The purpose of Client Tell is to spotlight the incredible work of our clients, and to help businesses learn from and connect with each other. We chatted with CEO Curt Sardeson of Open Sky Group to learn how this North Carolina company is changing the paradigm for supply chain software implementations for companies around the globe.
A Need for Comprehensive Service
Curt Sardeson founded Open Sky Group when he saw a need for more skill and expertise in the supply chain software industry. He noticed many distribution and warehousing companies in particular were not succeeding simply because they didn’t know how to integrate new supply chain software into their everyday operations. Curt knew he could fill the gap, and offer companies better, more comprehensive support.
“Companies invest in software systems every day, but they don’t have a solid understanding of the capabilities and features to utilize them,” he said. “I love helping customers not only install new supply chain software, but also gain the knowledge to use it as a catalyst for change. Companies that embrace this process perform better and get incredible results.”
Innovation and Expertise
Open Sky Group launched as a supply chain consulting partner on Valentine’s Day of 2006 and won their first contract the very next day. The company sells and implements software solutions that make warehouse and distribution operations work more efficiently. From managing inventory to labor and product fulfillment, the software helps companies manage everything that happens once an order is placed. Today, Open Sky Group is a gold implementation partner and reseller for JDA Warehouse Management (WMS) and JDA Warehouse Labor Management (WLM).
As an early adopter of the newest versions of JDA WMS and WLM, the company implemented the first North American instance of JDA Warehouse Management 9.1.x in 2016 and completed 44 implementations in 2017, 17 of which are for the newest versions of JDA WMS (2017.x). While that’s a lot of statistics, those numbers are important because the company has made a commitment to be on the leading edge of the software it resells so that clients get the most from their upgrades and implementations. Curt explained:
“We partner with companies to help them determine their software needs and then assist them in the implementation and integration process. We support our clients throughout the whole journey, assisting with upgrades as their operations grow and the technology changes. We take something that’s a major challenge and show businesses how to overcome it. And we aim to do it better than anyone else.”
Curt’s high standards for customer service and employee relations have shaped the company’s overall culture. “One of Curt’s founding principles and beliefs was that if you make your employees happy, you’ll make your clients happy,” said Darcy Reeves, Vice President of Marketing and employee of Open Sky Group for six years. “It’s still a guiding theme today; we’re always striving to provide the best possible service to our clients, maintain a great culture and provide relevant, desirable benefits to employees.”
Global Growth Starts at Home
Near Open Sky Group’s tenth anniversary, Curt began looking at ways to expand into a global company. After consulting with his partners and vendors, he recognized a major growth opportunity in Australia, New Zealand and much of Asia. “I had started companies abroad in the past, so I knew doing it alone would be difficult,” he said. “That’s why we decided to partner with a local firm with a similar vision and values to make the process more efficient. We never lost sight of our customers or our people. We sought sound advice and we followed it.”
Curt said he was also intentional about enlisting the expertise of a savvy legal counselor from day one, and he advises other entrepreneurs to do the same. “It’s really important to take contract negotiations seriously from the beginning, because your company’s value will be very tied to the terms you put in place,” he cautioned. “You can really hurt your company and expose it to litigation risk if you don’t do your due diligence with legal protection from the onset.”
Open Sky Group looks to Fourscore Business Law for its contracts and agreements. The Fourscore lawyers also attend the company’s leadership meetings to keep Curt and the rest of the executive team updated on the always-changing legal landscape and what they need to know to navigate it. “Other law firms just aren’t taking this hands-on approach with their clients,” said Curt. “Fourscore is so intentional about creating an intimate environment and making sure we get to enjoy all the benefits of in-house counsel.”
To learn more, visit OpenSkyGroup.com.