Posted by Alexander Glueckler on

photo of a 5 made out of grass, the 5 steps to cannabis erp system implementationWe’ve spoken about how to select the best cannabis ERP system solution for your business, but let’s take a step back. Before you move forward with any cannabis ERP system implementation, you’ll want to be certain your organization is ready to succeed with the initiative. In other words, you want to set your company up to succeed with your new business management solution by performing the right assessments, taking the time to plan, and selecting the right business partner. Below, we’ve identified five factors that cannabis businesses would be smart to consider before they implement cannabis ERP.

1. Get full company buy-in

As with any large company decision, leadership buy-in is vital. However, a new cannabis ERP implementation will impact and involve the entire company, so it would be a mistake to leave key departmental players out of the decision-making process.

It’s important to have people from all departments engaged in the implementation, if not the initial selection. People are often resistant to change, especially when they have been doing things the same way for years. Cannabis businesses may have an advantage here, as most aren’t that old, so they haven’t been doing anything for all that long! Helping the team to understand that to grow the business, and provide additional opportunities for everyone, a robust cannabis business management solution must be at the foundation.

2. Build a master plan

You’ll need to understand how your current business processes are functioning (or not functioning) or could be improved upon, so you can determine where you want to be after your cannabis ERP implementation. Some of the broad questions to consider might be:

  • What areas in your operation require extensive manual processing?
  • Are you able to get the reports you need to demonstrate compliance?
  • Are you planning to expand into other segments of the cannabis industry?
  • Are you able to demonstrate compliance with various federal, state, and local laws?
  • Will you be seeking investment capital?

Don’t take the planning process for granted — cannabis companies must make sure their system is designed and built to meet their needs today, and flexible enough to adapt to changing regulations.

3. Establish an internal team

Building an internal team of project champions helps result in a smooth transition with broad user adoption. Post-implementation, the team becomes the internal resource for continued success. Members of your internal team could include:

  • Project Lead – Typically a senior manager who can provide high-level guidance during the implementation and offers or filters support needs once the company is live with the new system. This person may end up as the overall project manager, setting meetings, monitoring timeline progress, and ensuring controls are in place and that issues are identified and addressed.
  • IT Manager – Internal IT support is critical for the success of any implementation. Merging information and ensuring initial system needs are being met will keep the project running smoothly from an operations standpoint. This may include ensuring proper hardware and software connections, as well as monitoring internal activity to provide guidance on company needs.
  • Team Leads – Team users will need information and training, and leads can be trained to be trainers.

4. Define measurable outcomes

Companies often neglect this step, but it’s important to define the outcomes you’d like to see in the pre-, intra-, and post-implementation periods. Identify ideal Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you’d like to measure, and what the ideal values for those KPIs should be. Using these measures will help affirm your return on investment on the cannabis ERP investment.

5. Partner with experience

The cannabis industry is unique in many ways. Cannabis ERP system implementation in a cannabis company will have some obvious and some subtle differences from implementing ERP in a typical retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, or distributor. The right partner will understand the industry, will have experience working with cannabis companies in many different sectors of the market, and will know how to configure and adapt the software to address the unique challenges you face. Selecting an experienced, committed partner is perhaps as important as selecting the software itself.

Silverware works with cannabis businesses around the country to implement, configure, and optimize cannabis ERP systems and manufacturing solutions that work the way you work. Even if the way you work tomorrow is quite different than today. Contact us to start the discussion.