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Cannabis Operators Turn To Cloud-Based Tech In Response To COVID-19

April 20, 2020 7:50 am
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By Javier Hasse and Natan Ponieman.

As the COVID-19 pandemic sheds a veil of uncertainty on the future of markets, the booming cannabis industry is reevaluating which tools are critical to handling business needs.

Before the pandemic, plant-touching cannabis companies were operating at full speed to keep up with the market share race and rapid growth that came with the industry since its inception.

Today, as many tasks -now performed remotely- present new challenges, the need for crisis preparedness becomes clear as daylight.

What Is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

“ERP is the plumbing of an organization,” says Michael Kiehn, Vice President of ERP software company 365 Cannabis. “it’s not the most exciting part of a house, but it is essential.”

ERP software streamlines business processes by eliminating the manual entering of data. They store and track information across multiple channels.

In recent years, ERP technology has moved beyond traditional manufacturing industries to fit new sectors like the cannabis space.

How Can ERP Software Help Cannabis Companies in Times Of COVID-19?

The cannabis industry went from unprecedented growth rates to unprecedented environmental shifts within a month’s time, says Kiehn.

Cloud-based ERP companies have the unique ability to support and engage customers from a safe distance without sacrificing any value to the customer.

ERP by nature touches every aspect of a business: Finance & Inventory, Cultivation, Production, Distribution, Retail and more.

With the surge in consumers flocking to stock up on medical and recreational products, retailers are having to adjust to increased demand. In some areas, there’s new legislation requiring social distancing, or limiting sales to online and pickup orders only.

“Retailers who don’t have online menus, e-commerce, or a process to handle new types of sales are at a disadvantage,” Kiehn told Benzinga.

In his opinion, the companies that are best handling this transition are the ones who were already well equipped with processes, procedures, automation, as well as the proper tools to adapt to the changing landscape of the industry. 

When Should Cannabis Companies Consider Upgrading to Cloud-Based ERP?

Customers right now are typically trying to accomplish three things during this crisis, Kiehn says. This includes:

  1. Continue growth and ‘business as usual’.
  2. Hunker down and survive.
  3. Scale down and automate.

Regardless of where a cannabis operator is currently positioned, refining processes, automating activities, and reducing costs are absolutely vital to an organization. That’s the core of what ERP provides.

Most companies in cannabis use seed-to-sale systems or homegrown systems claiming to be ERP, according to Kiehn.

“These systems are great for small operators, but any company looking to scale, go public, or looking for investment, needs granular and accurate data on costing, KPI’s, and efficiencies," he added.

Cloud-hosted solutions enable users to access data, reports and real-time information from anywhere in the world on virtually any device. Some cannabis solutions are still deployed with on-premise solutions limiting the ability to execute essential tasks remotely.

Noticias sobre cannabis en Español en El Planteo.

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.


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