Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


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 Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
April 01, 2012

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
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. 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!

Recent Entries

Instead of ignoring a forklift fleet and its associated costs, asking the right questions can lead to substantial savings.

This white paper outlines five ways to increase profits with automation. By implementing automated storage and retrieval equipment-such as horizontal carousels, vertical carousels and vertical lift modules, multiple areas of a manufacturing or distribution facility will benefit from savings in inventory accessibility, floor space, time, improved ergonomics and better accuracy.

Zebra gains instant access to complimentary technologies. But first, it needs to integrate a former partner that is 2-1/2 times its size.

Distribution requirements are changing. Few distribution managers would quibble with that statement. The increase in the demand for mixed cases, mixed cartons, aisle ready pallets and, most importantly, the increase in the volume of e-commerce orders is driving new levels of investment in automation.

MDT works with Mitsubishi Electric to ensure technical competence in providing change management support for Mitsubishi Electric Automation products.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA