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How to Streamline Your Cannabis Manufacturing Operations for Optimal Efficiency

Navigating an Industry of Margins

In an industry of margins, every opportunity to streamline counts. Especially over the long run, cannabis manufacturing rewards those companies who put a premium on streamlined operations, whether it be via a well set-up bill of materials (BOM), as we’ll go on to discuss, establishing a single source of truth across the different facets of your operation, or else reflecting on how best to fine-tune your manufacturing executions. In fact, operational efficiency may be the single best way for cannabis manufacturers to set themselves up for long-term growth, profit, adaptability, and modernization, all of which matter in an industry characterized by both tight margins and constant change. In this brief cannabis manufacturing how-to, we’ll look at one, what steps you can implement right now towards an optimally streamlined operation, and two, how you can invest in the efficiency of your company long-term, with the most adaptable and up-to-date software available on the market.

Best Ways to Streamline Cannabis Manufacturing Operational Efficiency Right Now

Number One: Establish a Single Source of Truth

By a single source of truth we mean a central software platform the different arms of your cannabis operation can go to for up-to-the-minute, aggregate data. What this does is eliminate the inefficiency of one facet of your operation not having access to the same data as another, which can result in slowed output timelines. Operators who for whatever reason (price, aversion to new tech) have procrastinated investing in software are put in the position of having to recreate online records offline, generally a pain-staking, labor-draining process, but cannabis software saves you the trouble. Because this data is being recorded anyway, often for compliance purposes, savvy, forward thinking operators recognize the opportunity that having a single source of truth for all of your data provides. They also recognize the long-term return on investment software affords in saved labor costs, outsourcing to the software work otherwise undertaken by your employees, for pay.

Read more: Savvy Cannabis Manufacturing Compliance

Number Two: Scrutinize Your BOM

Your BOM, or Bill of Materials, comprises a key feature of operational efficiency, as the comprehensive list of parts, materials, and other components necessary in the manufacture of your product. For one, make sure your BOM is set up. As the central record of your materials, a BOM serves as your operational reference point for all materials. Secondly, learn to consult your BOM for useful trends. By scrutinizing BOM trends you can glean valuable insights into ongoing trends and discontinuities over time, in many cases uncovering avenues for potential innovation. At the upper levels of experience and efficiency manufacturers will customize their BOM so as to be reusable, defining ingredients and recipe yields that can then be re-applied instead of created from scratch with each new product. Savvy operators will also construct multi-level BOM’s, consisting of semi-finished goods, or SKU’s (stock keeping units), which allow, as the name would suggest, manufacturers and retailers the ability to internally keep track of the stock values of their product.

Number Three: Fine-Tune Your Cannabis Manufacturing Executions

Think of the manufacturing process itself as a machine: for optimal functioning, it requires intelligent design, which is where software comes in. Software can enable effortlessly executed process runs, assemblies, and recipes. Additionally, by deepening your understanding of work-in-progress (WIP), re-order points, and production capacity, you’ll be able to avoid bottlenecks in your workflows, and therefore maximize efficiency. As many software options will support Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance, turning manufacturing compliance into a background function of streamlined operations, by investing in software you save on the would-be labor costs of self-regulation. Serializing the full list of your ingredients facilitates complete product traceability and recall protection. Lastly, automating inventory management allows you to automatically deduct raw materials as well as any ancillary supplies or packaging materials during batch-runs. 

What’s in the Way of Automating?

Despite the benefits, many operators continue to have qualms about cannabis software, perhaps because of the up-front expense. But the expense of investing in cannabis software is paid in the hidden cost of labor–the employees who do manually, for pay, what the one-time investment in software takes care of indefinitely. For those who fear their own unfamiliarity with technology would translate to cannabis software, software companies offer training courses in how to use and integrate their products. And for those who remain skeptical in spite of the list of benefits, the proof is in the customer base, who can speak to what it looks like on the other side. 

Streamline Your Operation and Invest in Efficiency with Flourish

As operators with cannabis software know, efficiency is an investment, affecting your operation at every turn. A single source of truth allows the different facets of a company to be in communication even when they’re not. Leveraging well set-up BOMs spurs adaptation and innovation on the basis of the best, most current data. By taking advantage of software track and trace capabilities you eliminate the guesswork out of traceability and recall protection.

As a modern, built-to-adapt software solution, Flourish Software scales seamlessly alongside your business, catering to both small-scale setups and large-scale manufacturers. With this versatile solution, you as a manufacture can access the necessary tools to streamline your operation, focusing on business growth and customer satisfaction without constraints. The customization capabilities of our software enable you to use only what you need, and nothing you don’t. Learn more about Flourish's cannabis manufacturing software here.