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Clares Win Prestigious National Award After Diversifying Into Health Sector

Steve Clare, MD of Clares (left) accepts the award with Andrew O'Connor of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (right)

Clares, who now supply over 60 NHS Trusts won the national GO Small Business/Third Sector Engagement Initiative of the Year Award jointly with their customer Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at the GO Excellence in Public Procurement Awards. These awards recognise excellence within procurement and importantly the benefits that are passed on into the wider business and social community.

It was Clares’ Product Service Delivery Framework that was recognised by the judges and secured the award. Each NHS Trust is the procurement framework provider for the hospitals and organisations within the Trust and this normally requires purchases to be put out to tender. The Clares Framework enables Trusts and organisations within the Trust to purchase without the need to tender. This saves an enormous amount of time and cost. However, the Clares Framework goes further than this and won the Initiative of the Year Award because they have delivered very substantial savings, fixed prices, removed transactional procurement costs, through quarterly invoicing and e-procurement, and upgraded the entire printer and photocopier fleet throughout the Trust free of charge, thus requiring no capital expenditure from the Trust.

The Clares Framework is unique and is now operating in around 20 Trusts. It was developed after the dealer built-up a deep and detailed knowledge of how NHS Trusts operate their procurement functions and the frustrations they have with bureaucracy and low capital expenditure budgets.

“When we first went into the Trusts we led on traditional office supplies and managed print services came afterwards, but this has now completely turned around because our customers see that the benefit to them is in the technology and process improvements we offer.” Says Steve Clare, MD at Clares Office Supplies. “Our dealer group, Advantia has been helping members change their business models and move into other sectors rather than concentrate on traditional office products. In one year Clares added £5m to our turnover through our healthcare strategy and we now focus on contractual not transactional business, which is key to our growth.”