60 seconds with Paul Evanko, St. Onge Company

Modern spends 60 seconds talking with Paul Evanko, senior vice president and principal at St. Onge, about the biggest issues facing the materials handling industry.
By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
February 01, 2013 - MMH Editorial

Paul Evanko, St. Onge Company
Title: Senior vice president and principal
Location: York, Pa.
Experience: More than 40 years in the industry, including 24 years with St. Onge
Primary Focus: Managing partner and project leader in complex distribution and strategic initiatives

Modern: What are the most important changes you have seen over the last 40 years?
Evanko:
The most important has been the recognition that materials handling as an industry is the backbone of the supply chain.

Modern: That wasn’t always the case, was it?
Evanko:
Quite the opposite. When I started out in distribution operations, there was very little interest in automation and no interest in looking at distribution beyond the four walls of the warehouse.

Modern: If you think about the projects St. Onge has been involved with recently, what do you think will be important to your customers over the next three to five years?
Evanko:
I see three big things. First, on the strategic side of the business, there is a merger of inventory optimization with network optimization and design. Companies recognize that bringing those two together is the best way to manage capital and the assets of the supply chain. The second is the ability to do strategic planning for a multi-channel environment, including inventory optimization, with complex distribution going to retail, e-commerce, and business-to-business. That’s the multi-channel effect. There’s an absolute demand for that right now. The third is the design of facilities that can execute a multi-channel strategy. The result is that there’s a lot more automation along with the use of advanced technologies and systems.

Modern: With that in mind, are there any important trends you’re watching?
Evanko:
At St. Onge, we’re watching technologies related to piece picking, which goes to the multi-channel effect. Our customers want solutions that are productive and will allow them to manage seasonal peaks without adding a lot of temporary labor to handle the Black Friday syndrome. We’re looking all over the globe.

Modern: What do you think are the biggest issues facing the industry and users of our solutions?
Evanko:
Labor is the biggest challenge. The ability to control and manage that expense with systems and technology will be increasingly important. Related to that is having a labor force with the skill sets to work with computers, to understand the basic mathematics in inventory control and customer service and not be afraid of them. You can’t have one without the other. And you can’t underestimate the impact of fuel costs on the network design and sustainability issues that companies are trying to face. Those are things companies need to do if they’re going to be successful.



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 Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Even though China’s costs have risen and the U.S. has now surpassed Mexico as the preferred locale for relocating offshored manufacturing, advantages can be fleeting and the challenges great

Memphis-based FedEx reported solid fiscal second quarter earnings results today. Quarterly net income of $616 million was up 23 percent annually, and revenue, at $11.9 billion, was up 5 percent. Operating income at $1.01 billion was up 22 percent.

UPS said this week that it has added significant space to some of its North America-based distribution facilities, which the company increases the total size of its supply chain solutions network size by roughly 1.2 million square-feet. The company’s total global supply chain solutions network is comprised of 596 facilities and about 32.8 million square-feet. UPS offers various services at these facilities, including: warehousing and fulfillment inventory, transportation and returns management; custom kitting and packaging; and store-ready displays.

A week ago, the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline saw its steepest decline in more than two years, when it fell 7 cents to $3.535. This week took that decline a step further, with the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting that the average price this week fell 11.6 cents to $3.419 per gallon.

With an eye on further expansion of its e-commerce business and related reverse logistics processes, transportation and logistics bellwether FedEx last night announced it has inked an agreement to acquire Pittsburgh-based GENCO, a third-party logistics (3PL) services provider specializing in product lifecycle and reverse logistics.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.