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From COVID-19 to High-Efficiency Finance Operations

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From COVID-19 to High-Efficiency Finance Operations

December 14, 2021

How Modern Logistics Companies Are Turning COVID Chaos into Long-Term Business Efficiency

Running an efficient supply chain these days takes more than simply getting a customer’s order to a specified location in the shortest amount of time. There’s always the paperwork to consider. If shipments flowed the same way as the associated paperwork flows, we’d all be hurting for business. But as it is, many firms still manage finances the good old-fashioned way: manually, with some bit of automation thrown in.

According to a 2021 report published by Beanworks (by Quadient), “79% of organizations say that manual data entry and inefficient processes are their biggest challenges. From data entry to chasing approvals, managing accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) can be time-consuming and costly.”

The Struggle is Real

Factor in the mess created by 18+ months of COVID, and a lot of companies still struggle to adapt. With employees working from home, paper-based freight billings mailed to customers often delay payments, incurring penalties and disrupting cash flows. Well-intentioned employees try to pick up the slack by applying personal interpretations of how charges should be coded into the GL, often negatively affecting departmental budgets. If working from home did anything for us, it exposed the gaps and disconnects in the way finance departments typically manage their AP/AR and general ledgers (GL).

Navigating the Shift to TMS

To level set, a transportation management solution (TMS) is a digital platform that helps companies manage and optimize logistics using centralized data as a single source of truth. It works together with core enterprise and warehouse management solutions to synchronize load planning and execution, freight tracking, settlements, and reporting across the full lifecycle of any given load.

Already Have a TMS?

If you have a TMS, you may find that it comes with some basic financial accounting functions that can be integrated to communicate with your finance department. If not, integrating your financial software with your TMS may offer relief. Alternately, your TMS provider may have a finance module you can add that can sync up with finance. Either way, the goal is to get your TMS and financial accounting systems talking, so that billing workflows can automatically recognize rates and invoices for minimal, manual audits and reconciliation.

If you’ve never been through a TMS implementation process, it can be a good idea to find an experienced implementation partner to help you manage the transition.

Need a TMS?

If you decide you need a TMS, we’d begin by mapping your current state of operations to ensure that your TMS communicates effectively with related internal and external systems and matches your financial workflows to minimize disruption upon system launch. We then help you migrate any data currently associated with your operation, including contracts, spreadsheets, historical data, and other details, to ensure that everything flows as expected. Once the software testing and training are complete, we launch the solution. Throughout the transition, business carries on as usual; after the launch, Open Sky Group remains on board to assist with any issues.

The Benefits of a Synchronized Transportation-Finance Workflow

Companies that complete the experience typically report noticeable increases in efficiency, processing speed, and cost savings. Contract rates and other logistical details associated with carriers, customers and shippers need only be input once. All details, including shipment orders, invoices, proofs of delivery (PODs), payments, and other associated information are stored in the TMS for improved access and visibility. Using this model, financial personnel can begin to focus on more relevant business matters, rather than manually tracking errors and exceptions from invoice to payment to GL.

Looking Ahead

While COVID persists, supply chain operations are not expected to break from the current mode of remote workforce operations. Smart operators are creating new opportunities by adopting forward-looking TMS solutions as part of their technology stacks. Open Sky Group offers the experience and proven methodologies to get you up and running quickly. Why not make your customers and users happier and your life easier by automating your AP/AR/GL workflow with a state-of-the-art TMS?

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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

Vice President of Client Services

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

Senior Vice President of Technology

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

CEO

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.

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