In This Article:

Optimizing Cannabis Manufacturing for Organization & Profit

June 17, 2024
April 5, 2024
| Updated
June 17, 2024

Staying consistently organized is like cleaning your room. No one really wants to do it, but if you don’t occasionally clean things up, you’ll quickly find yourself living in a mess of your own making. This rings even truer for cannabis processors and manufacturers, as they juggle inventory, production runs, sales, compliance, and more on a daily basis.

Whether you make cannabis concentrates, edibles, or vapes, you must stay organized to achieve the best possible results, remain competitive, and secure your long-term survival. This leads to another question: How exactly can you do it?

Cannabis manufacturing software has emerged as a game-changing tool for business operators.

Spreadsheets and other traditional alternatives cannot keep up with the rapid and continuous growth of the industry. As a result, innovative systems – such as ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions–have become the backbone of cannabis processing facilities.

Do you want to know how using a cannabis manufacturing software solution can help you stay organized and drive profitability? Let’s answer this question!

Life as a Processor Without Cannabis Manufacturing Software

Do you track and update a lot of paper documents to manage cannabis production? Do you have to fill out hundreds of spreadsheets with data about each processing phase? Keeping tabs on data manually diminishes productivity and allows for human errors. Cannabis operators that are not using cannabis software are falling behind the curve and missing out on many benefits.

Let’s dive deeper into the life of a processor without cannabis manufacturing software to help you better understand this.

Managing Cannabis Inventory Without Software

You need to manage inventory, but you don’t have a scalable way to do it.. What could possibly go wrong?

Are you familiar with Murphy’s Law? Anything that can go wrong will go wrong!

Without proper cannabis inventory management software, you can make mistakes that may impact different aspects of your business.

Perhaps your team forgets to update the spreadsheet, and you oversell on an item by accident. Or maybe limiting ingredients run out, and you aren’t able to manufacture new products as a result.

The biggest problem here is that these errors have a huge impact on your business. Poor inventory can lead to customer dissatisfaction, lost sales, stockouts, increased costs, and decreased profits. Click here to read more about the importance of cannabis inventory management.

Managing Production Runs Without Software

Managing production runs without cannabis manufacturing software may work out at first, but it will start to turn into a mess as your operations scale. 

Human errors are common, resulting in inaccurate or outdated information. Do you think you can make good decisions if you don’t trust your data? Probably not. 

It’s not good to have guesswork dominating your production process. Sadly, this isn’t the only issue that may emerge. When there’s no reliable software solution in place, there’s no centralization of tasks either. That means your company won’t have proper cross-department coordination.

This can become a cannabis processing operator’s worst nightmare. Look at what can happen if you don’t have a centralized calendar, there’s no cross-department coordination, and you don’t trust your data:

  • Completion dates for production runs will be driven by rough estimates.
  • You can run out of limiting ingredients that are essential for manufacturing products.
  • You can miss due dates and deliveries.
  • It’ll be challenging to make changes to production runs in progress.
  • Production cost accounting won’t be accurate
  • Unexpected costs can emerge and escalate.

Do you think your processing operations could be run more efficiently? Are you dealing with issues caused by poor inventory? By no means does this suggest that your team is unreliable. As humans, we can always make mistakes. However, these situations are avoidable.

Implementing a cannabis ERP system can help you mitigate the risk of human error and benefit your business in many other ways.

What Exactly Is a Cannabis ERP?

Don’t worry, cannabis ERP isn’t another generic buzzword. It’s software built for cannabis operators  that can help keep your manufacturing business afloat.

Let’s break it down. 

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. What does this tell us about these systems? Well, an ERP solution can handle most aspects of your workflow, from inventory management and production to supply chain coordination.

With an ERP system, your team won’t need a huge collection of tools but will have an all-in-one solution to handle:

  • Reporting
  • Access to trustworthy data
  • Communication
  • Compliance

Benefits of Using a Cannabis ERP System

You’ve probably heard that an ERP solution is the most expensive form of cannabis manufacturing software. Many business owners are on the fence because of that.

This isn’t necessarily true. Depending on the scale of your business, the cost of the software may be covered by the increase in revenue brought from cannabis ERP features.

Let’s explore the most important features below.

Track Cannabis and Non-Cannabis Inventory in One Place

As mentioned before, it’s difficult to properly manage cannabis and non-cannabis inventory without inventory management software. Managing cannabis inventory is important, as efficient inventory management and a healthy bottom line are directly related to each other.

Insufficient inventory? There will be production delays. Excess inventory? Your working capital will be tied up. Luckily, fixing this will be a walk in the park if you implement a cannabis ERP system.

A comprehensive cannabis ERP solution can optimize inventory management, prevent stock outs & shortages, and reduce delays throughout your operations.

You’ll have easy access to reports and historical transactions, be able to monitor your cannabis operation in real time, and mitigate human errors. Plus, data will be centralized, so all your team members will see the same thing.

Cannabis Mfg Software

Create BOMs and Get Granular About Production Costs

Bill of Materials (BOMs) are essential in the manufacturing process, as they directly impact the available inventory.

If BOMs are accurate, you can make better decisions about purchasing raw materials, ensure you have everything you need to create a product, and streamline the production process.

What does cannabis manufacturing software have to do with all this? Well, these solutions allow you to manage inventory and easily create BOMs. You’ll save time, of course, but the best part is that these tools ensure that essential materials, components, and steps aren’t forgotten.

Creating BOMs through cannabis ERP systems can prevent inventory run-outs. Running out of an essential ingredient? That won’t happen here! There will be no more production delays if you use the right solution.

BOMs are also important for cost accounting. This process involves assigning costs to different elements and activities to know where your company is spending money, so you can make better budget predictions, reduce expenditure, improve productivity, and maximize profitability.

Cannabis manufacturing software

Organize Tasks and Create a Calendar

There’s no room for unorganized operations in today’s competitive market. Businesses that don’t rely on team synchronization will fail.

As a manufacturer in the cannabis industry, you need to organize tasks. By managing processes, resources, and systems efficiently, you can minimize waste, be more productive, increase quality, and boost competitiveness. 

If you have trouble keeping your operations under control, a cannabis ERP system may come in handy. 

With these solutions, you can create a calendar to keep your team informed about what’s happening right now in your facilities. Plus, you can schedule future production runs to make sure everyone stays one step ahead.

Well-constructed calendars provide your team members with a wealth of information about ongoing & upcoming projects, plus show every step required to manufacture a product. In other words, proper organization will impact your results.

Stay Compliant

In the highly regulated cannabis industry, proper cannabis inventory management is crucial for cannabis processors to remain compliant. This is especially true in states that use Metrc.

Regulatory requirements are slightly different in Metrc states, as cannabis businesses are required to report inventory and sales with 100% accuracy.

Reporting sounds easy. You just have to share the information you already collected, right?


Cannabis Compliance

If you’re in a Metrc state, you’ll be required to use Metrc tags. All your plants and products must have this tag for you to remain legally compliant. So, this changes the game.

Metrc tags are something you should consider preparing before manufacturing.Once the production process begins, there’s another thing you have to keep in mind: Metrc processing jobs. But we’ll talk about that later!

The point here is that you’ll need to make sure your inventory and data are up to date to comply with legal requirements. Do you want to guarantee accuracy? Implementing a cannabis manufacturing software solution is the best thing you can do, especially if it has Metrc integration.

Spoiler alert: If it has a live 2-way Metrc integration like Distru, your cannabis compliance software will eliminate the need for double data entry. Instead, it’ll mirror data between both tools to ensure your inventory in Metrc matches your physical inventory.

Getting a license flagged for an audit can be the worst-case scenario for any cannabis operator in a Metrc state. However, this shouldn’t be a major concern if you use the right cannabis compliance software.

What Are Metrc Processing Jobs?

Remember when we brought up Metrc processing jobs? More on that now!

Let’s start with the basics: what are they? Recently, Metrc added “Processing Jobs” as a new feature to this system.

Don’t worry! Indeed, this adds a layer of complexity to compliance, but it’s nothing Distru can’t handle.

The Processing Jobs feature mimics the real-life workflow of a cannabis manufacturing facility. As such, it’s a new method of recording the process necessary to produce a new batch of products in Metrc.

Metrc Processing Jobs Example Scenario

Imagine you want to produce cannabis-infused gummies. Psst! Don’t get distracted by the deliciousness of these tiny bits of joy. Focus on the manufacturing process! 

You’ll need cannabis-infused oil. So, you take your inventory and turn it into gummies. Easy peasy!

This is how you can summarize the production process. However, you need to set a timeframe and continue reporting your operations during that period. This is where things can get complicated.

Before Processing Jobs existed, the source packages in your Metrc inventory had to remain in an “active” status. However, this was different in practice. Using the gummies example, you’d have been consuming those materials at that point in the production process.

What would have happened if you had gotten audited at that time? This could have led to a red flag, so you’d have found yourself in a problematic scenario where you’d have had to explain that discrepancy.

Processing Jobs were designed to avoid that. This new feature allows you to specify that a new process has started and is consuming source packages, pointing out that it’s a “work in progress.”

How to Simplify This

This is a new feature, so it may take you some time to get used to it. However, Processing Jobs are essential to avoid discrepancies and remain compliant.

Fortunately, Distru eliminates the hassle of using a feature you aren’t familiar with by creating Processing Job Types (a mandatory step) and Processing Jobs. You won’t need to go back and forth between your manufacturing paperwork and Metrc. Our seed-to-sale software can do it for you!

Real-Life Example: Drops Candies

Now that you know what cannabis ERP software is and the benefits it offers in terms of organization, productivity, profitability, and compliance, there’s only one question left to answer: do you really need to implement one of these systems?

Let’s go over one last example to help you understand why using cannabis manufacturing software is more important than ever.

Drops Candies, a manufacturer of cannabis-infused treats, managed to streamline operations and drive growth by using our cannabis ERP software!

Thanks to Distru, Drops Candies has saved over 150 hours of work per week and eliminated production or inventory errors, which has allowed the company to reduce order fulfillment times.

Before, fulfilling sales orders took days. By using cannabis manufacturing software, Drops discovered that it’s possible to do this in just hours.

The best part? These are just a few of the challenges this company has managed to overcome since implementing a cannabis ERP solution. Below are other benefits Drops enjoys now that it uses our seed-to-sale software!

  • Creating dynamic BOMs and organizing processes in Distru’s calendars has improved the company’s production forecasting and production run management.
  • Distru’s integration with LeafLink, a critical component in Drops’ business, has eliminated lost revenue and slowdowns caused by sales order miscommunication by ensuring seamless and coordinated access to data.
  • Thanks to our ERP software’s 2-way Metrc integration, Drops’ team members can save several hours of their time each day when auditing for Metrc discrepancies.
  • Minimizing the  risk of human errors. Drops no longer has to manage operations across multiple spreadsheets and different software. With Distru, this company can complete all of these tasks in just one place.
Cannabis manufactoring software

Cannabis Manufacturing Software with Distru, the Premiere Cannabis ERP!

Effective manufacturing management is essential for the growth of any business inside or outside of this industry. But you won’t achieve this overnight. You’ll need to be organized and implement the best practices. 

With the right cannabis manufacturing software, like Distru, all the obstacles that could hinder your production process are a thing of the past.

Our ERP solution can help you manage cannabis and non-cannabis inventory, create a robust task-tracking calendar, build BOMs, manage COGS for your production runs, and more!

Distru is the tool you need to streamline production processes, achieve better and higher-quality results, save time, stay organized, and maximize profitability. Interested in learning more about our cannabis ERP software? Book a demo today!

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