Contact us



By Jeremy Hudson, May 12, 2020

Building a Supportable Supply Chain Software Stack – Video Interview with SupplyChainBrain

Right now it’s probably pretty apparent whether or not you’ve got a supportable supply chain software stack. If you don’t have one, you might have plans to purchase or upgrade some time in the future. It’s a big investment and you want to ensure your purchase meets your current and future goals. Jeremy Hudson, Director, Client Services at Open Sky Group, sat down with Russell Goodman from SupplyChainBrain recently and explained what supportable software is, what kind of skill sets you might need and how SaaS fits into the picture.

Watch the video interview

Prefer to read it? Here’s the Q&A from Russell and Jeremy:

Who is Open Sky Group and what space do you operate in?

Open Sky Group is a global supply chain software implementer. We work primarily with Blue Yonder (formerly JDA Software) solutions, implementing Warehouse Management, Labor Management, Transportation Management and Workforce Management solutions throughout the supply chain.

What does it mean to build supportable software?

15 years ago, software was a build-to-suit operation. It was software partners coming in and saying, “I’m going to build you software and that’s your software for the next 15 years.” That process is no longer applicable when you look at the innovation of the supply chain network. You’re seeing significantly more technology and software that has to be upgradable over time. In order to build a supportable software, you need to have software that is not heavily customized. You need to have software that can be supported by a software support team. You need to have something that when someone says, “this isn’t working,” your software provider or support team knows exactly what you’re talking about because you took a standardized approach. To have that, you must be adaptable as a supply chain. You must understand that your processes need to mesh with the software as it is. You need to be very responsible about how you implement that software and how you change that software over time.

If I’m looking for a provider, any number of people are going to tell me “Yes, we can do that.” So, what do I need to know to be able to analyze or determine which provider I should choose?

A large part of this is looking for a responsible partner. Looking for someone that’s not interested in building something that is outlandish. You don’t want to be proud of your customizations. You want to be proud of your lack of customizations. You want to be proud of the fact that you worked closely with the software and the vendor and have a good track record with it. You want a partner that’s going to be cautious for you. The last thing you want is a software implementer or provider that’s going to come in and say, “we’ll build you whatever you want.” That’s not what you are looking for. You want to have something that’s supportable long-term, something you can maintain and support over time.

What kind of critical elements, or skill sets do I need on my in-house support team?

You need smart, operational minds that work well with your IT departments and vice versa. You want an IT department that works closely with your operations. Those silos are very, very detrimental to your project and very detrimental to your solution. You want a solution that both IT and operations can share and support simultaneously.

How does building a supportable software stack mesh with SaaS?

That is something that is absolutely fundamental to SaaS. For SaaS to work properly, you must have a software that’s standardized and supportable. The whole purpose of SaaS is to have a software solution that doesn’t require a lot of hands-on support or customized support. You want a team to be able to come in and support you in a SaaS model. SaaS will only work with a standardized, supportable solution that’s not heavily customized. Something that you can really build your operations to suit versus building the software to suit your operations.

Building an Argument, here. You want to bring in a partner because you think they will benefit your company, but you don’t have the authority to authorize the investment. You take the idea to the members in the C-Suite. What is your argument? What are the benefits?

I think it’s important to evaluate your current level of headaches. If you talk to your operations team and say, “How often is this system getting in your way?” If you talk to your IT team and say, “How often are you plugging holes in that boat? How often are you having to keep this software afloat?” Understanding the impact of your current software solution and how difficult it is support will really justify the cost savings. You want to implement something that can be placed in a SaaS model and be supportable over time by someone outside of your organization.

Related Articles

Labor Management Software – Seven Myths (Part 1)

In our experience with labor management software, confidence is the most impactful factor in a successful implementation. When implementing labor management systems that monitor productivity, users need to be assured that the calculations are accurate, and the measurements are correct. It’s important to clear up these seven myths and misconceptions about productivity management.

Read More

Ask the Expert: Avoiding Disruptions

In today’s supply chain industry, developers find themselves facing plenty of challenges related to transportation, shipping, warehouse space, labor, and investing in automation. In the following discussion, Open Sky Group experts help unpack perspective and offer advice to executives wrestling with how to do more, with less, in today’s rapidly changing global supply chain.

Read More

WMS Budget – Room for an Implementation?

When businesses begin researching Warehouse Management System (WMS) software solutions, they find it can be difficult to budget because pricing is not always readily available. Transitioning from legacy systems presents hurdles that add to the true cost. There are ways to approach your WMS budget process and the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Read More

It’s time to elevate.

Discover how Open Sky Group
can help you reach new heights
of supply chain efficiency.

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


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.