In this post, we’ll discuss some of the critical considerations involved in comparing cannabis seed-to-sale software and systems in order to help cannabis growers, processors, distributors, and retailers choose the perfect ERP for their operation.
In today’s world of data technology, seed-to-sale software has become the nervous system of the vast majority of business operations — especially in the heavily regulated cannabis space.
Seed-to-sale software falls under a category of systems known as a cannabis ERP. ERP stands for enterprise resource management. Essentially these systems provide the capability of tracking all aspects of a business including supply chains, production, human resources, customer service, accounting, and, of course, in the case of cannabis operations, seed-to-sale tracking and regulatory compliance.
Choosing the right ERP is one of the most important decisions a cannabis entrepreneur will ever make over the lifetime of their company.
Let’s take a look at some of the most critical requirements of a cannabis-focused ERP, seed-to-sale tracking software, and cannabis regulatory compliance solutions.
Here are some of the important questions for which you should be looking for answers as you undertake your search for the ideal seed-to-sale system for your cannabis-touching operation.
1. Who is involved in the development of the seed-to-sale system, and what are their past experiences are their qualifications?
Before you choose a seed-to-sale system you should become intimately familiar with the team that’s developing and supporting the system and not just your friendly sales rep.
Who is the mastermind behind the system? What experience do they have in developing ERP systems? What experience do they have in cannabis operations? What are their past successes/failures? Are there any security limitations that could potentially shut down your cannabis business? All these factors will give you a much better idea of who you’re dealing with. Ask your sales rep for as much information as they are willing to provide on the individuals involved in the development of the solution.
Viridian Sciences seed-to-sale tracking system is the brainchild of ERP systems architect Justin Dufour. Dufour is a former grower and extract producer who operated a 10,000 sq ft Tier 2 operation in Washington State. In addition to having top to bottom experience in the cannabis cultivation and manufacturing, Justin Dufour is a truly a titan in the development of ERP systems. He has developed ERPs for the beer and alcohol brewing industries, the restaurant industry, state governments, multi-national banks, and much more.
Check out this interview with Viridian Sciences’ Justin Dufour.
2. On what platform was the application built?
There are a couple different ways to build a seed to sale system. One is to customize an “off-the-shelf” ERP package. The other is to engineer a system from the ground up.
Many seed-to-sale solutions providers do not actually develop a stand-alone product, but rather a customized version of a more general ERP platform. They are more of a service provider than an actual vendor. For this reason, these types of solutions will always rely on the ongoing reliability and stability of the company behind the development and support of that platform.
Viridian Sciences cannabis ERP system has been developed in partnership with a company called SAP. SAP is a multinational corporation based in Germany which has over 335,000 customers worldwide. Their ERPs make up the nervous systems of thousands of multi-million and billion-dollar corporations around the globe.
3. What is the system capable of?
Seed-to-sale tracking is only one aspect of the infrastructure of a competitive and successful cannabis company. In order to run an efficient operation, there are numerous other systems that need to interface with the tracking system. Some of these include finance, accounting, and invoicing systems, supply chain management, warehouse management, fulfillment, shipping and receiving, sales and customer relationship management (CRM), marketing and advertising, point-of-purchase systems, human resources, and, of course, compliance reporting.
The question is, are all of these systems contained within a robust cannabis ERP? Or will you need to cobble together a collection of systems in order to handle your company’s needs?
There are numerous advantages to having all of these systems rolled into one ERP solution. These include fewer vendors to deal with, no extract work or software required to interface disparate databases, likely easier to use, more robust reporting, and much more.
In addition to providing a world-class seed-to-sale solution, the combination of Viridian Sciences technology and SAP’s enterprise-scale experience comes together in an all-in-one solution which includes modules that seamlessly integrate all of these systems.
4. How are compliance and reporting handled?
Remaining in compliance and reporting to regulators is mission critical. Mistakes can cost a fortune and sometimes spell the end of the road for a sloppy operation. The cannabis industry is one of the most highly regulated in the world, even more so than pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and tobacco. Regulations are a patchwork of highly complex federal, state, and local regulations.
Are the seed-to-sales systems that you are reviewing actual compliance systems? In other words, do they allow you to go out of compliance? If so, it’s not a true compliance system. Furthermore, how does the vendor integrate its solution into state regulatory systems? How do they keep track of changing regulations?
Viridian Sciences has a small army of experts whose sole purpose is to keep our system up to date on current regulations at all levels of government so you don’t have to. And they are designed specifically to warn an operator if the activity being documented is out of compliance.
5. Who is currently using the system?
Is the system that you are considering proven in the field? How many companies are using the system to run their operations? Or will your company be the proving ground for the system? Ideally, you want to rely upon a system that is out there in the field and being utilized by successful operations the same size and type as yours.
Viridian Sciences is the nervous system at the center of cannabis companies small and large. One of these is 4 Front Holdings LLC, a massive, quickly expanding cannabis company with operations in four States, running eleven Dispensaries and three cultivation and processing facilities. On the other end of the spectrum, Viridian Sciences is used by Be Kind Production, a fresh start-up cultivator in the heart of California's Bay Area. Ask about our scores of other customers.
Whatever system you choose, keep in mind that you’ll be working with it for many years to come. Make sure that the system is developed by the most qualified and talented individuals in the space, that it runs on a globally supported platform, that it provides an integrated solution for all your data needs, that it makes compliance simple, and is it being used by successful operations of the same type and size as the company you’re hoping to build.
For more information on Viridian Sciences cannabis seed-to-sale software sign up to attend one of our free live webinars.