19 March 2024

40 Years of Industry Impact: Redback Health Services

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Redback Health Services, ICN TAS

Establishing a new business was never an easy road, but it was one the Redback Health Services team never regretted taking. From 2004, building on its procurement origins, Redback expanded its services and formed an experienced team with a strong track record. Establishing networks was key to the organisation’s success, and ICN proved to be a valuable resource for Redback in getting their business “off the ground”.

David Carruthers, Redback Principal and founding member, reminisces about some of the early challenges. “Like any new business, we first focused on establishing a brand presence, then identifying prospective clients and networking with them on an ongoing basis. Then, of course, following our initial assignments, it was essential to build our credibility within the industry while balancing this with ensuring we were generating enough activity to meet staff and infrastructure costs. Basically, we were starting with a blank canvas on everything!”

Redback realised early on that ICN would be a valuable resource in helping get the business off the ground. They found ICN particularly supportive in introducing the organisation to the health sector, coaching on positioning their proposals for potential new business, and, importantly, identifying suitable opportunities within the Australian market.

They also found ICN’s comprehensive online system, ICN Gateway, to be a rich source of market information, not only in looking for project opportunities but also in identifying other organisations with the capability to supply specialty products for the work they undertake.

“We have found ICN Gateway to not only be another effective forum to introduce our services, but it has also increased our awareness of available supplier capabilities. This has allowed us to expand the competitive market we invite to respond to our tenders, and this means we are more competitive and able to reduce our cost outcomes,” says David.

Most recently, Redback was successful in winning a tender from the Tasmania Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with the help of ICN.

As part of major redevelopment works, DHHS needed medical and operational equipment to establish new clinical units at both Launceston General and Royal Hobart Hospitals. Redback procured the entire equipment requirements for DHHS, which meant purchasing everything from bins to beds but primarily medical equipment.

The tender, initially worth around $179,000, led to additional work for Redback, totalling more than $344,000.

“Winning this tender is just one example of how ICN identifies opportunities that can often lead to further project opportunities. Ultimately, this helps us grow our overall industry presence,” says David from Redback.

This DHHS project came about as the ICN National Sector Manager – Health, David Ryant, contacted a handful of capable health procurement agencies with the opportunity. “Through our extensive industry networks, I always have access to the latest project opportunities, and with the DHHS tender, I immediately identified a handful of health procurement agencies within ICN Gateway with the right capabilities so they could respond.”

“Sometimes we are directly contacted by organisations to help with the tendering process, and other times our market information helps us identify potential opportunities – like the DHHS tender. Whatever the case, the first people we contact are the organisations that we know have the right capabilities,” says David.

ICN’s National Sector Manager – Health, David Ryant, was appointed in May 2010, along with six others. They oversee and coordinate ICN’s activities, working with the Australian Government Supplier Advocates, industry leaders, key stakeholders, small to medium enterprises (SMEs), and ICN consultants to develop the national market to ensure Australian and New Zealand companies are well-placed to pursue opportunities in priority sectors.

“Having worked within the health industry for many years, I have a good understanding of the challenges sometimes faced within healthcare projects. This knowledge allows me to help Australian and New Zealand healthcare companies achieve maximum results both domestically and internationally,” says David.

Redback Health Services has experienced firsthand the benefits of having an ICN National Sector Manager: “It’s reassuring to know that ICN has someone who is dedicated to servicing the health industry and can work with organisations like ours to promote our capabilities on an ongoing basis,” says David Carruthers.

Redback Health Services was established in 2004, and building from its early procurement origins, now offers management, business development, tendering support, and general performance improvement services. The organisation has up to seven employees (at any one time) who have experience with large-scale development projects and in the selection of both quality and cost-effective medical equipment and consumables.

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