You’ve heard of cannabis ERPs and probably came across some generic buzzwords alongside it, but what the f*** actually is it? That’s what we’re going to cover here in a simple, straightforward article, without all the bs.
Starting with the basics. An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform is a single interface that handles most of your daily workflow. It gives your entire team a single source of truth, reporting, communication and compliance, rather than the mish-mash of tools you’re currently jumping between all day.
In the case of Distru, we even remove the need for you to open Metrc most days. That’s right. . . a good ERP means no more spinning wheel of death and at least 40% less cursing at your screen.
As a bottom line, cannabis ERPs mean more efficiency, improved profit margins and keeping a little more of your sanity intact. Let’s get into it.
Metrc and 280e compliance can be a pain. Extra paperwork, extra time spent staring at your screen, and oh hey, Metrc crashed again while entering the 93rd line item—time to start again! It’s not like you had anything else important to do today, right?
Even when everything works correctly, the cannabis industry still has so much double-handling of data, leaving lots of room for human error (aka non-compliance fines). From our experience, a typical workflow tends to look a little something like this:
The time investment required just to stay Metrc compliant is wasting so much of your day and sanity every week, and tracking down those errors just makes it worse. The good news is, there’s an easier way to handle all of this—it’s called an ERP.
ERPs let you pull all those whiteboards, pieces of paper, spreadsheets and WhatsApp convos into a single interface for everyone. So, the way you manage all those docs, reports and comms starts to look a little more like this:
When all your important platforms (Metrc, Quickbooks, Leaflink etc) are all talking to each other, there’s no more need to keep double-handling everything. You perform one task in Distru and the necessary work happens for you in the background automatically.
We all know time is money but have you ever really done the math on just how much time-value you pour into Metrc right now? It’s depressing.
Rather than giving you theory about how an ERP does this, let’s start with some real-world examples from our clients. Take a few minutes to look over these case studies for Cheef, Drops, Eureka and Argent. We saved them around 150 - 200 hours each per month after moving to Distru, and they aren’t just some outliers—this is what it looks like when you use a solid ERP.
Multiply that by your team’s average hourly pay and you’ll find that it’s worth thousands of dollars per month.
Most of the time when talking to a new client, they have a whole collection of platforms they’ve cobbled together to limp through their day to day. How they got there is perfectly reasonable, but an ERP does away with all of that right away.
The whole point of these platforms is to have a single source of truth for your entire team. Processing an order? Distru. Looking for a report? Distru. Need to send your Ops manager a message? Distru. You get the picture—everything in one place.
Speaking of sending messages, this is a huge benefit nobody thinks about. When your team are empowered to find and process things themselves, there’s way less need for constant chatter. No more “do we have X in stock?”, “has this been shipped?” or “what’s the status of this order?” because it’s all available from the interface.
Every level of your team will love this because staff can focus on their actual job and management aren’t constantly having to respond to these questions.
We’ve talked about the double data entry demon in the past and it’s such a common frustration for operators—a frustration that good cannabis ERPs completely remove. Let’s look at a real world comparison to show just how much of a difference this makes.
Every other element of this process is handled for you. Invoice creation, Metrc updates, inventory management, all of it happens in the background without having to lift a finger. One interface. A fraction of the time. No double-handling or re-entering in Metrc because it crashed again.
This one is unique to Distru right now and it’s a big deal. Our two-way Metrc sync means you can manage everything through our interface and the Metrc tasks will be handled for you in the background. Every time Metrc gets moody, Distru will just queue those changes up and sync them when it comes back online, seamlessly.
The bottom line for you is that when working on your day to day tasks, you don’t even have to open Metrc or deal with the frustrations you’re grown accustomed to. So many of our customers tell us that alone is worth the cost.
The other major time sink for a lot of cannabis operators is 280e compliance. Much like the Metrc integration, any strong cannabis ERP is going to handle those tasks for you as well. You can generate, edit and send your invoices all from the ERP interface without switching between applications.
The other win here is that staff can see these invoices, payment status and reports (given the right permissions) so they don’t have to ask management for updates. Your team and your accountant will appreciate this part of the integration.
It’s always so awkward for your sales team when they promise a certain amount of stock to a customer, only to find out later that it’s already been sold. Having to make that follow-up phone call to disappoint the customer again sucks.
But, a good cannabis ERP solves that problem too. Rather than printing spreadsheets each morning like it’s 2003, an ERP gives your team the ability to see current stock levels in real time, while they’re on the road.
On the other side of that problem, an ERP can also help you reduce that overstocking and the costs that come with that. Between live inventory management and solid analytics, you can see exactly how much of a given product you sell every month and buy accordingly. Stocking your warehouse is no place for gut feel.
Your management team is in their roles for a reason—they’re great at what they do and have a lot of value they can be adding to your brand. That is, unless their days are spent answering unnecessary questions, digging through a mountain of spreadsheets and putting out fires.
When you arm your whole team with the tools and reports they need to do their job, they don’t have to keep asking all those preventable questions. That leaves them feeling empowered while freeing up your management team to do the job they were hired to do.
Better yet, they’re also given all the right metrics and trend data they need to make those educated decisions and have your whole brand kill it.
A cannabis ERP fixes most of the daily gripes your team has, and the impact of that can’t be overstated. Metrc struggles, 280e, overstocking, overselling, lost data and on and on. All of those problems, replaced with a single solution.
If you’ve never used an ERP before, you really should book in for a demo and see it in action first hand. There’s a reason we have so many happy customers, and it all comes down to the fact that implementing Distru’s ERP legitimately changed the way they do business.
Don’t just take our word for it. Read through our case studies, see those real results that are happening every day, then get in touch, we’d love to chat.