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Silverline Care provides bespoke nursing care for older people across six homes in Scotland and a further six in Yorkshire.  

Group’s food offering

A major aspect of the group’s care provision is focused around nutrition with our inhouse chefs taking great pride in ensuring menus consist of great tasting, nutritionally balanced meals.

Three meals are offered throughout the day with a variety of snacks being available 24hrs a day. All staff strive to ensure mealtimes are an enjoyable and satisfying experience for our residents.

Sharon McHardy, Regional Catering Manager, and Sharon McNicholl, Accounts Payable Manager, talk about the challenges they face in sourcing and budgeting for the ingredients and products their chefs need on a daily basis.

Managing food & beverage procurement

Sharon McNicholl, “With twelve homes, there’s a great deal of work that goes on behind the scenes to manage the logistics relating to our food and beverage requirements. 

When I first joined the team in early 2018, we worked with lots of suppliers and I would have to manage the contract and pricing negotiations with each.

There were a lot of challenges with invoicing too; each home was responsible for overseeing its individual budget and product ordering, however the difficulty for me was keeping track – and in control – of spend; the process was manual and so not only time consuming, but open to errors.”

Looking for a procurement partner

A change was on the horizon however as Silverline Care was in the process of implementing support from a procurement partner to help remove some of the pressures the team were facing in managing its spend. 

Pelican Procurement was asked to assist the group in identifying savings, both in administrative resources and also to help them take financial control.

 Ms McNicholl added, “Following a market review, Pelican was selected as the procurement partner and we quickly started reviewing the food side of things. 

We gave them a list of suppliers, obtained food lists and they reviewed the existing processes with us.  Not only did they undertake a supplier review, but where they really have come into their own is on the management side of things.   The Pelican Pi online system is making a big difference for us.”

Reaping the benefits

Pelican’s Pi online system is designed to centralise the entire procurement process – from ordering and invoice management, to menu management, stock control and budget tracking

It also provides transparent reporting, so at any time the team can see which products are being ordered, and details such as cost per serve can be quickly calculated.

Professional tendering & product sourcing

The outcomes from a tender process in 2019 for hygiene, chemical and medical supplies has shown an impressive 15.7% financial saving.

In addition, Pelican helped to source suppliers for non-food category including: maintenance, lighting, stationary and pureed textured foods.

Sharon McHardy confirms, “Pelican have helped us source some new ranges of quality texture modified food solutions. This helps us to support residents who experience swallowing difficulties. Each dish complies with IDDSI guidelines for texture and has consistence in nutritional content so we can control calorie intake, for specific diets.

“On top of this, Pelican has been very helpful in sourcing suppliers for a wide range of needs – and all of these purchases are being handled via Pi. This means we now have a consistent way of tracking purchasing for all our goods.” 

Price and invoice management

With Pelican now managing Silverline Care’s procurement, it tracks all agreed pricing. If any price fluctuations occur within the contracted period, Pelican identifies these and liaises with the supplier on behalf of the care provider.  Since partnering with Pelican, over 8,000 invoices have been processed on Silverline’s behalf showing a potential saving of £76,000.

Control and visibility across each home’s purchasing spend

Chefs in the homes are continuing to manage their own ordering, however it is now managed through Pi’s e-billing module, enabling everything to be seen and authorised, so the Support Office has a full and current insight into home’s individual spend and purchasing trends.

Ms McNicholl is quick to explain the benefits she is seeing in the accounts function: “For me, it’s been amazing. I receive a reconciliation statement from Pelican once a month.

Before I used to have to do this by home to match statements and payments together. This would take at least four days for me to get through; now this is done in less than two hours for all homes.   I can track budgets much better and can account for everything down to the penny.  

“We also have accountability for what is being spent where; before there would be a delay on placing orders, to receiving invoices – sometimes by a couple of weeks – and this was difficult to track. The Pi system works a treat – I love the Piggybank module, which has taken budget control to another level.”

Adds Ms McHardy, “Catering staff no longer get involved in any invoicing. They also don’t have to phone orders through.  It’s easy to order and has stripped back a great deal of administration.

Using Pelican Pi’s stock control module and menu management module to access all vital allergen information has been a great support to the catering staff.  The feedback I receive from my team is excellent – it’s very easy to use!”  

Ms McNicholl added “What impressed me is that with most new systems, firms would charge additional rates for training or support, but not with Pelican; it’s all included in our package. 

Our contact Chris Larson, Pelican’s Procurement Manager, regularly visits our homes and Support Office – it’s great to have the personal relationship with Chris and she’s extremely knowledgeable.”

Concludes Sharon McNicholl: “When we set out at the beginning, we wanted to find a way to streamline our procurement.  Pelican has done – and continues to do – just that. 

They are an absolutely invaluable resource and partner – we are still discovering new modules and tools on Pelican Pi, and we are all delighted with the significant time and financial savings we have witnessed to date.”

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