When business owners hear the words Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, they can be somewhat dismissive and assume that an ERP system is something a manufacturing or distribution company would only need and/or benefit from. While ERP software’s roots are firmly planted in these industries, most recently the cannabis industry has not only benefited from but thrived on implementing an ERP, and Silverware Inc. has witnessed it firsthand. However, making a purchase like this one should not be taken lightly, and it is essential that you conduct your research before deciding if a Cannabis ERP is right for your cannabis business. Silverware Inc., along with its consultants, has put a list together of the top five things to know before purchasing a Cannabis ERP.
1. Make sure it is (actually) an ERP
A true ERP integrates all facets of your business into one comprehensive business system. It gives you real-time data at your fingertips, enabling your team to make informed business decisions more efficiently. Traditionally, an ERP manages the data from the following core areas of the business:
- Finance & Accounting
- Inventory Management
- Purchasing & Procurement
- Sales & Distribution
- Manufacturing & Production Management
- Quality Management
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Human Resources (HR) Management
- Business Intelligence (BI)
Furthermore, the ERP may be used to collect and centralize the data from other areas of the business, such as
- Point-of-Sale (POS)
If the ERP cannot provide these functions, then most likely it is just an inventory-tracking system. While there is nothing wrong with this type of software, we urge you to educate yourself beforehand so you can recognize the difference and save yourself from being duped into the purchase of a product or system that really cannot do it all. Remember, when purchasing a Cannabis ERP, you get what you pay for!
2. Invest in a reliable/proven Cannabis ERP
With the cannabis industry experiencing huge growth, the software market has become somewhat saturated with tools and resources that often claim to be a one-stop shop. Silverware Inc.’s Silver Leaf CBC is the first ever Cannabis ERP solution made publicly available on Microsoft Dynamic 365 Business Central.
Business Central was created with multi-industry best practices in mind. It has a continued roadmap of feature and functionality enhancements. As a Gold Certified VAR partner, Silverware Inc. understands the value a Microsoft-backed Cannabis ERP has and its customers have benefited, too. At Silverware Inc., we believe your ERP partner needs to be just as reliable as the software itself, leading us to our next top thing to know: Finding the right partner.
3. Find the right partner
At Silverware Inc., we understand the nuances of the cannabis industry. We know the complexities and the regulations at both a federal and state level. That is why it is essential when seeking out a partner that they have a comprehensive knowledge of both ERP and cannabis. Due diligence is extremely important. Before entering a partnership with Silverware Inc., we recommend that you talk to our clients, ask them about their experiences and don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions, such as how we solved their toughest challenges. Silverware Inc. is committed to doing right by its customers and with more than 30 years of ERP implementation, we’d like to think that many of our partners agree.
4. Select an ERP that supports integrations
As your cannabis business continues to flourish, you will need your cannabis ERP to be able to do “other things.” These other things include the ability to support integrations with other systems or apps, specifically track and trace. Regardless of where you operate your cannabis business, or whether you sell flowers or extracts, legal operators must abide by their respective state’s chosen system. This is where partnership becomes crucial again, as you want your ERP provider to be knowledgeable and experienced with integrating with other systems employed by cannabis companies. To learn more about validated track and trace systems, check out our blog on how Silver Leaf works with Leaf Data Systems.
5. Security/Checks & Balances/Built-in Workflows
Our final point to note involves a three-pronged approach. Firstly, security. Your ERP should allow you to set permissions/restrictions to various areas of the system (i.e., by functional role or specific user). Silverware Inc. is a big fan of Microsoft’s Business Central because of its security features, and how it requires various levels of authentication. In the cannabis industry, this level of security is worth noting and having a sophisticated software that really is intuitive to your business needs will set you apart from the rest. Secondly, checks and balances must be considered. You want to be able to separate financial duties for Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and other cannabis compliance regulations in order to follow best practices and lead by example. Last, but not least, when purchasing a Cannabis ERP, you should seek one that provides built-in workflows. As Silver Leaf CBC is built on Business Central, our users have the capability to set up and use workflows that connect business-process tasks carried out by various users. Having the ability to set up approval processes in your cannabis business is crucial.
If you are ready to take the next step by purchasing a Cannabis ERP, please get in touch. We’re here to answer your questions on partnership, integrations and compliance and we’re excited to help you streamline your business processes for maximum output. Please also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about our company and its offerings.