Aged care’s finances were on shaky ground even before March 2020. Now, the government’s issued a lot of advice, and given out grants, but RACF balance sheets are still not stable.
The truth is you need funds. And you need them now. COVID’s still launching variants, and the price you must pay to control outbreaks is mounting. Workers are burnt out and replacements are hard to find, PPE prices and availabilities are uncertain, and every new wave seems to change the rules.
You don’t have time to wait for increased aged care supplies funding. You don’t have other revenue streams funneling cash. But you can mitigate outbreak costs, using secure supply partnerships and reliable, win-win relationships to keep infections subdued.
So, how can you work with your consumables supplier to manage costs and guarantee supply during outbreaks?
Use a Hygiene Consumables Contract to Prevent Extra Costs
Some of the heftiest prices paid during outbreaks come from urgently sourced extra supplies. To reduce these costs, you want confidence that your hygiene consumables supplier will prioritise your needs during times of trouble.
The best way to get that priority status? Put it in writing.
Agree on a legally binding supply contract requiring your supplier to step up. If the contract’s formed the right way, extra costs will be limited and supply stabilised.
Our contract process works like this:
- The site survey team figure out your required range of products
- We agree to supply your needs at a standard price, reviewed annually
- You agree to pay the standard price for each product when invoiced
- We negotiate a market charge for any in-demand items
- Our install team gets everything at your site ready, and
- Your operations continue smoothly with us in the background.
By now you could be asking ‘How does this help me curb costs in an outbreak in my aged care facility?’
A good question – let’s break it down.
How Do Hygiene Consumables Contracts Help Curb Costs in Aged Care Outbreaks?
During an aged care outbreak, your use of critical items (like hand sanitiser, face protection, isolation gowns, and rapid antigen tests) increases rapidly. These surges can lead to supply constraints and demand-inflated prices.
A hygiene consumables contract documents and seals the supplier’s promise of delivery and places agreed-upon limits on the cost to you.
With our priority supply model, your estimated product usage is already in our demand projections. We hold these goods available in our warehouses for on-time delivery, at which time you receive your regular invoice, showing the prices and supplied stock amounts.
If you’re needing extra supply, your standard prices still apply (with the product’s market charge to cover our costs if applicable), and you have the assurance that we will prioritise your needs with incoming stock.
We’re happy to make this commitment because our job is made easier by early prioritisation – it allows us to rapidly allocate stock to those who most need it.
Here’s an example of where it worked.
Cranbrook Care Case Study
Cranbrook Care, a four-site residential aged care group in the Greater Sydney region of New South Wales, was ahead of the game during the Omicron wave.
When Omicron cases began to spread in New South Wales, many aged care facilities were caught unprepared and suffered outbreaks. But because Cranbrook Care already had a consumables contract in place, they had priority access to high demand products.
Cranbrook Care requested 591 cartons of gloves, 49 cartons of overshoes and 627 cartons of other PPE to be held in our warehouses. We were also able to supply them with 1000 rapid antigen tests per week over 5 months.
As part of the contracted service, our team transported them straight to a secure storage location on each of their four sites and restocked when necessary.
Cranbrook Care’s contract was based on our priority supply model, so they paid only their standard price plus any agreed market charges for critical category products. Their contract meant they were free of the last-minute ring-around that many facilities faced when it became clear that there was a shortage.
Hygiene Consumables Contracts Really Do Mitigate Aged Care Outbreak Costs
In a day when nursing home groups appear to be the last to receive help, it seems risky to trust anyone.
But hygiene consumables contracts, when run on a priority supply model, really do work.
The right supply partner will help you limit the consumables budget overrun from another COVID outbreak, reduce the search for PPE to last you out the week, and help prevent your staff from succumbing to infections because they have inadequate protection.
Your partner will be there for you when a COVID, gastro, or norovirus outbreak happens. They’ll negotiate alternative supply lines, arrange for delivery, and manage extra stock for emergencies.
We’ve previously written an article on how to pick a hygiene consumables partner you can trust. This will help you to find new partners or rate your current suppliers – follow the link above to access the article.
You don’t have to wait for increased aged care funding at all. You can manage costs, by starting a relationship with a reliable supplier who will have your back.
And you can take the first step today.