Purchasing & Spend Management Software for Nursing Homes

Chain of assisted living facilities curbs overspending through automated control over purchasing

Company Overview

The company owns a group of assisted living facilities that provide specialized care for a range of medical conditions. Its 20+ facilities provide housing for seniors who need support with daily activities like eating and bathing, and who don’t require the intensive medical care one receives in nursing homes.

Why PurchaseControl™

PurchaseControl was selected primarily to get spending under control across this assisted living company’s locations. The lack of a standard approval process resulted in decentralized and unorganized purchasing.

Key Challenges

  • No dedicated spend management system in place
  • Kitchen orders placed by phone were not being formally tracked; orders were often incorrect
  • Ordering process was decentralized across 20+ facilities, resulting in frequent overpayment
  • Team was not technologically savvy

Key Benefits

  • Centralized purchasing in one system, making it paperless, faster, and more streamlined
  • Standardized the company’s complex approval process with customized spend limits
  • Made kitchen operations faster by easily duplicating regular orders
  • Curbed overspending and duplicate payments

The Story

Insights into purchasing at assisted living facilities

Purchasing patterns at assisted living facilities are unique. In addition to placing semi-regular orders for supplies like shampoo and cleaning products, food and beverage orders are placed on a daily basis for patient meals. In order to get control over purchasing, assisted living facilities require a system that can handle both kinds of ordering. It must have the flexibility to give chefs the freedom to order what they need, while at the same time ensuring that non-kitchen orders follow the company’s typical approval process.

On top of that, many of the staff and prospective users of a purchasing system are not administrative. Chefs, kitchen staff, nurses, and other caregivers are focused on providing top-notch service to patients, and in many cases, are not technologically savvy. Implementing a system that is easy to use is a critical factor for assisted living facilities.

The “before” version of this company’s purchasing process—inefficient and expensive

This assisted living facility relied on a manual system to create and track kitchen and other orders. Upwards of 500 employees across its 20+ locations used a combination of phone, Excel, and email to manage purchasing. Food and beverage orders were being placed every day by phone with no records of the agreed price. Payment was often sent to suppliers without any confirmation that the order was ever placed, and duplicate payments were common.

The team needed an automated system that could help the company do three primary things:

  1. Manage purchasing without burdening the team with unwieldy technology
  2. Create approval workflows for certain areas of the business and autonomy for others
  3. Create, track, search, and log orders

The company chose PurchaseControl as its assisted living facility purchasing software because it solved all of these issues.

The “after” version—fast and standardized

Within a short time, the purchasing process was centralized within PurchaseControl, and the staff was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to learn and use. Automated approval workflows and customized spend limits enabled each facility to order what they wanted, when they wanted—without going over budget. The management team appreciated that purchasing accountability was enforced automatically—no more awkward conversations about vague company policies.

Kitchen operations were no longer slowed down by inefficient ordering. Chefs used the duplicate order feature to quickly create similar orders based on their history. Full order tracking ensured that suppliers were being paid once (and only once!), and that payment was made only for goods actually received.

Assisted living facility operating expenses were slashed across the board through reduced paperwork, better use of employees’ time, and no more overpayments. On top of that, the company had better visibility into spending, which enabled them to budget more effectively and optimize spending with preferred suppliers.

Snapshot

  • Customer – Assisted Living Facility
  • Key Client – Office Supervisor
  • Industry – Healthcare
  • Company Size – 500-1000 employees