60 seconds with Sean O’Neill, St. Onge

Modern spends 60 seconds with St. Onge's vice president talking about the health care supply chain.

By ·

Sean O’Neill, St. Onge
Title: Vice president
Location: York, Pa.
Experience: 22 years in the supply chain management industry
Primary Focus: Bringing materials handling optimization to the life sciences and healthcare industries

Modern: What is St. Onge doing in the health care supply chain and what brought it about?
O’Neill: We’ve been working in the health care supply chain for at least the last 20 years. The focus on hospitals, or getting close to the point of care, has happened in the last 10 years.

Modern: Is the health care supply chain now extending into the hospital?
O’Neill: Yes, and it represents an evolution in thinking. Hospitals and health networks used to outsource the activity associated with getting materials and supplies into the hospital. Now, some hospitals are stepping back and asking questions like: “Is there something we can do independent of the distributor?”
So, you’re seeing things like automatic guided vehicles moving supplies into the hospital and bringing laundry or food trays back down to the warehouse. Think of it as hospital logistics. There’s a daisy chain reaction to the patient care—it’s an incredibly difficult problem and a lot of people are in the same boat. It’s a neat problem, and a challenging one.

Modern: Is there now a continuum that begins at the manufacturing plant and extends all the way to the patient?
O’Neill: It’s heading in that direction. You can think of each of those systems separately. But at the end of the day, what counts is the last 100 yards to get the product to the customer. In this case, the customer here is the clinician, the nurse, and the patient in the bed. We’re trying to create visibility across the continuum. It’s a never-ending battle.

Modern: What’s driving that trend?
O’Neill: It’s all about the delivery of care. You don’t want a clinician or a nurse doing logistics functions like retrieving supplies. That’s a non-value added job that they shouldn’t have to handle. Instead, you’re creating an infrastructure that allows a nurse or clinician to focus on their jobs. That’s taking stress off of the experts.


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Mobile Solutions: Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies
To meet customer's ever-increasing service expectations and improve their business efficiency, companies are looking to their supply chain operations – especially material handling and warehouse operations managers.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
In warehouses and DCs, planning solutions tend to take a back seat to execution system functions. Vendors are working to boost the trust factor using tools that break down forecasts and blend with analytics.
Automated Storage on the Move
Receiving 101: Setting the Table for Success
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Johnson & Johnson: A vision for automation
J&J Vision Care brings together a variety of automated technologies, including an innovative...
Using AGVs at LEDVANCE
The lighting manufacturer reaped savings by reducing maintenance costs and product damage, and using...

System Report: Sustainable Distribution at REI
Specialty outdoor retailer REI’s new distribution center brings together the next generation of...
System Report: Whirlpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...