Heil's worked at a number of other supply-chain and logistics companies, including UPS, and holds nine U.S. patents related to supply chain. Johnson expects that Heil's lack of significant experience in the healthcare industry or GPOs will be able to give him the chance to add value from an outsider's perspective on how health system supply chain executives might be able to improve, otherwise they could face the risk of being outsmarted by retail healthcare.
“I think he'll be able to question why healthcare does everything, and should there be a different way?” Johnson said. “If we don't make major changes in the healthcare supply chain, people like Walmart, Amazon, CVS are going to change it for us. We need change agents like Julius coming in.”
Johnson said that Intalere doesn't need someone who's an expert in healthcare – it needs a strong leader.
“We really just need good leadership. They could have picked anybody,” Johnson said. “They found this guy, they trusted him. We're excited that he's a change agent and will keep the transformation going.”
Johnson's legacy in the supply-chain business spans over 30 years. He became CEO of Amerinet last July when Todd Ebert left the company to lead the Healthcare Supply Chain Association following Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare's acquisition of Amerinet. Johnson previously served as VP of supply chain and support services for Intermountain.
During interviews with Modern Healthcare, Johnson has said Intalere has an edge on its competition, claiming that the GPO goes beyond contracting to help members manage their entire non-labor spend through value-added services such as consulting and outsourcing. He claims Intalere will differentiate itself as a professional supply-chain organization, depending less on administrative fees.
“These people do this to make money,” Johnson said in November. “Intermountain didn't. We did it because we trusted that you were going to be a model to the industry, teach us best practices … and we'll go from there. If down the road people just aren't willing to get off the administrative fee and the traditional GPO, then maybe our model is wrong, but I don't think so.”