What to look for in your next cannabis ERP solution

As the cannabis industry evolves and more businesses enter the marketplace, companies are constantly looking for a competitive edge amid expansive growth. Offering scalability, industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems provide advantages ambitious cannabis businesses seek. With software features designed to help remain compliant, enhance their cultivation practices, manage recipes and new product development and provide inventory control, your next cannabis ERP solution should include the following functionalities: 

Regulatory compliance and traceability

As more states legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana, the complexities of regulatory compliance are readily handled with an ERP solution that mitigates the consequences of non-compliance with state regulators, auditors, and law enforcement agencies. The centralized database and integrated reporting manages track and trace compliance throughout the supply chain – providing adaptability to changing laws and requirements. The solution provides the versatility to accommodate multiple locations, jurisdictions, countries and intra-industry verticals (growers, processors and dispensaries). In addition, maintaining licensing requirements, traceability, waste management, transportation records, product recalls, prescription tracking, compliant packaging and labeling, and tax payments are effectively managed. To ensure that reporting is accurate and timely, automated integration from the ERP solution to state government-approved software systems such as METRC, BIOTRACK THC, and Leaf Data Systems is streamlined. Comprehensive cannabis ERP software meets compliance initiatives with detailed tracking, measuring, documenting and reporting from seed to sale.

Cultivation management

An ERP solution integrated with a cultivation management system (CMS) provides the ability to track, monitor and record each individual plant from propagation to harvest with a unique identifier – utilizing barcode scanners and tracking technology. Detailed tracking is a necessity due to lengthy cannabis growth cycles that incur a multitude of expenses. Activity costs, quality checks, audit trails, inspections, strain tracking, harvesting techniques, plant health and batch yields are recorded to provide visibility into greenhouse operations. In order to create an optimal cultivation environment, growing activities such as space, climate, light, moisture, nutrients and fertilizers are monitored to determine ideal conditions for maximum plant growth and yields. Labor costs are specifically targeted, as they are the highest expense for cannabis growers and require efficient planning, automation and workflows to reduce overhead. The real-time tracking and assessment of plant growth, movement and harvest information provide the data necessary to run a cost-efficient operation. 

Recipe and formula management

Comprehensive formula and recipe management functionality delivers product consistency and tight control in regards to taste, texture, appearance, potency (THC and CBD percentage) and expected results – maintaining raw material data, production notes, versions and revisions for each batch. The calculation of nutritional information including ingredient and allergen information produces accurate labeling, reporting and the product packaging necessary for consumers in cannabis edible products. Labeling provides an integral part in the development of recall planning and procedures as the traceability and labeling history documented in ERP software helps to identify and locate items quickly in the event of a product recall.

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Research and development

With supportive R&D functionality in an ERP solution, new and innovative delivery methods, products and consumer-driven edibles and marijuana-infused beverages can be introduced to the market quickly - fostering a competitive advantage for cannabis businesses. The solution fosters an environment to easily develop and experiment with new recipes with the ability to leverage current cost and product history. A sandbox software environment provides for the development and testing of new products without affecting current processes – offering an easy transition to live production.

Inventory management

As a crucial component of any cannabis business, inventory management is essential to track the quantities and locations of valuable cannabis products – mitigating theft and managing regulatory risk. A secure system employs user-based software permissions to track employee transactions when handling products to ensure security and accountability. By facilitating effective inventory control, an ERP solution monitors inventory loss due to damage, shrinkage and accidental or purposeful destruction, as well as tracks stock levels and expiration dates. Inventory is handled efficiently across multiple warehouses and locations, recording raw material and product levels in real-time, reducing waste, facilitating rotation methods and avoiding overproduction to control costs. The barcode scanning of plant tag IDs and serial and lot numbers facilitates forward and backward traceability that links product information to batch tickets, shipping documents and labels. Reducing the risk of unsafe products entering the marketplace is a primary goal of any inventory control system.

With the robust features and functionality of cannabis ERP, including regulatory compliance and traceability, cultivation management, recipe and formula management, research and development and inventory management, your company can be on the way to distinction in a crowded marketplace. Ambitious cannabis companies searching for their next ERP solution will realize competitive advantages that serve their comprehensive business and industry needs now and in the future.

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Daniel Erickson

About the author…

Daniel has been with ProcessPro since 1999 and has held numerous roles within the company including implementation, account management, product management, and sales. Currently as Director of Product Strategy, Daniel focuses on driving overall market success by ensuring the products meet both current and future market demands. Leveraging his extensive understanding of process manufacturing, the unique business trends of this industry, and information gathered from market analysis, customer feedback, regulatory compliance, and certification requirements to drive product decisions. Connecting the benefits of ProcessPro’s robust ERP solution to batch process manufacturers and helping solve their key business challenges effectively.

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Daniel Erickson

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