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WMS + SaaS + Automation = Smooth Operations



WMS + SaaS + Automation = Smooth Operations

June 21, 2022

Surviving or Thriving? It starts with your first form of Automation, Warehouse Management

This article first appeared in Logistics Viewpoints, in May 2022. Author: Jeremy Hudson

“As anyone who’s experienced a change in supply chain technology over the past five – to – ten years can attest, we’ve come a long way, baby.”

“Artificial intelligence, neural networks, machine learning, robotics, mobile apps, big data, the cloud, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). All have reshaped the way goods travel from dock to doorstep, especially in today’s hyperactive, direct-to-consumer, e-commerce environment. Since 2020 alone, changing customer demands, port delays, labor shortages, supply shortages, and evolving government regulation have all contributed to the industry’s technology arms race, causing many hesitant players to jump on the technology bandwagon – in a hurry.”

Where’s Your Best Starting Point?

“To decide which is best for you, take a close look at your business model and determine what option – or combination of options – best accommodates your operating strategy, technology stack, and budget. On-premise is usually best for heavily customized operations backed by the wherewithal to carry the overhead. SaaS, however, will only accommodate a standardized program, but the cost-efficiency and thin staff profile make up the difference.”

So, How Does Automation Fit In?

“Generally, automation, especially robots, make the greatest difference wherever human travel can be reduced, safety is a concern, or repetitious tasks and rote calculations are required. If you spot an opportunity like this, resist going all in. Remember the “one robot to one human” correlation. Talk to your people to get their input and buy-in first. Explain what you’re trying to accomplish and then make sure your WMS can communicate with the necessary automation equipment before you rent or buy “only one unit” to start.”

The Difference Between Surviving and Thriving

Surviving Thriving
“We pick, pack and ship orders using our promised deliver date as our indication of daily workload.” “We leverage technology to beat consumer expectations and provide real time updates of shipping and fulfillment progress.”
“Staffing is a daily challenge, but we piece together enough resources to accomplish the job.” “We use technology to make our workforce’s jobs easier and less strenuous.  Our employees are safer and happier.”
“Our technology team is stressed and is struggling to keep up.  We put in tickets and then escalate regularly.” “Our SaaS solutions provide us with guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLA) to take the stress of IT and provide a dependable solution.”
“Our software version is out of date and upgrading would be a major expenditure at this point.  I guess we’ll stick with the version we’re on.” “Our SaaS solution is upgraded annually and allows us to take advantage of the most recent fixes and capabilities of the software.”

Watch the recording of Open Sky Group experts Jeremy Hudson, Sr. Director Client Services, and Shannon Caflisch, VP of Sales as they dive in further details of “The Impact of SaaS and Automation on the Warehouse: How to Survive and Thrive“, recorded during MODEX 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

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.

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