5 Capabilities Cannabis Companies Need to Grow Their Reputations for Quality

The cannabis industry is one of the highest regulated industries. Learn about 5 capabilities that improve the reputation of quality.

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    The cannabis industry launched as one of the most highly-regulated industries in the world —and as it has grown, the regulations surrounding it have expanded too. Initially, there was little or no required testing in the states where cannabis was legal. Fortunately both for consumers and cannabis companies, this has changed. Now, every state requires cannabis producers to send their products to testing labs to undergo a battery of purity and safety tests. Mandated testing, however, is only one step in a cannabis brand’s overall quality initiative. Here, we suggest five capabilities your cannabis brand should consider that will take you beyond compliance toward a reputation for quality that differentiates your brand from its competitors.

    1. Go beyond track and trace

    The ability to track and trace products is table stakes for cannabis companies. Due to the fundamental importance of this function, some companies select seed-to-sale software applications to help run their operations. Seed-to-sale systems are designed for compliance, not business management. While compliance is important, there’s much more required to run a successful and profitable operation that seed-to-sale applications are lacking. To supplement a seed-to-sale application’s lack of business management functionality, young cannabis companies often also adopt an entry level accounting application, like QuickBooks. This combination of disconnected applications greatly limits a brand’s growth potential.

    ERP software, like Dynamics 365,is designed for dynamic, diverse companies, helping them automate and improve operations. It connects functional business areas through a centralized database —from account management, order entry, production, procurement, warehouse and inventory management, point-of-sale, to accounting and financial management. Cannabis ERP extends core ERP functionality to include cannabis-specific capabilities, including extensive track and trace capabilities that both ensure compliance and create a foundation for expanded quality initiatives. In short, Cannabis ERP like SilverLeaf delivers the compliance capabilities cannabis companies need, along with the business capabilities every company wants.

    2. Quarantine until safe

    Cannabis companies are obligated to test their products before they make them available for sale. It can be challenging in a busy warehouse or processing center, though, to enforce this “quarantine” period. Any mistake at this juncture could necessitate a recall and puts a brand’s reputation of quality at risk.

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    Managing the chain of custody of numerous lots without software tools such as Cannabis ERP is difficult at best. A Cannabis ERP application like SilverLeaf locks down product lots until they have passed required testing, eliminating the possibility of unproven lots reaching retailers or consumers.

    3. Integrate with state tracking system

    State tracking systems, such as Metrc, BioTrackTHC, or Leaf Data Systems serve as a state’s hub of data, allowing regulators to track product from seed to sale. Some cannabis companies have tried using these as their sole product tracking application. The challenge with this approach is that the companies must then find other software to support the rest of their business activities. We’ve also seen cannabis companies rely on spreadsheets to maintain product tracking data, manually entering the data into the state’s tracking system —a time-consuming task that opens the potential for errors and oversight.

    Rather than juggle disparate applications or manually enter data into the state system, brands can adopt a Cannabis ERP application that integrates with the state system. In this way, they have the right tools to manage their complex operations while automatically providing the correct data to state tracking systems at every step of production. Dynamics 365 and SilverLeaf integrate with common state systems, providing automated upload of detailed product and lot data and download of recorded test results.

    4. Test and enforce your own quality standards


    We can all agree that mandatory testing improves consumer safety and lends legitimacy to the cannabis industry. But increasingly, brands look to measure quality across factors that aren’t currently measured by state testing. Without a dedicated Cannabis ERP application, tracking and monitoring quality metrics effectively and efficiently becomes impractical. SilverLeaf offers a Quality Assurance module with extensive quality management capabilities. Brands can establish their own, user-defined testing metrics and record and track results.

    We’ve seen cannabis companies use this level of quality testing to differentiate their branded product lines into something that resembles a good, better, best approach —with higher-end offerings and unique characteristics such as increased potency. All of these brands’ products must meet state testing requirements, but with a Cannabis ERP, they can perform, track, and manage their own battery of tests allowing them to segregate lots, matching each to the correct product offering. In doing so they build their brands’ reputations while increasing revenue opportunities.

    Similarly, as brands look to build, grow, and maintain their reputation in the market, they may wish to add quality tests surrounding attributes such as consistent label and packaging appearance, aroma or color, or even flavor in the case of edibles. SilverLeaf supports and streamlines these expanded initiatives.

    5. Accurate labelling

    Customers demand transparency in the products they buy and consume, and accurate product labelling is the mechanism for conveying that transparency—making accurate labelling is an essential quality step. Without the right in-house tool to generate labels, cannabis companies expend time and effort outsourcing the task which makes changes or adjustments costly and disruptive.

    Cannabis ERP can provide brands with the ability to print detailed, compliant, ready-for-retail product labels in house. SilverLeaf offers this capability through an integration with BarTender, the leading labeling application.

    Implementing a full ERP application, one designed for the cannabis industry, can help growing cannabis companies create a quality culture that goes far beyond compliance. The reputation of quality, consistency, and transparency are essential elements in providing a customer experience that keeps them returning to your brand every time.

    Reach out with your questions about SilverLeaf and to see a demonstration of its capabilities.

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