The growth of the legal cannabis market has resulted in a rise in business startups, with ambitious entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of a booming industry. As new companies develop, the need for industry-specific software solutions to help manage resources and maintain regulatory compliance becomes a critical operational factor before making the first sale.
As a result, a slew of cannabis software products have entered the market. As with any investment, cannabis operators need to know exactly what capabilities and return on investment they can expect before they make a decision.
Cannabis ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software and Seed-to-Sale software solutions offer benefits for a company, but the functionality and ROI are vastly different by comparison. Cannabis companies investing in software solutions may be tempted to cut costs by using a less functional Seed-to-Sale system. Without firsthand knowledge of cannabis ERP capabilities, a direct comparison of what these systems are and what they do for a cannabis business may be helpful.
ERP vs. Seed-to-Sale: What’s the Difference?
For cannabis businesses, maintaining regulatory compliance while maximizing profit is always a top priority. Cannabis ERP software and Seed-to-Sale software are tools for a cannabis business to do this, assisting the business owner with performing vital operations.
Cannabis businesses are required to comply with municipal, state, and federal regulations specific to the industry. These regulations include requirements for meticulously tracking every cannabis plant/product from its origination to the final consumer, or ‘seed to sale.’
Seed-to-Sale software focuses on this need, giving businesses the ability to scan product barcodes, accumulate and examine data, and more easily assemble and submit necessary reports.
Comprehensive cannabis-specific ERP software also offers seed-to-sale product tracking and other critical management applications to help a business run smoothly while maintaining compliance. But cannabis ERP also includes inventory management systems, accounting systems, agricultural management systems (for cultivators), point of sale systems, security systems, HR, and more. Whereas a cannabis ERP solution meets many vital business needs, a Seed-to-Sale solution can only meet one.
Functionality: Compliance vs. Growth
As stated above, the fundamental difference between cannabis ERP software and seed-to-sale software boils down to whether compliance is the primary function. While some Seed-to-Sale solutions have become highly refined with the ability to track cultivation, processing, and POS systems, its specific purpose is to help cannabis businesses meet compliance requirements, not to help a business grow.
Comprehensive cannabis ERP software includes these same tracking capabilities while also explicitly focusing on other critical business operations such as payroll, P&L, cost analysis, data analytics, and facility security.
Modern ERP solutions are also on the front line of innovation, integrating the latest AI advancements to help optimize an operation. Real-time agricultural environment monitoring by AI systems allows cultivators to foster the best growth environments and provides an opportunity to respond to agricultural issues before crops are damaged.
Automated billing, payments, and administrative functions included in many ERP solutions reduce manual administrative labor, saving a business time and financial resources. Advanced ERP software also allows for remote access to critical systems – a vital need for any business in a post-pandemic landscape. The functionality of niche Seed-to-Sale software designed for singular purposes just cannot compete with cannabis ERP software created to help companies grow.
Is My Cannabis Business Big Enough for ERP?
One of the most significant factors preventing cannabis entrepreneurs from investing in comprehensive ERP software is the belief that their company is not big enough to require something so in-depth. This idea is antithetical to making a business successful. Cannabis companies need to stay focused on a growth-mindset, consider their business’s long-term goals, and invest their resources accordingly.
While a less expensive Seed-to-Sale system might make sense in the short term, long-term business expansion requires software solutions specifically designed to meet expanding needs. Cannabis ERP solutions offer an all-in-one unified solution that significantly decreases the amount of time that a singular software investment will meet a business’ needs.
Cannabis ERP integrates advanced customization options to ensure that the software package remains optimized for individual companies’ specific needs as they grow. Cannabusiness owners should take the time to research available products, consult with industry experts, and sit in on demos before making the best strategic decision for their cannabis company’s software needs.
Contact our team of cannabis experts to discuss how we can help your business stay compliant and grow with industry-tested Cannabis ERP.