A large, well known, care home group came to Activities to Share with a problem. Namely that they had a major headache processing purchases being made by their Activity Coordinators and Wellness Staff. They had small purchases here, expense claims there, lost receipts everywhere (therefore also lost VAT reclaim potential) – all in all a lot of work for procurement and accounting to keep track of all the purchasing going on idiosyncratically across the organisation. This care home group is fairly large, but they were not benefitting from their purchasing power as a result of having the homes buying for themselves individually and in an uncoordinated way.
Activities to Share worked with the care home group’s procurement department to create an approved list of products and they uploaded this onto their internal purchasing system so that all the homes had access to the same agreed product range. This means that every activity ordered now has a consistent centralised purchase order, making the tying up of invoices to orders, and making payments much easier. Plus this can all be consolidated up to the head office for much easier processing.
- We agreed a discount level in recognition of the larger volume of orders, which meant the care home group started to benefit from their purchasing power.
- At a later stage we introduced preferential shipping bands to help save money on shipping. We have to remember that when added up across a large group, shipping charges can amount to quite a lot of money, which could be better spent on further activities and wellness products.
- Later in the relationship the group also decided to drop one of their other suppliers and put this business through us as well (a welcome sign of the trust in the relationship), so again we worked with them to establish what products they needed and made sure these were available.
- We know that specific homes have specific needs so on a continual basis we receive special requests and do our best to procure those products as well.
- As products come and go from our range and prices change, we help the care home group to keep their purchasing system up-to-date, again keeping back-office work much lighter.
First and foremost the mountain of receipts disappeared, thereby reducing the head office procurement and accounting workload. A saving of between 10% and 15% on overall spend has been achieved, on a like for like basis (we don’t know how much has been saved through tighter control of product range). Overall a healthy relationship has developed where Activities to Share supports the care home group in procuring their activities.
Even if you aren’t necessarily one of the largest care home groups, we can still help you in similar ways. The best thing to do is to get in contact with us and help us understand your needs.