August 18, 2022
 min read

Hey Cannabis producers, are you operating with a paper map?

The cannabis and food production industry is growing at an alarmingly fast rate and is primarily running on antiquated ways of working.

It wasn’t that long ago when we had to rely on paper maps to get around. With paper maps, you had to memorize where you were going, look down for turn by turn directions, read street signs and try not to argue with whomever was giving you directions. Yeah, it sucked for everyone in the car.

We’re done with teams feeling like they’re running late or hitting dead ends, so we built BlakthumbOS to take the guestimations out of cannabis and food production. Think of this software like the GPS that provides the fastest route for where you want to go.

Using a paper map sucks. (Image: Daily Mail/ Bubbles photo library)

The cannabis and food production industry is growing at an alarmingly fast rate and is primarily running on antiquated ways of working.

There are lots of spreadsheets, paper trails, and messages on whiteboards being used to manage and track processes. These processes change depending on the cultivation or production manager and can break down in times of stress. Managers are stressed out trying to keep on top of what needs to be done; they are stretched thin and barely have any time for admin or production data analysis which means it’s often not done. And that’s if any data is being recorded at all. Does this sound like you? It was us too.

We know you’re doing your best under the circumstances, we know what it felt to learn from trial and error, and we built out software to help your processes avoid some of the common pitfalls. We want you to thrive, not just survive.

We have seen and tested team best practices and have built software so that you know your production process is optimal when you use BlakthumbOS. We help teams plan ahead and coordinate delivery across the organization, provide integrated SOPs and job guidance, and provide insights to measure performance of yield and the team.

As an industry, we have excellent hardware solutions, but there’s so much more happening within an organization.

The people in this industry are the real MVPs

Most of the technology in this space is built for hardware or compliance first. We believe that it’s the people in production teams that are the real superheroes in this industry, the ones that can take a product from average to spectacular. As former growers, we know that it’s the teams that run the floor that are the real MVPs that keep this industry thriving.

Research has proven that great people increase profitability, especially when they are invested in through education and salary, and there’s diversity in leadership. The profitability makes up for the initial investment in your team. So how we do this?

“Computers are complements for humans: not substitutes. The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people, rather than try to make them obsolete” — Peter Thiel, Zero to One

We have created technology that’s designed to help the people in cannabis and food organizations be more efficient by helping them make data-backed decisions.

BlakthumbOS Performance feature comparing two runs (Image: Blakthumb)

Software built for the growers, not the government.

Government authorities are driving more software into production spaces as a way to manage the compliance reporting space. This has been a step forward in greater transparency, but it’s built with the Government agency in mind, not the production teams. We wanted to flip that dynamic so that production teams can track and optimize the complete end to end production process.

Compliance data that the State requires only gets you so far.

What gets measured, matters — Peter Drucker
Track and Trace tags on plants (Image: Billy Penn)

The cannabis industry is at an inflection point

As more states and countries legalize, more organizations are coming into the industry with different approaches, levels of experience and ways of working. Think of it like everyone is making their own paper maps and figuring out the best process by trial and error. Common mistakes can cost the company millions of dollars.

In commercial environments, the sheer number of people, plants, jobs and workflows that need to be planned, managed and coordinated need some kind of a system, especially when a company is starting up.

So it makes sense that spreadsheets and whiteboards are the way to go (we’re not embarrassed to say it’s also what we did in the early days of Blakthumb). What’s missing here is performance data on each yield, comparisons on different runs and how the team is performing month on month. Most organizations solve this by hiring someone to do the work of collecting, validating and analyzing data and it takes months before you see patterns; but when everyone contributes and uses one tool, it streamlines your workflow and you start to see improvements in a shorter amount of time.

Teams do manual data entry. (Image: Nasdaq, Getty images)

The better way

We’ve talked to a number of production teams and are hearing a consistent theme as they have learned from other’s errors.

To make effective decisions, teams need data on everything to do with production. We’re talking about operational performance data, not just compliance, and it’s needed across the production lifecycle — not just cultivation. Imagine being able to plan production easily, schedule and allocate tasks to your team, provide full job guidance and SOPs in the field, and get insights that can compare performance across runs and cultivars.

BlakthumbOS empowers every team member. Rather than team members wondering what they need to do next, they have their schedule on their phone and can record any actions in the field directly on their device. Then, using the Jobs board and an Audit Trail, team leaders can see exactly what been happening and track all the organization’s compliance events without having to enter extra data.

The difference having this data can make to an operation is significant.

By identifying and reducing areas of wastage or inefficiency, understanding the consistency of yield and team performance, and having a single source of truth means organizations can increase their margins.

Having an operating system for production is empowering. It helps the owner, the head cultivator, the production managers and the team members who treat each plant with care and respect.

The question you have to ask yourself is: Are you happy with the paper maps on which you run your operation? Or would you like to make more informed decisions with the help of software that was created by industry experts, for experts?

Read this article on Medium here:

Latest articles

Browse all