How to Achieve Lean Operations in Your Cannabis Business

lean operations in cannabis

As the cannabis industry grows in size and sophistication, many of the world’s largest producers are implementing more complex business processes and hiring more staff to keep up with demand and evolving regulations.

But more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Unlike a traditional business model, a streamlined or lean approach to operations encourages business leaders to examine their processes, identify what customers are truly looking for and eliminate anything that does not add value.

An example of successful lean operations in cannabis production is Redecan Pharm and its streamlined approach to decision-making.

As the third-biggest cannabis producer in Canada, Redecan is doing things a bit differently than some of its well-known competitors. In an interview with Will Montour, one of Redecan’s owners, Bloomberg reports that part of the company’s success is its untraditional lean management style, which is unlike many other corporate-heavy companies in the industry.

Back in 2014, Rick Redekop founded Redecan and became one of the first cannabis producers to receive a license from Health Canada to grow medical marijuana. Since then, Redekop added Montour and his brother Peter (who runs the production side of the business) to Redecan’s ownership group. 

In the interview with Bloomberg, Montour explains the current corporate set up and decision-making process at Redecan as being extremely streamlined:

“If I want to do something, if we see a trend, if I wanted to make a change, I’ll call my brother. If he says, ‘Yes,’ we just do it. We don’t sit there and we don’t have a meeting about the meeting and then set up a board meeting. Our board is me, my brother and our other partner, Rick.”

This minimalist or lean approach to management and operations is incredibly tough to execute without access to company-wide data and complete visibility into business processes.  Below, we discuss the benefits of industry-specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and how an integrated solution gives business leaders the tools they need to streamline operational efficiency and manage growth.


ERP Software and Lean Operations in Cannabis Production

Simply put, an ERP solution centralizes data, departments and processes into a single platform. For a cannabis company, that means connecting finance and operations, seed-to-sale, compliance, quality, traceability and more to establish a single set of workflows and data for all teams.

ERP software helps companies like Redecan minimize time-consuming administrative tasks, reduce inventory on hand, eliminate waste and increase efficiency by providing decision makers with the following:

1. Access to Real-Time Information

An ERP provides cannabis producers with end-to-end management of their entire business. With access to data from every step of the supply chain, decision makers will have complete visibility into business performance and the information they need to make the most accurate decisions.

2. Costing Information

With comprehensive costing functionality found in an ERP solution, users can gain visibility into inventory to see where standard costs and actual costs come from. With the ability to keep track of inventory movement using lot traceability functionality, users can better manage customer and supplier orders and gain insight into actual costs.

3. Visibility into Sources of Waste

With cultivation functionality built into an ERP for the cannabis industry, users can accurately account for waste for both inventory management and regulatory reporting purposes. With this visibility into where waste is occurring, business leaders can adjust operations as needed to reduce the effect on their bottom lines.

4. Efficient Production Planning

An ERP solution continually adjusts forecasts based on recent periods of demand, forecast error, demand exceptions and historical data. By increasing the accuracy of forecasts, users can better plan production and meet attainment goals.


CannaBusiness ERP is designed by cannabis and technology experts and provides companies with the tools they need to gain control and visibility into their operations. To learn how you can utilize ERP software to streamline your cannabis operations, reach out to us. We’d love to chat.

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