skills. It teaches you to put yourself in other people’s shoes and to try to understand things from someone else’s perspective. It teaches you patience on the coaching side, but you also learn it by watching these players try to learn certain moves, and then finally succeed after so many tries.

It’s rewarding personally, but I’ve picked up skills that translate so well into my work at Baylis, especially during negotiations. It got me into the habit of trying to see things from the opposing negotiator’s perspective, so that we can achieve a solution that works for both sides.

Speed round

Favourite colour? Green.

Favourite snack? Peanut butter and jam bagels.

Favourite sport? Golf.

Biggest pet peeve?
I have two. One is slow play on the golf course, where some people will take seven or eight practice swings, then step up to the ball and shank it yards into the water. Did you really need those multiple practice swings? Second is bad drivers.

If you could, in which store would you max out your credit card? Golf Town.

What’s the last show you binge-watched? House of Cards.

What is/would be your go-to karaoke song?
Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi.

If you could go back in time to witness one event in the past, what would it be? The 1997 Masters, when Tiger Woods became the first African-American to win. This was a club where you really didn’t see African-Americans play the game. So, when he won, there was a huge shift where it was no longer viewed as a white man’s sport. Everyone can play it.

What do you like on your pizza? Bacon and red peppers.

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