Starting a new cannabis business is thrilling, but the thrill is often replaced by the grim realization that success in the ultra-competitive and highly regulated industry takes a lot of work. Managing the necessary and complex day-to-day tasks that keep the business running is challenging, particularly if you’re relying on outdated technology, spreadsheets, and manual, paper-based processes. If this is what you and your cannabis IT team are dealing with, then it may be time to consider implementing modern cannabis software to streamline your business.
Cannabis business software, otherwise known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, is designed to help cannabis growers and producers effectively manage cultivation, harvest, extraction, manufacturing, supply chains, compliance, finance, purchasing, and so much more. Automating your business from end-to-end will improve operations and simplify work, leading to a streamlined, efficient business. Cannabis industry-specific software also gives companies access to real-time, company-wide data in one single system, offering a clear and accurate view into the health of the company.
Choosing the right cannabis industry software can be tricky unless you know the must-have cannabis software features that every cannabis grower and producer needs. Let’s take a look at the top features we recommend.
Top Features of Cannabis Business Software
Cultivation and Processing
The planning, scheduling, and monitoring of crops and their harvest are table stakes for a cannabis grower, and the cannabis business management software you choose must have the features that help you manage these vital tasks. It’s equally important that the solution gives you the ability to:
- Estimate costs and track them throughout the cultivation process.
- Report activities—labor and materials—and have them accurately assigned or prorated across multiple crops.
- Send the costs of operational activities to your finance group in a timely manner.
- Utilize operational controls and checkpoints to assure standard operating procedures and quality best practices are being followed.
- Integrate your solution with your state or governmental Track and Trace system.
On the processing side, you have a similar set of requirements. The solution must provide a multi-level work order processing capability required to support cannabis processing. Additionally, whether you are performing extraction or producing infused food and beverage products, you need a solution with features that facilitate operational control, quality processes, stock management, and accounting, as well as a solution that provides full traceability and can assist you in minimizing the risk of exposure for your organization.
Inventory is an essential component of every business. You need to be able to track the materials available and used throughout your cannabis operation. Full traceability of seeds, plants, nutrients, and other materials used within the cultivation and processing operations are essential. Efficient order fulfillment starts with visibility and carries through the pick, pack and delivery processes. This requires real-time, accurate and detailed visibility of your inventory balances at all times.
The right cannabis business management software helps you track stock levels by lot/package along with expiration dates and other key attributes (THC %, CBD, etc.). This information should be available where and when you need it to maximize revenue.
Regulations for the cannabis industry vary by state, municipality, and country, but there’s one thing every cannabis business—regardless of location—can expect, and that’s ever-changing cannabis regulations. The fact is, evolving requirements will always be a factor, but the right cannabis business software can ease the compliance burden.
Can your solution integrate with the government compliance solution in your region? Is it real-time or batch driven? These are important questions to ask before making an ERP decision.
And here’s one more: Do you have operations in multiple states/regions (MSO)? If so, multi-state operators will need their cannabis management software to help with compliance across every state or country where they are doing business.
Providing a robust quality product is vital if you want to attract—and keep—customers in the very competitive cannabis market. Quality begins with establishing strict quality management protocols throughout the different phases of cannabis growing, harvesting and manufacturing processes.
Your cannabis business management software should have industry-specific features that help to automate and simplify your quality assurance and control measures. Can you manage GMP activities? Can you collect and record lab results and prevent the use of inventory that is pending test results? And do you have the ability to quickly trace and identify all at-risk or impacted products if a recall situation occurs?
If you don’t have these types of quality features in your solution, you could be putting your company and brand at risk. Having these capabilities within one ERP solution helps you reduce quality issues, assuring your customers that your product meets—and exceeds—established manufacturing standards and requirements.
Finance and Reporting
As with every business, smart financial management is integral to a smooth-running business. So, too, is the ability to gather, analyze and report on organizational data. The right cannabis software should include finance and accounting management, business intelligence (BI) and reporting tools, including alert reporting, giving you the ability to manage your single or multi-company operations within a single software platform.
Unfortunately, though seed-to-sale is a common term used in the cannabis industry, seed-to-sale software often does not integrate financing and reporting. As such, cannabis organizations using this software end up with separate accounting software, such as QuickBooks, to manage their ledger and bookkeeping needs.
Having finance and reporting capabilities within one solution that tie into regulatory compliance, inventory tracking and other aspects of the business ensures end-to-end success for your cannabis business.
CannaBusiness ERP is the Right Choice
Now that we know which features the right cannabis business software should possess, the next step is finding the software that best suits your needs. The expert team at CannaBusiness ERP can help you learn more about our cannabis software and how it can manage your business, from sales and purchasing, to cultivation, production, distribution, inventory and supply chain management.
Cultivation and Processing: CannaBusiness ERP provides you with flexibility so that you can customize the system to suit your business needs. You can create the growing and harvesting phases that match your crop plans. Whether you grow from seed or propagate from mother plants and have a multi or single-harvest operation, CannaBusiness can handle it. Gain control of and visibility into the entire production process for edibles and infused products—from extraction to packaging to delivery, and enjoy exceptional support for compliance efforts. Further, users can utilize enhanced waste management features to hold stock and create waste entries, capturing all required compliance data and communicating destruction data via the regulatory integration.
Inventory Tracking: CannaBusiness ERP simplifies inventory tracking by storing inventory data in a centralized database. Extracting the data is quick and easy, allowing users to access lot and batch tracking data, location details, product measurements and more for operational and auditing purposes. CannaBusiness ERP also provides features that allows users to drill down into inventory levels—such as pots, trays and fertigation supplies—in real time, visibility into inventory valuation and the ability to monitor expiry dates.
Government compliance: CannaBusiness ERP can be set up so that it will integrate with government regulated systems such as Metrc and BioTrack for the United States and CTLS for Canada. In some cases, once the setup is complete, the necessary data is automatically transmitted and received from the regulatory system. For example, CannaBusiness ERP users enjoy a live integration with the integrated compliance systems, eliminating the need for duplicate entry. This also reduces the likelihood of missed or late transactions, which could result in a compliance violation due to incomplete or late reporting.
Quality: Create your own custom list of tests to perform on your product with CannaBusiness ERP. You can automatically generate quality audits, which will place the products on hold until testing is complete and approved. In the case of a recall, CannaBusiness ERP allows you to trace the recalled lot throughout its lifecycle, so that you can isolate the products and contact the necessary customers. Adhering to recall management regulations has never been easier with ID numbers and batch names at users’ fingertips and the ability to track plants and products throughout the entire supply chain.
Finance and Reporting: Unlike some seed-to-sale software, CannaBusiness ERP offers personalized dashboards and KPIs, which allow users to track costs, key metrics, workflows and more in one place. The ERP seamlessly integrates budgeting and accounting, forecasting, fixed assets, product costing and more with cannabis organizations’ manufacturing, inventory, quality and purchasing management needs. And with a click of a button, users can create comprehensive reports that help you make faster—and better—business decisions.
CannaBusiness ERP Customers Agree
CannaBusiness ERP, which is built in Sage X3 and configured by NexTec experts, is software that is designed for the cannabis industry. Our specialization in developing solutions for the cannabis cultivation and processing industry has resulted in some of the most respected companies using CannaBusiness ERP to manage their business from end to end.
Pure Greens is one of those companies. A leading wholesale cultivator, Pure Greens needed technology created specifically for the cannabis industry that could replace the company’s disconnected homegrown systems. According to former President and CEO Sterling Stoudenmire, CannaBusiness ERP fit the bill, and after the implementation, the company experienced more than a few beneficial changes.
“One of the biggest changes for me is a consolidated view of all the moving parts of our organization so that I have the ability to look out in front of the bus and see what’s coming. It’s quality control overall, knowing statistically what’s happening, knowing what’s failing, where and why. CannaBusiness ERP gives me a 360-degree view of things. Understanding our inputs, what are our costs and our outputs, what works, what doesn’t, that’s where CannaBusiness ERP becomes a central conduit.”Sterling Stoudenmire, Former President and CEO, Pure Greens
Pure Green’s success with CannaBusiness ERP has been replicated by other cannabis businesses many times. They continue to benefit from an ERP solution built for the cannabis industry.
CannaBusiness ERP can set your business on the right path. Easily and effectively manage your financials & operations, quality & compliance, distribution & inventory, traceability, customers and more. To learn more about our software and team of industry experts or to schedule a demo, contact us. We’d love to show you what CannaBusiness ERP can do for your business.