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Global Manufacturer Partners With Open Sky Group to Standardize North American Warehouse Operations

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Global Manufacturer Partners With Open Sky Group to Standardize North American Warehouse Operations

November 1, 2022

The Challenge

A multibillion-dollar, international health, hygiene, and nutritional products manufacturer of familiar consumer brands had multiple company-owned distribution centers (DCs) operated by various outsourced 3PLs in 2018. That year, the company decided to implement a Blue Yonder SaaS/Hosted deployment of Blue Yonder’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Labor Management (LMS) platforms, to standardize distribution operations on a single software platform.

A key driver for the decision was the fact that each of the 3PLs involved utilized their own IT systems to operate the facilities, making it difficult for the client to gain visibility into warehouse operations or influence standardizing operational processes across their network. The Blue Yonder WMS and LMS solutions would be the enablers to effectively help them standardize operational processes across all DCs as well as establish network-wide visibility to productivity.  The Blue Yonder Solutions would also be fully integrated with their multiple corporate ERP and Transportation Management Systems (TMS), giving them control over the IT function across their expanding supply chain footprint in North America.

The Solution

The project kicked off in 2018 with Open Sky Group and the client partnering together to support the North American WMS transformation strategy to implement the Blue Yonder WMS and LMS applications on Blue Yonder Hosted/SaaS infrastructure, starting with a pilot project involving two DCs. Each site required its own scope of work utilizing the Open Sky Group templated approach and no/low modification approach to standardize operations and enable quick deployments.  Increasing the project complexity was the fact that the two sites selected were operated by different 3PL providers.

Open Sky Group facilitated envision workshops with the client to identify business and technical requirements and any deltas and gaps between critical operational requirements and standard system capabilities leading to an acceptable solution design. Once the solution design was completed, the team quickly moved forward in the next phase of the project to build the solution using an agile methodology that delivered incremental results in sprints.

Additional key project phases and deliverables included:

  • Test Support
  • Solution-specific job aids/work instructions
  • Training provided in a “Train-The-Trainer” based methodology
  • System and data conversion
  • Post implementation support

 

Throughout, Open Sky Group emphasized their no/low modifications approach to mitigate initial coding costs and ongoing maintenance costs and preserve system integrity across the network.

Once the system was integrated and deployed, Open Sky Group transitioned to testing and training, leading to system go-live.

The Results

After just seven months, the pilot sites proved successful. The partnership team then expanded the deployment program across the client’s five remaining existing sites and three greenfield DCs in the U.S. and Canada. Key focus areas included:

  • Integrating to multiple ERP host systems
  • Integrating two separate TMS environments
  • Integrating two parcel manifesting solutions
  • Deploying Blue Yonder WMS and LMS SaaS, along with engineered labor standards

Business-specific templates were created and validated to help accelerate the roll-out, resulting in standardized processes and interfaces across the network. Over the last four years, all 10 sites have successfully been brought onboard along with a major Blue Yonder WMS/LMS version upgrade as well, to keep current with application features and functions.

The client effectively gained control over their IT governance. The warehouse operations teams are now all on the same page with standardized processes and have network-wide visibility across a single platform to enable performance management and continuous improvement. Additionally, Open Sky Group is now providing managed services on a 24/7 basis to keep the client focused on what matters – delivering world-class service, consistently and efficiently, while greatly reducing risk.

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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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