Unifying Your Data: How Many Integrations is Too Many?

The market is flooded with many platforms, most of which integrate seamlessly with leading regulatory bodies. Understanding their benefits and exploring available options is just a Google search away.

However, the real challenge lies in finding the right system—a different beast entirely. This is the focus of today's discussion. Our mission is to lift the veil, dissect, and inform with complete transparency, ensuring no hidden areas or ambiguities remain - presenting everything at face value.

Cannabis Software Wheel of Fortune

This week, I reminisced about our MJ Unpacked trip in April. The vibrant atmosphere of Atlantic City, especially our stay at the Hard Rock surrounded by slot machines, sparked an intriguing idea …

Imagine your business operations are like a game of "Wheel of Fortune." Each segment on the wheel represents a different tool or platform you’re currently using to manage your processes.

Spinning the wheel symbolizes the gamble many businesses take, hoping they’ll land on the right tool to solve their issues.

This game of chance represents you juggling multiple platforms, each requiring time, effort, and resources to manage. Every spin is a gamble, trying to make these disparate tools work together seamlessly, often resulting in inefficiencies and data silos.

Now imagine this wheel where one software app takes up multiple spaces on that wheel. Instead of spinning endlessly and hoping to land on the right space among many, you improve the chances of winning when most of those spaces are the same.

Some things we hear very often are:

  • Why is managing my business so complicated?
  • What can I do about data inconsistencies across platforms?
  • How can I improve efficiency?
  • How can I enhance my team’s productivity?

And yes, we hear these questions regardless of whether you’re vertically integrated, a manufacturer, a retailer or a cultivator.

Why is it important to avoid signing up for too many software platforms?

With more specialized tools available, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using multiple platforms to manage different aspects of your business. We get it, because we get sucked into this too.

It’s highly frustrating to workers and operators when a business relies on multiple, disconnected tools and systems to manage operations. While each tool may excel in its specific function, the lack of integration can lead to inefficiencies, data silos, and decreased productivity.

So, how can we start making informed decisions about selecting the right software solutions? After careful consideration, here is our conclusion:

Step 1: Begin by thoroughly understanding the business goals of each department.

Identify and establish the performance goals you’ve set for each department within your business. Make sure and take into account what each department relies on to operate. Depending on the area and their responsibility, the tools and resources they need to fulfill their job may consist of 2-3 different software platforms.

Going through this step will help you think about milestones for the business and understand what your teams need to hit them.

Step 2: Based on these goals, develop strategic plans to effectively navigate from point A to point B within each department.

After tackling Step 1, you will have the understanding to quickly identify the type of data you’ll need to ensure that your targets are being met. Document the target and the type of data you will use to measure it.

Once you've gone through these two steps, you'll start to see the puzzle pieces come together, revealing the interconnectedness of your operations.

This clarity will highlight where data must connect to ensure efficiency and drive positive growth. Trust us, this wave of enlightenment is both transformational and absolutely worth experiencing.

Learn how this problem disrupts your growth

How does working with too many software platforms affect my business?

The risks of relying on multiple unintegrated tools can come at you like a thief in the night—everything seems fine…until it isn’t.

Before you know it, weeks have passed, and you're struggling to catch up on data entry or spending extra hours training and retraining staff to manage multiple interfaces. This can create significant challenges for businesses, leading to data silos, increased risk of errors, and difficulty obtaining a unified view of business metrics.

How can I identify if my business is suffering from too many platforms?

Ask yourself: “are we frequently entering the same data into multiple systems? Do we struggle to produce comprehensive reports that combine data from different platforms? Are our employees frustrated with the number of tools they need to manage?”

If the answer to these questions is 'yes,' you are dealing with too many platforms.

What are the specific impacts on my business?

Having disconnected software systems can lead to significant inefficiencies in your operations. For instance, manual data entry between systems not only consumes valuable time but also increases the risk of errors (imagine having to sub-lot 16,000 units into lots of 20).

Also, it sucks. People working production or cultivation don’t want to spend most of their time entering data.

In terms of employee productivity, it can hinder decision-making processes. For example, aligning an incoming sales order with your existing inventory levels and current allocations suddenly becomes a complex task. Imagine if all this data were available at your fingertips with a single click.

What are the potential solutions to this problem?

There are several approaches to addressing this. One effective solution is to adopt an integrated ERP system that combines various business functions into a single platform, like Blakthumb.

Alternatively, there are “in-betweener” solutions that can help connect your existing tools, allowing for data transfer and some kind of integration. Evaluating the specific needs and constraints of your business will guide you towards the best solution. And this is where our 2 step approach we mentioned earlier really comes into play; as each business is unique, so is its solution.

How can Blakthumb help me successfully implement an integrated system in my business?

The Blakthumb team takes a hands-on approach in ensuring a smooth transition of your data. We set realistic timelines based on your current position and company size. We provide comprehensive and flexible training for your employees to familiarize them with the new system and we offer around-the-clock support to address any issues that may arise.

The foundation of Blakthumb was built, brick by brick, through our close observation of these challenges and attentive listening to each unique scenario. This commitment has driven us to develop a unified approach to address a wide variety of problems, recognizing that no two issues are ever the same.

We will collaborate with you to set measurable goals and continuously monitor progress, ensuring a successful implementation tailored to your specific needs.

What are the benefits of using Blakthumb as an integrated system?

In short: happier employees and owners.

To evaluate the success of your integrated system, it’s important to monitor relevant metrics such as time saved on data entry, reduction in errors, and improvements in data accuracy.

Additionally, we gather feedback from employees on their experience with the new system to identify areas for further improvement.

Naturally, we consider every customer a top priority, and exceptional customers deserve exceptional results. Here are the top two highlights of our platform designed to assist those grappling with too many platforms:

  1. Blakthumb’s holistic design: Blakthumb consolidates many operational tasks into one seamless interface. This includes everything from ID generation, integrations, a built-in scan & track system accessible via mobile, to built-in label and drug fact sheet creation including invoicing control⁠.
  2. Advanced Inventory management and sales integration: Blakthumb provides a powerful Production Control module, coupled with advanced inventory management and sales integration, empowering operators to manage their operations more efficiently, reduce manual work, minimize errors, and ensure compliance.

Addressing the problem of too many software platforms is essential for enhancing your business's efficiency and productivity. By recognizing the signs and impacts of this fragmentation, exploring potential solutions, and effectively implementing an integrated system, you can optimize your operations and achieve superior results.

And when it comes to selecting the right tools, with Blakthumb, you don’t need to rely on luck for optimal results. Let Blakthumb be your entire Wheel of Fortune.


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