By Raymond L. Staudt, Executive Director, Business Development, OC Reilly Inc.
(July 9, 2018)—With the aging baby boomer population, the number of seniors requiring assisted living, skilled care, and full nursing care continues to rise across the U.S., and the quality and variety of the meals they are served continues to be a key element in their satisfaction levels.
That makes food service a critical part of the successful management of long-term care (LTC) facilities. Careful supply chain strategies go a long way in assisting LTC facilities provide high-quality food service.
Provider magazine carried an article offering a series of approaches to setting up and maintaining a food service program that guarantees healthy, efficiency, and cost savings. Those tips include:
- Establishing a prioritization system based on which food items are requested and most often. In such an A-B-C ranking protocol, class A items would be those in the top 10 percent of usage, class B would be the next level down, and so on. This helps managers predict replenishment rates more accurately.
- Throw out “dead” stock, by fully assessing inventory and regularly eliminating items past their expiration date. This eliminates excess inventory and helps avoid food safety issues.
- Explore “just-in-time” purchasing to improve freshness and reduce excess inventory. Having a two-day window to receive and utilize food products saves money, but also requires careful monitoring of product flow to make sure shortages do not occur.
- Use consolidation and standardization of offerings where possible. This helps managers negotiate better prices and payment terms by increasing the volume of select items purchased.
These strategies, cited by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, demonstrate the value of careful supply chain management among LTC facilities. The professionals at OC Reilly have extensive knowledge and experience in working with LTC administrators and staff in this area and can assist in implementing these programs successfully.
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