Beacon bags Unilever manager to head healthcare

20 July 2011

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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 home sector.  

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 do.”

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.

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