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Yard Management – Are you Flying Blind?


Yard Management – Are you Flying Blind?

March 18, 2022

Yard Management- Are you flying blind?

Flying blind is a commonly heard expression that literally means to fly an airplane without the ability to see, relying on the plane’s instruments instead. By extension, it generally means doing something based on guesswork without help or instruction. A warehouse management system is much like a pilot’s instrument panel. Without the right gauges, managing daily activities in your operations, like yard management, can feel like flying blind.

The Blind Spot

Warehouse management systems generally do not provide adequate, if any, visibility for the yard. This deficiency leaves facilities to devise manual processes to maintain control of the yard. Paper check-in or a spreadsheet are commonly used for tracking trailers, which may limit access to this information. Further, these lists or spreadsheets do not detail other factors related to the trailer’s contents or future demand, causing a blind spot for the facility.

Why are Instruments important?

Visibility to yard activities is key in maintaining any yard. Simply put, the yard is an extension of the warehouse. Inventory housed in trailers in the yard may be:- inbound and needed for upcoming shipments- outbound waiting for a carrier’s pickup- storage when the facility has reached maximum capacity.

Proper visibility helps the warehouse make smarter, quicker decisions when reacting to product demands, customer inquiries, etc.

The new Instruments for Yard Management

From enhanced appointment scheduling and visibility to both door and yard with graphical displays, the newest versions of Blue Yonder warehouse management (WMS) deliver. Once you’ve seen and used this functionality, you will not want to go back to paper or spreadsheet tracking.  The star of the yard management functionality is Door Activity. This web user interface screen packs some serious efficiency gains with a ton of actionable information in one place. Door Activity has a schedule-type layout that displays by door what equipment it contains, appointments scheduled for that door, and a complete list of the yard locations and contents for the warehouse. Trailers checked into the yard or door are displayed in a color-coded manner depending on their type: Receiving, Shipping, or Storage. Color saturation, at a glance, provides the user with the status of the trailer (loaded, partially loaded, empty). In addition, visual cues are provided for each trailer, i.e., if the trailer is Live, Late for their appointment, Hot for an outbound order, and many, many more statuses. Even better than the extremely clear color-coding are the actionable functions. Hyperlinks provide direct access to the Carrier, Trailer, Appointment, or Shipment details for each trailer. Actions are available, and change based on the type of trailer and the trailer’s status at the facility such as moving, unloading, closing, and dispatching. Yard Audits may be triggered in Door Activity when verifications need to occur.

With all this and more, Blue Yonder WMS has the right instruments to guide your warehouse to a clearer horizon without blind spots.

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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.