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
The Five Point Tune-Up for Your Warehouse
Ready to make your warehouse smarter, stronger - and more profitable in every way?
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
5 Emerging Technologies Enabling Competitive Advantage for Distribution
Come hear about the latest in each-picking robotics, co-bots, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, sensors, drones and droids that are enabling competitive advantage for distribution.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...
Destination Maternity: Destination Automation
Running short of space in its old facility, Destination Maternity Corp. built a new, highly...

Hibbett Sports: Faster, Flexible and Efficient
A high-speed conveyor and sortation system at Hibbett Sports’ Alabama distribution center speeds...
Necessity is the mother of invention at Quiet Logistics
Faced with the loss of a robotic pick solution, Quiet Logistics invented its own robots. Are they...