In rural Eastern Washington, where water, sunshine and fertile ground are plentiful, American Farms Consulting (AFC) planted roots. The company leases 800+ acres there, and while farming only a fraction of that, its tenants will still produce over 30,000 pounds of dry bulk flower this year. AFC’s five distinct brands are distributed to hundreds of retailers throughout the state through Viva Cannabis, and an expansion into other states is in the works. To further grow and build its brand, American Farms partnered with Silverware and its cannabis ERP, Silver Leaf Cannabis Business Central (CBC), to provide the software, strategies and solutions needed to flourish in a highly competitive, highly volatile marketplace.
Manual systems stunted business
When Ori Sivan joined AFC’s team in 2018, the company faced rapid growth, but struggled with its manual systems and entry-level accounting application. “We were using QuickBooks for accounting and another separate seed-to-sale application for compliance,” he recalls. “There were huge gaps in our operation that had to be handled manually because the software simply wasn’t capable. We desperately needed an integrated application that could bring our business operations together and let us focus on what we do best.”
As an example, Viva Cannabis used a seed-to-sale application to upload required information to the state’s cannabis tracking system, Leaf Data Systems (Leaf). However, that was the app’s singular feature. “Its functionality started and ended with meeting the state’s seed-to-sale tracking,” Sivan explains. “But a cannabis business is so much more than that. We’re consulting to plant farmers, processors, manufacturers and distributors. These are not just simple plant products. We produce or source unique wrappers, packaging and more, and need accurate production costs and accurate inventory data in order to be successful. We need accurate cost of sales, insight into our production capabilities, and the ability to generate meaningful forecasts.”
“Silverware demonstrated the commitment, the resources and the skillset that gave us the confidence to choose them as our partner.”
The right solution and the right partner
An industry colleague introduced Sivan to Silverware, and Sivan found himself instantly impressed. “Our Silverware consultant understood the industry from our perspective. There was no hard sell, it was a series of collaborative conversations where Silverware shared a tremendous amount of valuable information and asked us the right questions to uncover our goals and requirements.” The Silver Leaf CBC solution included all the industry-specific requirements Viva Cannabis needed, plus the appealing Microsoft Dynamics platform. “It’s a robust, open solution that has been field tested and proven,” Sivan says. Sivan is quick to point out, however, that the software solution was only part of the reason AFC selected Silverware. “There are other packages out there that could have met our needs, but what I know is that people matter most. During the course of an implementation and beyond, things will go wrong, that’s the nature of software. So, assuming that there will be challenges, who do you want by your side? For us, there was no question. Silverware demonstrated the commitment, the resources and the skillset that gave us the confidence to choose them as our partner.
Planned, professional implementation
With a combined effort by both organizations, the implementation proceeded smoothly. “At that time we didn’t have a CFO or an internal IT staff, so Silverware stepped in and helped us out in both areas, generously sharing their experience and expertise,” Sivan says. “And when we did have questions or issues, Silverware stepped in to handle those too. They took responsibility for the project and drove it to a successful completion.”
Insight, functionality, and visibility
Almost immediately, the company recognized the benefits Silver Leaf CBC provided. “Right away we were able to get accurate production yield statistics while looking at our production from multiple angles,” Sivan explains. “We were able to identify anomalies, trends and potential errors which allowed us to quickly make course corrections.” Previously, the company had minimal visibility into its production and sales metrics. “We honestly weren’t able to identify how much product we were making in a day, or which products were outselling others, and which were making us money,” Sivan says. “Now, I have very detailed metrics into all of that and much more—and it’s all available to us in real time.”
A single system of record
The biggest overarching benefit of Silver Leaf CBC, according to Sivan, is its ability to serve as the single system of record for all of AFC’s operations and the farms and manufacturers that it supports. From cultivation to production, procurement and inventory control, quality assurance and lot tracking, packaging to shipping, and on to receivables and financial reporting, Silver Leaf CBC has the power, flexibility and industry-specific functionality needed. “And of course, it directly integrates with Leaf, so we maintain state compliance without the need to manually enter data in that system,” says Sivan. “[Silver Leaf CBC] directly integrates with Leaf, so we maintain state compliance without the need to manually enter data in that system.”
Going for growth
Already, after just a few months live on Silver Leaf CBC, AFC has enough confidence in the solution to forge forward with its growth and expansion plans. AFC’s affiliates secured one of only 22 vertical licenses in the state of Florida and will manage that operation within Silver Leaf CBC, too. “The software provides great visibility across entities and makes transactions really simple,” says Sivan.
With its technology investments, its partnerships and its driving commitment to excellence, American Farms Consulting is cultivating both short- and long-term success. “The reality is that cannabis companies need a cannabis-focused ERP,” Sivan concludes. “It’s vital to select a solution that is designed for the industry and provides the visibility and insight needed to scale. Silver Leaf CBC is that kind of solution. Just as important, though, is a partner that is highly knowledgeable and committed to success. Silverware is that kind of partner.”
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