Is Cannabis ERP right for You? Myth-Busting Cannabis Software – Part 1

Haven’t you heard? Enterprise resource planning software is all the same. And Cannabis ERP is nothing more than traditional ERP marketed toward unsuspecting cannabis companies. 

If you’ve heard this too, allow us to set the record straight with these and other cannabis ERP myths exposed in “Is Cannabis ERP right for You? Myths Busted about Cannabis Software – Part One

Myth #1: “ERP, Cannabis ERP, Seed-to-sale: all the solutions are the same”

Myth #2: “I need IT infrastructure and staffing for cannabis ERP”

Myth #3: “ERP systems don’t communicate with state-mandated compliance systems.”

Myth #4: “ERPs are not for small businesses”

Choosing software that supports your entire cannabis operation, including customer service, HR, accounting, sales, and inventory, is a big decision. With many cannabis-focused options on the market, it’s easy to find yourself in murky water about what ERP is and, more specifically, how cannabis ERP can take your company to the next chapter of your business.  

The confusion often occurs due to the terminology used for the different software options available for cannabis operators. And let’s face it, legal cannabis is still a young industry with a lot of maturing left to do. Some companies attempt technology shortcuts (at their peril) or choose the cheapest industry-touted solution. As a result rumors and myths about cannabis software that have surfaced. 

For example, do you know the difference between cannabis ERP and seed-to-sale software? These terms are frequently used one in place of the other, and though there are many similarities, they are different software with distinct features, capacity, and capabilities. 

So how do you choose? With each ERP implementation comes different challenges, expectations, and opportunities, but only you can decide which ERP is right for you. As the adult-use and medicinal marijuana industry continue to evolve, here are the first 4 cannabis ERP myths busted so you can finally decide if it’s right for you.

Myth #1: “ERP, Cannabis ERP, Seed-to-sale: all the solutions are the same”

Discussing this common misconception about cannabis ERP vs. traditional ERP vs. seed-to-sale solutions is the perfect place to start myth-busting for your ERP selection process. If the technologies were the same, the software selection process wouldn’t be needed. However, software evaluations are so widely performed because companies looking for new business solutions must first assess their requirements, process gaps, and the problems they need the software to solve. Some common target areas of interest include:

  • Automation
  • Functionality
  • Ease of use
  • Scalability
  • Integrations
  • Implementation and maintenance costs
  • Flexibility of service
  • Industry Expertise

Each of these targets seeks features and functions that may work for one business but not the next. Not only that, what works for your cannabis company may not work for your competitor. Each business solution has its own recesses for different industries and requirements. 

Myth #2: “I need IT infrastructure and staffing for cannabis ERP”

Your cannabis ERP deployment options include on-premise, hosted, cloud, and hybrid solutions. Each of these deployment options offer clear benefits depending on your needs, but cloud-based ERPs allow you to cut IT infrastructure cost almost completely. Operating in the cloud allows you to outsource the IT function needed to run your mission-essential business solutions and target your core competencies. Without having to store and administer expensive hardware onsite, the savings are significant. Cannabis cloud solutions are perfect for innovative, on-the-go companies that need real-time access to data, from anywhere, without the IT cost.  

Myth #3: “ERP systems don’t communicate with state-mandated compliance systems.”

Perhaps the greatest challenge for any cannabis company is the difficult task of cannabis compliance. Ensuring compliance with evolving regulations at the state and federal levels requires micro-level tracking that integrates with state regulatory systems, such as Metrc or BioTrack, to detail what’s being grown, made, and sold. 

Sure, seed-to-sale technologies wave the compliance flag, but aside from compliance and tracking, these systems fall way short of the financials, sales, cultivation, purchasing, manufacturing, inventory, costing, packaging, reporting, and analytics that your cannabis ERP could do for you.

A true cannabis ERP system holds up the entire organization and supports these critical cannabis business processes, whereas seed-to-sale systems report on the custody and movement of cannabis plants and products.

Myth #4: “ERPs are not for small businesses”

Another common myth that transcends the cannabis industry into the minds of people who work at “regular” businesses is that ERP systems are big business solutions. The truth is, cannabis companies of any size can enjoy the benefits of a compliance, accounting, sales, and efficiency solution all from one easy-to-use platform. Even if you are a small company now, as you expand your business, cannabis ERP scales with you.

Hopefully that clears up some of the more common misconceptions about Cannabis ERP software.  Stay tuned for part 2!

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