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20 July 2011 | Adam Leach
Buying consortium Beacon Purchasing has hired Unilever’s former channel marketing manager Nick Ryan
to head a new venture – Beacon Healthcare.
The company currently controls a £120 million
budget to purchase supplies for around 2,000 independent businesses in the
hospitality sector, but it is looking to step up its activities in the care
Launching this September, Beacon Healthcare
will provide purchasing services to care homes across the UK. It will use its combined
buying power to drive down costs for everything from food and furniture to
services such as cleaning.
Currently, the company handles purchasing for
Scottish care home provider MeallmoreLodge’s 18 homes. Director of Beacon Chris Durant told SM it plans to represent 100 homes by
April 2012. Explaining the strategy, he said: “I like to think of them as
hotels for old people, so there is a lot of crossover with what we currently
A key part of Ryan’s new role will be to
develop relationships with suppliers for the categories not currently covered.
Durant said that by combining the purchasing
power of its client base, Beacon was able to produce savings of up to 30 per
cent. On average, however, it aims to make savings of around 10 per cent.