Nick Makin, Product Specialist at 365 Cannabis explains how 365 Cannabis helps businesses in the marijuana industry to manage their business processes with ease!
The emergence of the medical and recreational cannabis market in North America is fascinating to watch. In the software industry we haven’t seen anything like it since the emergence of the .com market; it really is exploding with new operations springing up to tap into this rapidly expanding and lucrative market. However, being in the right place at the right time isn’t enough to ensure success; businesses operating in this industry need to ensure that they are running their processes smoothly, offering top-notch customer services and complying with the legal requirements that differ from state to state. Sophisticated ERP (enterprise resource planning) software helps them achieve these ends and enables them to track their processes, moving them away from using Excel spreadsheets and pieces of paper – methods which are commonly found in these new cannabis operations. I have even spoken to one person who used to write his grow-schedules on paper and would burn them afterwards! (Or perhaps he smoked it afterwards and that’s where the inspiration came from?)
As the legality of marijuana is governed at a State level, each State has its own requirements and processes that must be followed in order to obtain a license. Some businesses will obtain just one license (for example just a cultivation license) or some businesses will apply for multiple to become ‘vertically integrated’. Being vertically integrated typically means that your operation does the cultivation, manufacturing and selling - the complete seed-to-sale process.
An introduction to 365 Cannabis
365 Cannabis is based on a Microsoft ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution called Dynamics NAV. We’ve been selling, implementing and supporting Dynamics NAV customers in all walks of life for a long time. We’ve been working very hard to bring our experience and lessons learnt from other industries into this product to offer a really sophisticated solution. A unique thing about 365 Cannabis is that the product didn’t start in the marijuana industry. Microsoft Dynamics NAV has been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth. OK, maybe not! But still, it’s been around since the 80’s so it’s very mature and has a huge user-base. Businesses in the marijuana industry want to run their organisations as diligently as any other manufacturer, producer or retailer and so they need a solution which is designed to do just that. After all, would you really want a solution that is as new as your new business or at the best, has only been around for the past few years?
With 365 Cannabis, everything is in one system. This means that you don’t have to run 3 or 4 different systems day-to-day to manage your processes. Cultivation, extraction, dispensary and finance is all in one place and you can use as much or as little of it as you would like. For example, if you only have a ‘grow’ operation at the moment but may want to expand into other areas in the future, the solution has ‘extraction’ and ‘dispensary’ built-in so it is able to scale-up as your organization grows. What’s more, because it’s a Microsoft product, your employees can use the system seamlessly with the Microsoft Office products that they know and love, so it’s efficient and offers a seamless, consistent experience.
Now, what exactly is in 365 Cannabis? For those of you that know Microsoft Dynamics products or Dynamics NAV, it is an enterprise level application that can be used to run and streamline every process in a business.
One of the unique points about 365 Cannabis is that a lot of the functionality around Finance, Purchasing, Selling, CRM, Warehouse, Inventory Management, etc. is provided by Microsoft. That allows us to focus our time on the cannabis specific processes and supporting the end customer, which is what we do best.
As briefly touched on before, there are many modules in the solution; an organization may use all of them or just a few of them depending on their requirements and the licenses they hold. Here’s some of the main ones:
Cultivation – This is all about growing the product and tracking it from seed (or unrooted cutting) to plant.
Processing / Manufacturing – Turning it into a finished product.
Quality Control – For third party products or your own products, ensuring the high standards that customers expect.
Sales – Enabling you to sell products to customers or patients. You can sell through integrated eCommerce, B2B or through a Dispensary using the Point-of-Sale (POS) that can run on any device.
Finance – Track General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Fixed Assets, etc.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be visiting each of those main modules in more detail to give you a better understanding of what the solution can do. I’ll also be writing articles to pass on knowledge we’ve learnt from other industries like ‘The importance of dedicated support’, ‘How you should choose your software solution’ as well as articles specific to the Cannabis industry like ‘What really is State compliance?’ Until then, feel free to go to the website to find out more or check out our 30 minute webinar.
Until next time!