In my time working with enterprise software, I have seen the significant benefits that come from the implementation of software suites that can manage supply chain, inventory tracing, and tracking. And when we look at the accelerating world of cannabis cultivation, the requirements of government regulation and control, coupled with the needs of the industry’s cultivators, we can see that enterprise grade software is essential. Moreover, software is a vital partner in the industry’s future sustainability.
But what are the lessons of enterprise software that we can apply to cannabis cultivation software?
- Easy onboarding:
- Fast adoption: Look for software that you can start actively using as soon as possible. This means you’re looking for ease of use.
- Bilingual onboarding support: Cannabis is a global industry – you will need bilingual support and training.
- Solid, role-based training: With a variety of roles across your business, you’ll want software that supports your team’s needs with appropriate training available for each person.
- Software that grows as you grow: From boutique business to multinational organization, your software should help you scale and then grow with you. Seek out platforms that provide comprehensive capabilities – with features and functions that can be enabled to support your business operations and strategic needs as you scale. This may include consulting, design and implementation services.
- Backbone software plus APIs: No one software suite will solve all your business challenges. Multiple APIs allow easy integration between suites, leveraging the investment that you make in your data, process engineering and business operations. Look particularly for integrations with CRM (customer relationship management) software, regulatory systems such as Metrc, and accounting and finance software like Quickbooks or Sage Intacct.
- Reporting, Forecasting, and Cultivation Analytics: Data is power, and quality cultivation software will track every touchpoint in your product lifecycle – from seed to sale. To harvest the value of your data, however, you will require data visualization tools, dashboards and intuitive reporting tools. As you scale, forecasting capabilities will deliver the strategic insight and operational capacity you need.
- Software designed for the needs of both government and business: State, federal and international regulations have a range of differences and variations – all of which need to be addressed. Look for software that takes state, federal, and international compliance seriously and has up to date compliance data from metrc readily available in their system.
- Time saving features: As your business grows, look for features and functions that take hours out of your administration processes. This can include mass modification of inventory and products and batch updating capability.
- Access to industry expertise: As the industry as a whole grows, technology will flood the market – often without the thought leadership and domain expertise needed. Look for cannabis cultivation software companies that have been involved in the industry for years, truly believe in the benefits of cannabis, and are trusted market leaders in the space.
- Integrated consulting services: Companies that offer cannabis business consulting services are truly invested in the industry. Look for software companies that offer compliance consulting services, aside from companies simply trying to sell you their product.
- Customer success teams: Quick online support bots on the company website can assist you quickly, so you’re not left waiting days for your questions to be answered via email. The customer success team should not only be able to assist you with the software if you have questions but should also suggest proven strategies to ensure your business continues to grow. The team should always keep your ROI (return on investment) in mind and be considerate of the fact that you’re investing your well-earned dollars in technology so that your business can scale.