The care provider industry has experienced a great deal of consolidation over the last decade, and as a result care providers have witnessed dramatic growth, which has left them with expansive reporting structures and outdated financial systems.
Care providers now have a turnover in excess of £11 billion, up from £4 billion some seven years ago, and now care for over 500,000 residents and service users. The number of care home beds required will rise by 23% over the next 20 years and today's care providers are increasingly looking to software solutions to help streamline processes, increase employee productivity, reduce costs and improve access to information about resident/service user care.
Many care providers are tasked with transforming themselves, whilst also meeting new standards and regulations. In particular, the "Best Value" policies of central government, care purchaser's internal auditing policies and merger & acquisitions all convey new and demanding challenges to the organisation. Amongst all this, care providers need to provide an increasingly diverse range of customer-centric services and still achieve good ratings in inspections.
For care providers, there are also significant efficiencies in reducing the number of invoices and simplifying their processing. A district auditor estimated that it costs an average of £17 for a provider to issue an invoice, and there have been some estimates of almost double that figure. Previously, one provider submitted around 200 invoices a month (one for each service user) but now submits one automatically for "standard" care, and then ad hoc invoices for "exceptions" - less than 20 invoices a month. They have managed to reduce the number of administrative staff from two full time staff to 0.8 whole-time equivalent.