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2022 Distribution Operations Outlook: Level-Setting in a Challenging Environment


2022 Distribution Operations Outlook: Level-Setting in a Challenging Environment

January 11, 2022

2022 Distribution Operations Outlook: Level-Setting in a Challenging Environment

This article first appeared in Modern Distribution Management (please note subscription needed), December 2021 issue. Author: Elizabeth Galentine, featuring Dave Haley, Customer Success Executive, Open Sky Group. Excerpts from the original article appear below.

“Supply chain issues will touch everything from the way salespeople spend their time and prioritize customer relationships to facility management, pricing, and labor strategy.

The effort to overcome supply chain challenges will continue to impact most elements of distributor operations in 2022. Backups will touch everything from the way salespeople spend their time and prioritize customer relationships to facility management, pricing, and labor strategy. However, after more than a year of such conditions, distributors are better equipped to deal with the disruption…

Supply shortage strategy

Rethinking service levels will help… Most distributors do not differentiate service levels between their biggest and most-profitable customers and low-growth or one-off transactional customers. Tweaking lead times, product availability, and pricing to prioritize higher-value customers can help to ease the burden on those most important accounts.

The concept of shifting service levels based on customer value has gotten lip service in the past, but 2022 is the time to make it a reality…

Facilities impact

The inventory volatility that can come with supply chain issues, along with the continued growth of e-commerce, will push the need for more warehouse space in 2022, says Dave Haley, customer success executive at supply chain software consultancy Open Sky Group. ‘The demand will be high and in limited supply,’ he says.

Rent expense is projected to rise by as much as 7% in 2022, according to Motley Fool, while at the same time CNBC reports 1 billion square feet of new warehouse space will be needed by 2025…

‘By better utilizing your current space, you can reduce or perhaps eliminate needing to acquire more square footage,’ Haley says.

On a related note, the ongoing driver shortage — estimated to be at more than 80,000 open roles, according to Fortune, is not likely to ease into 2022. To manage what they can control, Haley recommends distributors consider a transportation management system…

Talent management

On top of these operational challenges is the continuing labor shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 10.4 million open jobs in the U.S. with just 6.9 million unemployed. Forbes reports close to 500,000 open warehouse jobs, notes Haley.

To mitigate these issues, he says, distribution operators can reduce the amount of time needed to service customer orders. Three steps Haley recommends distributors take…

Meanwhile, expect a lot of back-to-basics distribution management in 2022…”

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Jeremy Hudson

Vice President of Client Services

Jeremy’s focus is on the products and services clients need to stay competitive. Open Sky Group’s mission is to deliver technology-enabled solutions that allow our customers to achieve more while having the flexibility to adapt to change. Jeremy lives the core values and mission by bringing the best experience possible to our clients. He is an essential member of implementation teams, working alongside clients, and encouraging them to use innovation and best practices instead of customizations for success.

Jason Yantiss

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Jason provides leadership to a variety of teams focused on implementation and integration. With 27+ years of experience holding operational and technical management roles in transportation, billing, and warehousing across a vast array of industry verticals, Jason is adept at driving multiple complex projects, understanding customer needs at all levels of the operation and providing viable solutions. Jason’s resume of 150+ implementation projects include Warehouse, Labor, Transportation, Yard Management and multiple AR/AP Freight Pay and Customer Billing systems. 

Eric McPherson

Vice President of Client Services

Mac works to oversee implementation and integration projects. A former Marine officer and military police officer, he brings over 27 years of supply chain experience, including 11 years at Blue Yonder in both delivery and service sales. Mac is a dedicated, team-oriented professional with a background in business management, professional services, customer service, and supply chain technology. His specialties include sales support, supply chain execution systems, project management, fulfillment operations, distribution operations, and GSA contracts.

Shannon Caflisch

Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Shannon is responsible for the strategy and management of all sales, business development, and marketing programs. With over 25 years of sales experience and 15 years focused in the supply chain space, Shannon focuses on building strong relationships with clients and partners and strives to deliver the right software solutions to help conquer supply chain challenges. Shannon believes in learning by listening to understand clients’ goals, struggles, and what is important to their business to build lasting, successful relationships.

Alan Prillaman

Senior Vice President of Client Services

As Senior VP of Client Services, Alan oversees all consulting services and account management at Open Sky Group. Possessing over 30 years of combined industry and consulting experience, Alan leverages his unique background in IT, logistics, quality management systems, manufacturing and distribution operations, and facility and strategic account management to provide clients with creative resolutions to complex challenges. His core philosophy and passion are to deliver tangible value for and establish long-term trusted partnerships with our clients.

Mike Noble

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As Senior Vice President of Technology, Mike leads Open Sky Group’s Managed Services, Software Services, Infrastructure Services, and Information Technology teams bringing 35+ years of experience in Supply Chain Execution and Information Technology. Mike and his teams ensure we maintain the highest levels of customer service in a secure and reliable environment, constantly reviewing and evaluating new technologies, their appropriateness and applicability so we can safely and securely transact our own business – and help our clients accomplish the same.

Chad Kramlich


Joining Open Sky Group in 2015, Chad, served as Chief Revenue Officer for three years prior to his appointment to CEO in 2022. With over 25 years of experience delivering results for high-growth software and consulting organizations, Chad is leveraging his background in building efficient and effective implementation teams, establishing high-impact services operations, achieving revenue growth, and deepening executive-level client relations to help propel Open Sky Group into a very successful future.