Care Home operator Holmes Care Group is achieving savings on essential purchases, without compromising on the quality and high standards it provides to residents, thanks to its partnership with buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.
Founded in 1982, Holmes Care is an award-winning family run care group, providing care and support to more than 800 people at its 14 locations around the UK, and employing over 1200 people.
Holmes Care Group has been working with Lynx Purchasing for seven years, and continues to expand the range of products and services it buys from leading industry suppliers at prices exclusively negotiated by the Lynx Purchasing team. Like all Lynx customers, Holmes Care has no contract and no buying ties, and pays no fee – Lynx Purchasing is paid through a rebate from the supplier.
As Holmes Care director Mac Lakhani explains, “Disciplined purchasing is absolutely crucial to our business, in terms of maintaining our high standards while getting the best value we can. We’re a medium sized business, and although we feel that we have decent buying power, we’ve found that it’s not always enough to get the right deals. With Lynx Purchasing negotiating on our behalf with suppliers, and despite the fact that, of course, Lynx has to make money as well, we’re able to get real benefits in terms of cost savings.”
With each home in the group requiring a wide range of essential food and drink and non-food catering lines, Lynx Purchasing has established an agreed buying list of core products which deliver the best value for the business.
Mac says: “The team at Lynx make the recommendations on suppliers, and we’ll always have debates around that, because for us it’s not always about getting the cheapest product, it’s also about achieving the balance of getting a decent product at a good price. Then, once a product or supplier is on our core list, each of our homes know that they can’t deviate from that. The economies of scale are achieved only when we have that buying discipline.”
Lynx also works to mitigate price increases. At the group’s most recent price review, increases in a numbers of product lines, such as dairy, amounted to an annual increase of £20,700 across the group. However, by switching certain lines, it was possible to achieve savings of £20,300. “Where prices were going up in some instances we were able to make savings in others, and come as close to a zero increase as possible. It all boils down to the passion of the team at Lynx for what they do, which reflects in what they do for us,” says Mac
Lynx Purchasing has also recently expanded its support for Holmes Care Group into new areas, including catering equipment, and negotiating a significant new waste management contract. Previously, the group’s waste management was being serviced by a number of different companies and local authorities; as these contracts expire each home is moving onto the new agreement with a single contractor, achieving substantial savings.
Mac also appreciates the added value the group gets from insight such as regular Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast. “The Lynx team gives us detailed information on what’s happening in the marketplace. It means that when price increases come through, I can explain to my end users, our general managers in each home, why it’s happening and remind them of the importance of being careful with their buying, and the benefits we achieve though the prices negotiated for us by Lynx Purchasing.”