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
Solving the Labor Shortage Crisis: The Four Benefits of an Automated Warehouse
Not enough warehouse staff? Finding it difficult to keep up with orders during peak periods?
Download Today!
From the March 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies, including heads-up display and robotics, to transform its operations today.
Conveyors & sortation: Carrying the e-commerce burden
2018 Productivity Achievement Awards
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
NextGen Supply Chain at DHL
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies,...
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...

System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...