Considerations for Building Out a Wholesale Cannabis Technology Ecosystem

When it comes to wholesale cannabis technology, producers and brands have a lot to consider. 

There are dozens if not 100s of options out there with regard to cannabis-related software solutions. You’ll find everything from larger all-in-one ERPs to providers focused on one specific part of the supply chain, such as cultivation. 

Most cannabis brands today rely on a combination of mainstream and industry-specific solutions. For example, a typical tech stack for our clients is Quickbooks for accounting, Metrc for seed to sale, and Apex Trading for their wholesale sales management and marketing.

Changing Needs for Wholesale Cannabis Technology

The needs of a cannabis producer, when it first comes to market, are much different than they are three years later. Compliance and revenue generation are often the initial focus. Later, it could be understanding costs and optimizing efficiency for scale, and battle market conditions, which could lead them down the cannabis ERP path.

One of the most important considerations, outside of whether the wholesale cannabis technology will solve your problem and if their team provides great service, is how does the technology integrate and work with what you’re currently using for other departments. If you are considering a new wholesale platform you need to ask – will this integrate with my accounting system? Will it integrate with my seed-to-sale software, and if using an ERP, how will it integrate and work alongside it?

Not only should you understand if there is an existing integration or intention to build one from a software provider with the systems you’re currently using, but also the depth of the integration and how automated it will truly be.  

Ultimately, if a strong functional integration doesn’t exist you must assess whether the value received from the new solution is enough to outweigh the inefficiency created by requiring manual data entry across multiple systems. 

Sometimes this leads brands to lean towards what they view as an “all-in-one” ERP solution. Rather than worry about connecting multiple systems, they assume the ERP can solve all their problems and centralize everything in one spot. The problem, specific to wholesale, is that the ERPs might do well at managing raw materials, labor, and packages, but they often lack the features and tools needed to effectively promote and sell inventory to existing and new buyers while gaining additional benefits to the community of buyers within wholesale platforms and marketplaces. Additionally, ERPs are expensive to implement, manage, and pay for.

This reality often leads larger and mature wholesale brands to consider an ERP that integrates with the leading wholesale platform/marketplace in their state to benefit from what both provide. 

The crucial issue is how does the ERP integrate with the wholesale platform. When assessing this, you must consider both inventory and order data. If only an order integration exists, then your inventory team will spend countless hours managing both systems to stay in sync and overselling or underselling inventory could happen. The inverse will happen for your accounting and fulfillment team if only inventory syncs. 

At Apex Trading, we aren’t about building glass-half-full integrations that solve one issue but then pass more work onto another department for what isn’t solved. Instead, we build integrations that are robust, adaptable, and increase efficiency for every department that lives within Apex Trading or relies on data coming from it. 

To learn more about how Apex Trading can integrate with your current tech stack or can become the foundation for build one, request a demo by clicking here.

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