Automating Efficiencies – Where to Start
The term “automating efficiencies” has been widely used for years, but what exactly does it mean and how does automation improve efficiencies? Simply put, “efficiency” is completing a process in as few steps as possible and “automation” can dramatically reduce the number of steps.
The key to finding what processes can be automated is to first take the time to document how a given process is done. This includes the entire workflow and capturing the time each step takes. This becomes your baseline and, once you have the steps from seed-to-sale captured, you can focus your efforts on automating those tasks that, by cutting out steps, provide the biggest bang for the buck.
Now the “fun” part: finding ways to automate and streamline.
Step 1 – Seek out those vendors that have proven solutions beyond just software. Software alone can provide the capture point of data, but the data still needs to be captured.
Step 2 – Can you use technology such as barcodes or RFID to complete the task? Barcodes are an effective way to capture specific plants and packages when you want to read one item at a time. RFID is the correct tool for rapid inventory or quickly finding a missing item.
Step 3 – Ensure the solution provider actually understands the technology and has proven examples of saving groups time and money. Without a strong reference base you may find you are the vendor’s “trial run,” which can be an expensive process since they may be learning on your dime.
In the end, all industries – from automotive, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, to retail – have adopted data capture technology as a way to become more accurate and efficient while saving money.
It’s time for the cannabis industry to leverage what others have already learned: that tracking everything with “pen and paper” is no way to run a business.
Look to the right technology to automate efficiencies…your bottom line will thank you.