Posted by Alexander Glueckler on

How can cannabis companies leverage ERP to drive effective change management?

cannabis industryIf there’s one constant in the cannabis industry, it’s change—and the ability to adapt to, respond to, and manage change is vital to your organization’s long-term competitiveness and success. Many of the changes cannabis companies face are driven by external factors — laws, regulations, and consumer preferences — and are out of your direct control. However, another category of change, this one driven by internal factors, is firmly within your control. We’re talking about changes in business processes, team structure, and even business software necessitated by your company’s growth. So, how can cannabis companies leverage ERP to drive effective change management?

Silverware is fortunate to have Prosci, the world’s preeminent change management think tank and trainer, as a client, and the leaders there point to specific business elements that drive effective change management. We latched on to two of those elements as ones to highlight here, since each of them can be realized with the help of a Cannabis ERP solution.

  1. Setting and reinforcing standardization

Prosci asserts that using a formal standardized approach makes processes repeatable, supporting the consistent application of change management throughout the organization.

Cannabis ERP helps standardizing new processes through the enforcement of your company’s policies and procedures. Guided workflows, enforced approval routings, defined product ownership, and visible project timelines are examples of ways ERP can help set and reinforce standardization. With comprehensive end-to-end (not just seed to sale) functionality, a cannabis ERP solution is a true business management solution designed for the way cannabis companies work. 

  1. Employee engagement and communication

Prosci notes that the reason we apply change management is to drive employee adoption and usage, which in turn generates organizational results and outcomes.

Creating a collaborative environment for teams helps promote employee engagement and create buy-in for change. Cannabis ERP facilitates the sharing of data throughout the enterprise. The sales team receives updated information on inventory available to promise and sell. Perpetual inventory levels are visible and monitored as operations makes updates throughout the supply chain process. Delivery drivers can access testing results to answer last-minute sales questions. Bottom line: engaged teams rely on shared information and this level of collaboration is critical to your company’s ability to pivot when needed.

On a simply practical note, ERP systems integrate with email and productivity software, have real-time task management for roles, and provide up-to-date dashboards with pertinent KPIs to speed and streamline communication between individuals, teams, and divisions. 

ERP — a means to an end

ERP is not a change management solution in and of itself. Rather, it is a tool to help the cannabis industry drive growth through continuous improvement and structured, well-managed change. Leveraging ERP technology can improve your company’s ability to respond quickly to change as you navigate ongoing opportunities and threats.

We encourage our clients shopping for a cannabis ERP solution to look beyond the solution’s features and functions and first map your company’s needs, processes, and goals. Identify where the bottlenecks are, where waste and inefficiencies exist, and how you can plan for and adapt for the inevitable changes to come. The ability to manage change better than your competition, quickly responding to opportunities and deftly avoiding threats, will be a powerful competitive weapon in the cannabis industry.