In Ireland, the Trinity Purchasing team has helped Curragh Lawn Nursing Home, part of the CéileCare network of family owned and operated nursing homes, reduce costs during this challenging time for care home operators.
“The initial onboarding process was great,” says Colman Ryan, owner of care home Curragh Lawn Nursing. “Trinity just asked me for our invoices – and a week or so later, we settled on some initial key focus areas. The cost savings estimate they came back with was quite a stark comparison. I’d done very little work, and spent no money, but there were a lot of glaring savings for us.”
Care home challenges
Care home operators are facing a particularly tough time – with inflation pushing up supply costs, they’re unable to increase prices to recover margins. As a result, a renewed focus on finding ways to cut costs – without sacrificing on quality of service or care – helps to reduce those pressures.
Colman shares that the challenges his operation is currently facing is typical of many Irish care homes. “We’re a private business, but we operate under the government’s Fair Deal scheme, which provides state support for residents,” he says. “But with inflationary challenges and wage pressures, we don’t have the ability to easily increase our income – we can’t react.”
Strategic procurement partnership
Working with the CéileCare network of Nursing Homes, Colman and his colleagues came to one conclusion: “The only way to survive is to fixate on driving down, or at best, maintain, your costs.”
The group went to market, looking for a procurement partner that could help. “We’re very much a hands-on in the business, so we don’t have the luxury of time to focus on procurement,” he says. “When we were introduced to Trinity, the timing couldn’t have been better. It was quite clear they had what we required ready to go.”
Harnessing Trinity’s buying power has, for example, cut €300 per month off the care home’s dairy bill – “And it’s the exact same product, from the same supplier we’ve historically purchased from,” says Colman.
On top of this, the ability to lock in energy prices has prevented the worry of imminent increases, which Colman describes as “an achievement in itself in the current market”.
Maintaining quality, local supply
With Curragh Lawn operating as a family business, connections with quality local food suppliers are key.
“One of my key concerns was not to reduce quality simply to save money,” says Colman. “So far, I’ve been really pleased that Trinity has respected the desire to maintain those local relationships.”
Gaining efficiencies with the Pi system
The next step for the care home will be migrating their ordering process onto Trinity’s cloud-based eProcurement system, Pi. Pi helps operators place online orders with multiple suppliers, manage supplier invoices, and more – taking care of otherwise time-consuming tasks.
This system will provide further efficiency gains for the busy operation, as it prepares to open additional beds in a new extension.