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Ovidiu Cimpeanu, Catering Manager at Clarendon Lodge, part of the Greensleeves Care Home group, shares some of the challenges they faced including price fluctuations, poor quality fresh produce and delivery issues and how they managed to turn them around with the help of Pelican’s procurement manager Sarah Garnade, Pi and the wider Pelican team.

Changing F&V supplier delivered better quality, and over 15% savings

“Previously, we were using our local greengrocer, but prices fluctuated on a daily basis, and the quality was getting worse. So, we asked Sarah to help us. She carried out a price review and put forward three F&V suppliers that met our product and service needs – and they all showed savings versus our previous supplier.

Sarah also arranged product samples to be delivered to the home before making the decision, to ensure the quality was right. Based on all of this, we chose to work with The Menu Partners as they offered the highest savings of 15.97% – around £806 a year.

In my catering role, I have worked with several different F&V companies, and the comparison made The Menu Partners really stand out.

Deliveries meet our requirements, while their product quality, price and service are very good. I particularly like the fact that their delivery schedule is very flexible. Sarah has successfully implemented the contract with our specific service level requirements, and we can also place orders via Pelican’s online ordering system, Cherry Pi. As our residents love roast dinners, our top three ordered items are broccoli, potatoes and parsnips.”

From fruit & veg to fish

“As a result of the success of the F&V review, we asked Sarah to help us set up a fresh fish supplier, as we were looking to buy better quality fresh fish, at a competitive price.

I wanted to work with M&J Seafood, as I have worked with them in the past eight years and found them to consistently deliver good quality fish products. Sarah helped us set up the M&J contract to meet our specific needs. We now are receiving good quality fresh fish to our required specifications, and we can also place orders with them via Cherry Pi. Our most popular items are salmon and cod.”

Cherry Pi online ordering saves us so much time!

“I have only recently started using online ordering, but to be honest I don’t believe there is a better way of placing orders.

In my previous role, we had to place an order with suppliers over the phone – and a lot of orders were placed through answering machine messages. Looking back, it was fairly chaotic – you never knew if your message was fully understood or if the products were in stock. And, there were missing items and lots of mistakes in deliveries. Comparing the two, Cherry Pi is a much better option to use:

  • The Pi system gives us direct access to products and prices, which are managed and updated by Pelican. If we want to add new suppliers or products, this is managed for us.
  • The Pi system informs you automatically if one or more products are not in stock at the time of placing an order – so you can easily switch to other similar products, or to other suppliers that can supply the same product or similar.
  • Online ordering removes the potential risk of the errors that phone messages bring, such as poor signal reception, or misunderstanding the message.
  • Once an order is placed via Pi, any error can be tracked and corrected (I have proof of what has been ordered so I can check it against the delivery note).
  • Pi allows you to place multiple orders, choosing different delivery dates and multiple suppliers at one time.
  • It’s clear that online ordering is much quicker too.

I would like to say a big thank you to Sarah Garnade and the wider Pelican team for your hard work and support – it is much appreciated! With your help, my team is able to focus on creating dishes that our residents love to eat!”

Sarah Garnade says: “I have been providing procurement and supply chain management support for a number of Greensleeves Care homes over several years. There are no standard templates – each is quite different as Greensleeves pride themselves on providing a tailored approach to meet the specific needs of their residents.  I see myself as an extension of their team helping them to deliver an amazing catering experience to their residents.” 

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