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Five ways to streamline the procurement process in Aged Care

As Australia's aged care industry grapples with perennial issues such as staffing shortages, care quality, financial insecurity and inflationary pressures, now is a great opportunity for decision makers to optimise the processes and technologies they use to manage external expenditure.

Day-to-day operations in aged care remain more complex than they were pre-Covid, so finding ways to streamline procurement in aged care is critical.

“One of the key challenges for procurement in the aged care sector today is the need to innovate and rethink the operating model to ensure the high standards of aged care remain affordable in the future,” explains Terri Goldstein, Medical and Health Specialist at Winc.

Terri has over 15 years of experience managing multiple facilities across regions in the aged and community care sectors and shares her advice on how to overcome current procurement challenges in aged care.

Better compliance requirements continue to be a non-negotiable for procurement teams in a post-Covid landscape. “Ensure that both your organisation and partner suppliers have adequate governance in place to ensure performance and compliance,” says Terri.

She recommends maintaining open, honest, and robust communication with supplier organisations to ensure that company spend management processes are in place. This can lead to improved communication as well as strategy and goal alignment. 

“The name of the game is really to find smarter, faster, more efficient ways to get things done,” says Terri.

“It’s important to be able to automate and streamline procurement, contract management and reporting to increase ease of use but also to boost productivity,” she continues.

Having the right technology can help with this, so Terri recommends reviewing manual tasks and working with suppliers who can recommend digital approaches to improve performance.

Another recommendation to streamline is to buy in bulk to save on cost.

“Cost management is a key focus for many aged care providers, so ensure you partner with suppliers who provide specialised product consolidation and have a cost-effective approach to all your organisation's needs,” recommends Terri.

“Look to consolidate spend by partnering with a few suppliers to help you build true value and reduce complexity in how you procure for your organisation so you’re only having to manage a select few relationships rather than many,” Terri continues. 

A growing focus is also on sourcing in a smarter, more sustainable way.

“Increasingly, the sector is looking at more environmentally and socially responsible products and services, which is great to see,” says Terri.

“To ensure you make decisions that aligns with your organisation’s values and sustainability goals, it’s good to maintain strong supplier relationships to develop tailored solutions. It’s also important to set goals and track progress along the way.”

“Ultimately, it’s about collaboration,” says Terri.

“Procurement teams need to partner with organisations that can offer comprehensive support.

This could be the agility to quickly adapt to changing needs, solid account management and a team customer service representatives – good collaboration with these experts and stakeholders can really make a difference and improve the service quality and choice for patients as well as staff,” concludes Terri.

At Winc we know running a care facility takes precise planning, close budgeting, and careful decision-making.

The depth and breadth of our industry experience across the healthcare and aged care spectrum means we deliver true insights, industry specific solutions and specialist products with the responsiveness, reliability, and cost effectiveness you need.

With one of the largest distribution networks in the country, we deliver what you need when you need it, freeing you up to do what you do best – care.

If you’re looking to unlock more value from your supply partner, now’s the time to talk. Visit our website for more information.

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