How Silver Leaf CBC is providing a platform for cannabis companies to grow.
The Silverware Inc. team spent nearly 12 months in development—with additional time beta testing—before officially introducing Silver Leaf Cannabis Business Central or Silver Leaf CBC, a new division of service that caters directly to the growing needs of companies in the cannabis industry. More specifically, Silver Leaf CBC provides comprehensive ERP and supply chain management solutions for companies manufacturing and selling products in the industry. Silverware’s proprietary solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is changing and enhancing business operations and efficiencies for some of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S. Under the vision and direction of Silverware President and Solution Architect, Sara Silver, Jennifer Rodriguez and Brian Hendricks are working on implementations to help clients prepare for growth.
We recently sat down with Jennifer and Brian to learn more.
How has your role at Silverware changed in the past 12 months? Please share a little about what you do now and what a typical day or week might entail.
Jennifer: In my previous position as a Lead Implementation Consultant, I led NAV implementations and provided support to customers for both standard NAV and NAV with CBC. In the last year, my role changed significantly when I was moved into the position of Practice Manager for our Silver Leaf CBC (Cannabis Business Central) cannabis vertical. My primary responsibility now is to ensure that we successfully develop and implement our solution for our clients in the cannabis industry. I am a high-level project manager that works directly with new clients helping to manage the implementation of an ERP solution that will best fit their needs or working with existing clients who want to expand functionality in their existing system. I manage our CBC team to ensure that they have the support they need to be able to successfully implement our projects. No two weeks are the same!
Brian: Over the last 12 months, I’ve been fully dedicated to the Silver Leaf CBC team. This includes working with our clients to help them understand processes, training end users and providing on-site support for project “Go-Lives.” In addition to working with clients, I have spent a lot of time working with our development team to assist building out our Silver Leaf CBC feature set and testing these features before they are released to our customers.
A typical week for me includes organizing working sessions to complete project tasks with our clients, responding to support tickets, working with the development team and the occasional travel to work on-site with our clients.
I understand you are working on some interesting projects. Can you tell us a little about what you are working on and some of the solutions you are providing?
Jennifer: We are currently working on a project to support one of our largest clients in the industry, Harvest Health & Recreation Inc (CNSX: HARV) (OTCMKTS: HRVSF). It’s a rollout of Silver Leaf CBC to additional companies within their organization. We also have two new projects launching soon in the states of California and Michigan.
Brian: One interesting project we are working on right now is our new cultivation module for Silver Leaf CBC. We spent a few months in development and we are now ready to start training and using this module, beta testing it with one of our current customers. It’s exciting since the cultivation module will allow us to open our Silver Leaf CBC platform to even more cannabis businesses and companies. It also allows us to continue to expand our experience and knowledge, as we help companies in the cannabis industry operate more efficiently and effectively.
What are some of the biggest challenges your clients face?
Jennifer: While there is tremendous opportunity for growth, companies in the cannabis industry face several large challenges. One of the biggest is ensuring compliance with state regulatory requirements. The lack of federalization makes distribution challenging. And there are also challenges surrounding product quality testing and compliance. Growers also face challenges with managing cannabis crops and inventory while maintaining compliance standards.
Brian: As Jennifer said, the biggest challenge that our clients face is the ever-changing regulatory environment that they must work in. Inconsistent laws between states means that each operation has different requirements and challenges that need to be addressed when implementing an ERP system.
The other challenge that most of our clients face is rapid growth, which requires the need to constantly adapt to change. It’s an exciting time to be working in the cannabis industry. There are major acquisitions happening every week and new companies and product lines jumping in. However, rapid growth often leads to undefined processes and siloed information across companies. That is where we come in.
How does your Cannabis ERP help companies overcome these challenges and improve or enhance operations?
Jennifer: When we developed our Silver Leaf CBC solution, we gave a lot of thought to the business challenges and created built-in functionality to support the enhanced regulatory requirements that our clients are subject to. This includes: Unique ID tracking required by state track-and-trace systems; delivery tracking with signature capture, including delivery dispatch/trip functionality and enhanced functionality for managing strains.
Our Silver Leaf QC (Quality Control) module is an extremely flexible solution that allows our clients to implement testing requirements for products/items and/or manufacturing processes, as well as prepare and manage testing samples, to meet required quality compliance standards. We are also currently developing our Cultivation module – to be released to Harvest in the coming month – which will track the grow process from plant to harvest to packaging.
Brian: Silver Leaf CBC helps companies overcome these challenges by providing the entire company a platform to operate on that allows full visibility into the business. Implementing Silver Leaf CBC often helps our customers build out standard operating procedures that can be easily transferable amongst their multiple entities. We have also added many compliance features to Silver Leaf CBC that will help cannabis companies ensure they are complying with specific state regulations.
Where do you see Silver Leaf CBC in the next 3-5 years?
Jennifer: This largely depends on if or when cannabis is federalized in the coming years – that could have a huge impact on our business. If federalized, it would likely allow us to expand the solution to accommodate integration with shipping carriers, for example. It could also impact our solution if federal regulations necessitate the need for further enhancements to the function and tracking capabilities our product provides to support our clients’ operating needs.
As we become fully Business Central capable (cloud-based), I see this side of our business continuing to grow and take on a larger percentage of our overall client base. Eventually, we may provide our product solution as an add-on that can be supported by other partners.
Brian: In the next 3-5 years, I see Silver Leaf CBC being capable of running on the new Business Central cloud version. This will allow us to engage with even more cannabis customers and continue to build out our vertical expertise in the cannabis industry.