Features for Cannabis Operators to Look for in Seed-to-Sale Software

Cannabis operators just starting out, standard seed-to-sale software solutions play a vital role in managing the business. Learn more today!

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    For cannabis operators just starting out, standard seed-to-sale software solutions play a vital role in managing the business. They enable the tracking of plants all the way from when seeds are first planted to when the resulting retail products are sold. Operators can monitor the progress of every flower as it blooms and gets harvested.

    Operators can also track plants as they are converted to oil and other cannabis by-products as well as the packaging phase and transporting to retail outlets. In addition to forecasting production, standard seed-to-sale solutions can generate all the data required for Metrc and other state compliance systems.

    Missing Link Creates Inefficiencies as Cannabis Operators Grow

    As critical as these capabilities are, standard seed-to-sale tracking systems are also missing a key component for managing a cannabis business. The plant tracking is not linked to cost and sales data. For example, seed-to-sale functions track a cannabis plant extracted into oil that went into a vape cartridge. But the software doesn’t show the costs to grow the plant, extract the oil, and then produce the vape cartridge along with other product costs, such as boxes and labels.

    To evaluate the profitability of plants and their by-products, managers must manually bring in data from the company’s accounting software. Likely, there’s also cost and sales data saved in user spreadsheets that take extra time to collect.

    When cannabis operators are small, they may get by with this approach as managers can maintain some cost information in spreadsheets. But this model is not scalable as the company grows and as people change roles or leave the company. Without tight integration between plant tracking and financial management, it’s difficult to support future growth and operate profitably.

    Acts of Heroism Fall Short in Generating Accurate Data

    Lack of integration between plant tracking and financial data leads to managers having to perform daily “acts of heroism” to find and then compile all the required data to run the business. In addition to the cost of the labor resources, machine assets, land, and greenhouse that are needed to plant, nurture, harvest, process, and package cannabis, there are also various supply chain costs—ranging from cartridges to packaging, labels, and freight.

    While it is possible to track down all this information and bring it into a single spreadsheet, such a manual process is error-prone as data is rekeyed from one application into another. Managers also discover multiple versions of spreadsheets—they’re not sure which one reflects the correct information.

    And by the time managers generate reports on all the info, the data is no longer fresh. It may be too late to make adjustments to protect margins. Or a supply chain partner may have changed their pricing. The managers are simply not working with real-time information.

    The Answer: Integrating Plant Tracking with Financial Management

    The answer to this challenge is to deploy a seed-to-sale solution that also incorporates comprehensive ERP capabilities that allow you to report on and manage the financial and plant-tracking aspects in one system. As you research possible solutions, look for one that provides these key features:

    •  Recognizes and tracks vendor and production costs.
    • Delivers timely, accurate and auditable financial reports.
    • Provides an audit trail to comply with regulations and integrates with state compliance systems.
    • Manages your entire supply chain for cannabis and non-cannabis items.
    • Generates real-time visibility into inventory availability.
    • Tacks inventory grow cycles, movement, placement, and location.
    • Predicts yield based on input parameters and production history.
    • Uses demand forecasts to drive production and procurement planning.

    The leading cannabis ERP solutions flow all the data generated by these functions into a single database from which you can generate reports. You don’t have to reconcile multiple data sources, and you can run reports in real time—so your managers always work with current, accurate information.

    The Power of the SilverLeaf and Business Central Combination

    While a standard seed-to-sale software solution works fine for tracking plants and other THC products, to know what it costs to convert plants into products, you need to factor in your supply chain costs, labor costs, manufacturing asset costs, freight, and overhead. Only then can you understand the true cost of each product and determine your margins to measure product profitability.

    To solve this challenge, many cannabis operators have turned to a full end-to-end system like SilverLeaf running on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. The solution integrates plant tracking with financial information to eliminate duplicate data entry, which saves time for end-users and prevents errors. You also get report results faster so you can see the health of your company in real time—you don’t have to wait for someone to import and manipulate the data.

    While other solution providers try to add ERP capabilities to their seed-to-sale tracking software, we believe cannabis operators need to begin with the foundation of the Business Central ERP platform that provides the same solid financial management capabilities that all businesses depend on. From there, our SilverLeaf solution serves as the perfect complement that brings in the specific tracking, financial, and compliance workflows that all cannabis operators require.

    To see how SilverLeaf running on Dynamics 365 Business Central can help your cannabis business operate more efficiently, contact Velosio today to schedule a demo. You can also check out our five-part YouTube series on Mastering Cannabis Operations.