Supplier management tools, procurement logistics and invoicing systems are often the unsung heroes of an effectively run care home. While these functions are not necessarily an immediately visible part of residents’ medical or social care, they ensure that the vital systems behind the scenes can run smoothly for the good of everyone. Medical supplies and medications, food and drink, IT equipment, transport, building maintenance and more all rely on effective supplier management processes.
In the past, managing suppliers, overseeing procurement and creating and paying invoices could be a daunting, laborious task. Figures had to be cross checked and manually entered onto system with added checks in place to ensure accuracy and transparency. Procurement was complex too, with different arrangements and administrative paperwork needing to be put in place for each supplier.
Today it is a very different story. Digital care management software has helped to simplify the whole supplier management and procurement function. Stock levels can be managed digitally, as can supplier contact details, purchase order forms, budgeting and updating contact details. A separate invoicing tool is integrated into the wider Care Vision system too, which aligns with other accounts-based software and automates the approval of payments in and out. Authorised users can also access the financial data they need to do their job from wherever and whenever they need to, 24/7.
Superior supplier management
Procurement and purchasing decisions can also be made more quickly and reports compiled with much less hassle than using paper-based records to retrieve the data. Buying trends can be tracked and identified and changes in prices year on year analysed and the data used to secure better deals in the future. A digital system also helps improve communications with key suppliers, which in turn builds trust, strengthens relationships and could lead to more favourable deals.
Digitising this area also helps cut down on human error leading to inaccurate or late payments and delays in arranging deliveries or placing new orders. It also means that care managers can give their suppliers more personalised attention, as less of their time is taken up with admin and updating records.
Excellence in invoicing
Invoicing is a whole other function that can take up a lot of time and energy without the right kind of support. Switching to a digital invoicing system has a lot of benefits around saving on manhours and effort. It helps reduce – and hopefully eliminate. – errors caused by manual data entry. Calculations are made automatically, again cutting down on the risk of making a mistake.
Digital invoices also do not need to be stored in paper format, which reduces pressure on physical storage space, as well as enhances security and confidentiality around sensitive data and financial information. It also enables all people who need to access specific invoices to do so whenever they need to, without having to wait for someone else to pass them on. Online files are available for easy sharing and there is no need to make multiple copies of an invoice, which could lead to confusion further down the line.
Additionally, you can set the system up to send you reminders for payments that are due, overdue or in the pipeline for more effective admin and budgeting. Debtors notes can be pulled off the system quickly too for invoice chasing and payee statements and credit notes can also be easily managed. Finally when it comes to end of financial year reporting, tax assessments and compliance reports, your invoicing software and data will prove invaluable for aligning with your accounts and producing financial audits and returns. Compliance is just a click away!