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Your Feelings Aren’t Numbers

August 04, 2020

This episode, Chris talks to Brian Cissell, Solution Architect, about the 365 Cannabis ERP system, and what it means to collect ALL the data a cannabis facility produces so that happy accidents can become SOP’s and preventable mistakes are avoided. They discuss not “working for the program” and the difference between compliance and complete traceability. 


Learn more about 365 Cannabis and schedule a demo at 365Cannabis.com


[01:22 - 4:14] What is 365 Cannabis?


Brian talks about the 365 Cannabis ERP system and his role as Solution Architect. 

[4:38 - 7:47] What's the difference between compliance and complete traceability?

Brian talks about the difference between collecting data for compliance operations and what it means to use an ERP for complete chain of custody and reporting operations. 


[7:58 - 11:36] Using an ERP for risk management 

Brian touches on his background in food manufacturing and safety and the importance of complete traceability for recalls. 

If you want to know everything about your cannabis business, you need and ERP to capture all the data and organize it in a way that is useful. 

[15:15 - 27:29] Your feelings aren't numbers

Brian and Chris talk about how to collect all the actionable data your cannabis facility produces and use it to make business decisions based on facts, not feelings. 

[28:45 - 37:47] Customizable Solutions with 365 Cannabis

The 365 Cannabis software is customizable for your needs and goals. It's set up to scale and size based on the data you want to collect for your cannabis business.

Chris and Brian talk about getting super granular about data to ensure mistakes are avoided and "happy accidents" can be repeated. 

[38:15 - 43:44] Automation - what does it mean? 

Using automation to save time, save money and improve your business processes. 

[43:46 - 48:08] Predictions for the future of the Industry

Chris and Brian discuss the tension between small craft cannabis and large corporate cannabis, and how collecting data can help the Industry have the best of both worlds. 

[48:28 - 49:46] Final thoughts

To learn more about the 365 Cannabis ERP solution, visit 365cannabis.com and sign up for a demo. 

Once you're set up, connect with us at Delta9 Systems for barcode scanners, RFID readers, computers, label printers and more to get information in and out of 365 Cannabis. We can't have one without the other. 

Thanks for listening! 

Full Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] narrator: [00:00:00] Delta nine systems presents a high level conversation in depth discussions with the leaders, pushing the cannabis industry forward with the blood, sweat, tears, and brands. We all know and love now from Delta nine systems. Here's Chris Guthrie, ladies and gentlemen. It is that time welcome to a high level conversation.

[00:00:24] Chris Guthrie: [00:00:24] My name is Chris Guthrie, your host. I hope you guys are out there and safe and being extra productive today for the show. I've got one of my favorite partners and I think one of the most successful partnerships that Delta nine has with the fantastic ERP partner, 365 cannabis. And today representing the 365 cannabis team is Brian Cissel.

[00:00:49] He's a solutions architect for 365 cannabis. Brian, what is up? 

[00:00:54] Brian Cissell: [00:00:54] How much are you doing today, Chris? 

[00:00:56] Chris Guthrie: [00:00:56] I am pretty good, man. I'm pretty good. All things [00:01:00] considering, you know, posted up in the home office, sending email's making calls, trying to get people set up and, keep operations. rolling. How about you, what's going on?

[00:01:11]

[00:01:11] Brian Cissell: [00:01:11] Same thing, adjusting to working from home all the time. Getting used to being out, getting, not at the clients, seeing different operations all the time, you know, something new every day. So now it's, transitioning to doing all that virtually. 

[00:01:22] Chris Guthrie: [00:01:22] So you're a solutions architect for 365 cannabis. Like tell me a little bit about what that entails, like when you're working with a client and you are deploying your solutions architect, skillset, what are you doing?

[00:01:37] Brian Cissell: [00:01:37] Yeah, so, my role is I'm always looking for process improvements, improvements everywhere. So part of solution architect is to go in. Take a look at a client's, what are they doing? you know, do we have something that we offer that can already improve their process, that they can take advantage of? or they're doing our process, you know, I'll see something that they're doing.

[00:01:59] Like, you [00:02:00] know what, I bet that'd be a great fit in the product. I bet we can do that. I love touring facilities and looking, keeping an eye out looking like, you'll see like a whiteboard hanging up on there. It's like, what's on that whiteboard. What are you tracking on that? You know, I bet we can track that for you and make it more an automated digital process.

[00:02:20] So.

[00:02:20] Chris Guthrie: [00:02:20] Cool. 

[00:02:22] Awesome. Okay. So tell me a little bit about 365 cannabis and what it is. It's just like a very high level. If you had to like describe what you do and what 365 cannabis is like, how do you break it down in a bite sized piece? 

[00:02:40] Brian Cissell: [00:02:40] Yeah. So essentially, so 365 cannabis, we're in an ERP system so we can track all aspects of the business.

[00:02:47]so at the core we're a finance and inventory system. On top of that. And we'll do we'll to track your clients when the grows in the greenhouse through all the phases, you know, go and whether you're doing seeds, tissue, cultures, [00:03:00] you know, any of the growth processes that are out there, we can track all of those timelines and ingredients you're using, and trick that all the way to the finished goods, even into the retail side, if you're a fully integrated.

[00:03:11]so the, the great aspect of that is we are able to capture everything that goes into. rroducing product, not just a cannabis material. So whether you have, nutrientspgoing into  the plants,if you're using biologicals to treat pesticides, you know, the treat pests in your plants, labor hours, you know, packaging materials, all of that gets into for full traceability.

[00:03:34] So we can and actually go back in and say this plant. Ended up in these batches, that went out to these customers, you know, and they use this type of packaging. And consumed these types of nutrients. 

[00:03:47] Cool. Okay. So you use the term ERP at the beginning of the answer to that. I just want to make sure is clear when you say ERP, what do you mean?

[00:03:56] Yeah, so, enterprise resourcing program, [00:04:00] the ERP on there. So yeah, so basically it just means that all aspects of the business that. We touch on, you know, purchasing sales, cultivation, processing, the labor aspects of it, you know, you know, all the costs from the system. We can go in and track. 

[00:04:16] Gotcha.

[00:04:16] Chris Guthrie: [00:04:16] Okay. So now here's an important distinction, right? Because when I am talking ERP, cause that's, that's really the first thing when I am encountering a new cannabis customer and they are usually hit me up in the first thing that they say is like, I need an E I need a, a, I need an RFID system to talk to metric.

[00:04:38] And I say, okay, That's great. Let's, let's take a couple steps back first and foremost, do you have an ERP that is going to integrate to metric? So like first thing I want to identify is like, what is the difference between an ERP and the traceability? Every state has a contract with a traceability [00:05:00] provider, and that will tell the state basically five things, right?

[00:05:05] How many plants you have? What stage they are in. What you have done to them. What did you sell them for, and who bought them? Right. The five things that the state is concerned about. Would you agree with that? 

[00:05:19] Brian Cissell: [00:05:19] Absolutely. 

[00:05:20] Chris Guthrie: [00:05:20] Okay. So. I encounter a lot of folks who you think that metric is going to do their reporting for them.

[00:05:30] And that's where I say, okay, you need an ERP. And that's the fundamental difference metric and state reporting that is compliance. Right. Making sure that the government and the state that you're in knows what you're doing. Traceability and chain of custody. That's a whole different thing. So like break down for me.

[00:05:52] The difference that you see in compliance operations versus traceability chain of [00:06:00] custody and reporting operations. 

[00:06:01] Brian Cissell: [00:06:01] Yeah. So, for me, so the full like chain of custody, like showing him the traceability on there, it's within the system so we can go through and, let's say the, you know, you do once you do your first harvest batch, right?

[00:06:16] When you come in from the traceability, they're going to track that this harvest went into, you know, package one, then it got translated into package two. It may have gotten split up. And they're really only concerned about cannabis materials at that point in time for the traceability, you know where to, when we've also learned that even for traceability, there's not necessarily tight controls around it. Right. You know, you've seen before make a mistake. You maybe you had a, you know, dry flower of blue dream, but somehow I got ended up into a package of, you know, gorilla glue three and a half grams, you know? And like you look at the traceability is like, Oh, package this package one went into package two, you know, and they're not going to stop you on that.

[00:07:00] [00:06:59] The, you know, from our standpoint, from the chain of custody going through there, we want to make sure there's controls in place. Right. So you're going to set up, here's the standard of what we want to do, right. So I want, you know, I have to have gorilla glue, you know, dry flour, go into a gorilla glue three and a half gram pack.

[00:07:17] So we're going to do that. So what that traceability and chain of custody within our system then does, is. Anywhere in that process, you can take a lot number that we track onto each process and we can come in and we can give you forwards and backwards that happened within the ERP. So if you're fully integrated, I can take a lot number from dry flower, and I can tell you what plants would into that dry flour package.

[00:07:47]not only that, one of the things that we're really concerned about is coming in and. What else went into doing that. Right. So what nutrients went into there, so 

[00:07:58] Chris Guthrie: [00:07:58] other costs involved, [00:08:00] right? 

[00:08:00] Well, the other cause, but also if you're thinking about it from an item recall process, you know, so let's say you're going through and you use some sort of nutrients,  let's take it back to like around the harvest time.

[00:08:15] So you're going to flush the, you know, you're going to flush all your plants, you know, everything out. You found out some sort of contaminant in that flushing, right? So we're going to come in, but you've already dried your flower. By the time you realized that there was a contaminant at the time you flushed it, you can put in, in our system, you could go in and you can say this lot number got recalled from a vendor.

[00:08:35] There was a contaminant in there. Now we know everywhere that contaminant, went you can go pull that product out off the line and say, go do additional testing. same thing, like anywhere in the process, when you're doing packaging, we always recommend clients to follow like food safety standards, you know?

[00:08:52] So, yeah. so my background is from food manufacturing before I got in the cannabis space. And so, you know, I follow the [00:09:00] guidelines of anything that touches the ingestible product should be lock tracked for recall purposes. So if you're putting dry flour into that three and a half gram jar, And the vendor comes in and says, there was  a contaminant, a three and a half gram jar.

[00:09:13] Brian Cissell: [00:09:13] You need to recall it, you know exactly where that jar was used. So, you know, we can go in and trace that back. How I did it, any good trip out to the stores yet, you know, out where did it go? We can contact them. or, you know, maybe you're fortunate enough that it, then you shipped out yet, you know, so you 

[00:09:31] Chris Guthrie: [00:09:31] and it's all  

[00:09:32] Brian Cissell: [00:09:32] still sitting  in there.

[00:09:33] Chris Guthrie: [00:09:33] You can all sit there and you can minimize the risk. you know, what will come down to eventually, you know, is from the food safety, from the food manufacturing world is the FDA. I think it's now changed down to four hours. And if there's a recall, if you can't prove that chain of custody within four hours, they make your recall everything that you produce from when the contaminant came into your facility.

[00:09:55] And we know that closer department of AG and the [00:10:00] FDA get to cannabis. There are rules already written for all of these products that have been around for decades for pharma and like you were talking about for food. So it's only a matter of time before the cannabis industry is subject to all of these rules and regulations.

[00:10:16] You know, like I view. I view, I look at these, recall procedures, like an inverted pyramid, right? You start at the top and you've got your batch and that is all of the flower. Say you've got, you know, flower room one, you've got four tables in there. You've got gorilla glue. You've got wedding cake. You've got lava cake.

[00:10:36] And you've got some cat piss just to like, bring it back to the old school strains. Right. On the harvest day, all of the lava cake that you harvest gets batched into one big batch and it's assigned on a unique ID. That's the basis of the pyramid, the widest, and every time you touch that lot of flour, [00:11:00] you break it down into smaller and smaller increments.

[00:11:03] Finally, when you get to the bottom of the pyramid, you have that one, 3.5 gram unit that we were talking about. The retailer says there was a problem with this unit, the barcode and the barcode label on that unit will be able to reference every single touch and hopefully every single person and operation that was involved in going from the base of the pyramid harvest day, all the way down to that 3.5 gram unit.

[00:11:36] Is that, is that right? Is that. 

[00:11:38] Brian Cissell: [00:11:38] Yes. Cool. 

[00:11:40] Chris Guthrie: [00:11:40] Cool. Right. So now you could, cause I have folks say I'm at this point in the conversation, like, okay, but that's what metric does for me. That's what BioTrack does for me. That's what leaf data does for me. Right. I can initiate the recall. There is a [00:12:00] chain of custody all the way through.

[00:12:01] Okay. What then I say is who did it? How much did it cost? When did they do it? And are you getting better or worse at your operations? And that's where I feel like the real strength of ERP is. And that's when I say, okay, Compliance. Yes, you must, in order to be compliant, you must be able to do a recall, but if you want to do traceability, if you want to know anything about your business, you need an enterprise resource program to manage all that and capture all that data.

[00:12:36] Right? Cause your gardens, your processing operations are spitting out data all the time. Your success as a business, depends on whether or not you can capture that data and then organize it in a way that it is useful. 

[00:12:51] Brian Cissell: [00:12:51] Exactly. I mean, if you're, you know, we have clients that do, various R and D processes, right?

[00:12:56] You set that up and we'll track that batch process in the system. So that's a, [00:13:00] maybe you're trying a new set of nutrients or different nutrient levels going in. Right. So we can go in. So with that full traceability, We can track since we know where that batch came from, we know all the levels that went into that batch we know what your yields are.

[00:13:14] And we even know the arc, what the testing rates came out to be as far as like the,  percentages, you know, it's each strain, going up there. So you can go in and saying, okay, well this or a yield slightly higher are we got better test results. You know, we've got higher margin on our product, you know, All of those aspects on there.

[00:13:30] So you can do there's, as you mentioned, there's so much data collected in the system that you could do. just tremendous amount of reporting on there. You know, the, you know, the, if you couple that in with, a hot topic we're seeing nowadays is people using data lakes. So they're taking on data, that's in an environmental system.

[00:13:50] And putting that out into a data Lake, taking the data from the  ERP system, putting that into a data Lake. Now you have tremendous amount of data from two key systems within the [00:14:00] organization that you can do reporting off of. So now you can  track here's  the sensos that   were in this room. Here's what the light levels were.

[00:14:07] And here's what my yield was on there. Also, if you make minor adjustments, you can see over time. How about adjusts and affects your overall yield, also going all the way down to your overall, profit. Okay. You know, and the cost on there. I mean, the thing is there's a lot of clients that have strains that they grow that have their favorite, you know, like, Oh, this is great seller to this is our favorite you know, our best selling string.

[00:14:33] We'll go in and analyze it. But they'll realize, you know, what that strain, is really hard to work with. It's prone to mold. It's sticky. You know, it takes them twice as long, to trim it. It takes twice as long to harvest. By capturing that data in the system, you can put real numbers behind it and you can say this might be a best selling strain, but it costs the most.

[00:14:54] So our margins are lower on this strain. You know, now you have the data [00:15:00] to back up your decision and saying, you know, well maybe we keep growing and since it is to get them in the door, but we know that that's not our moneymaker, so we may not run discounts or promotions on this drain.

[00:15:10] We're going to take something else on a higher, more, a higher margin strain. 

[00:15:15] Chris Guthrie: [00:15:15] Because in my time in the industry, man, I have seen a lot of people, not just like with those strains that they are running or, you know, like weather just. Not necessarily the strains that they are running, but they make decisions based on how they feel, not about the numbers.

[00:15:34] And that's not to say that you should like take out the cat piss because it is super hard to trim and it's super finicky and it is prone to PM. Keep it in there, but don't make your business decisions based on your feelings.  Look at numbers as well, and you're going to make a better business decision, right?

[00:15:55] People love their plants intensely. And I think you have to do that. If you're [00:16:00] going to be successful, you cannot be a cannabis producer and be dispassionate about it. I mean, first of all, I think that the plants, they are living things. And they respond to the energy around them. It's not just the light and the water and the nutrients that they are absorbing.

[00:16:17] Like they are living things around you. You've got to love them. You've got to, you know, you can say like I'm putting extra CO2 on them, you know, a large, a large producer processor like that. You're not going to talk to every plant, but. You know, smaller producer processors, they benefit from having a hands on approach to every plant.

[00:16:35] They love them is like my point. And so it's hard to be dispassionate about it, collecting all this data. It, you can make projections before the run, but then you can also do a real post-mortem. On. Okay. This run, I ran the temperature a little, like two degrees warmer, and I brought my humidity [00:17:00] down. One percentage point.

[00:17:02] The cat piss did great. The platinum cookies did the same. The granddaddy purple. Actually, we saw a dip in production that is going to help you. First of all, streamline and record. What each strain likes, so you have a profile of each strain for its optimal conditions. It will also help you plan what strains like to be in what room together, 

[00:17:29] Brian Cissell: [00:17:29] right

[00:17:29] correct. Yeah. And that's the type of stuff, you know, always pulling data out and reporting for that type of stuff and grouping it and, you know, and, try to guide clients towards like, when they're doing that planning, you know, it's like, always try to think ahead. Right. So if you come in, Yeah.

[00:17:44] As soon as you're doing a harvest, right. You know, you know, harvest. So like we've got a harvest scheduled for a Monday. So I know that I'm going to do that. I'm going to have plants going in later that week. Right. So I know what plants we're going to put in there. Start thinking about what you're going to be planting ahead on there.

[00:18:00] [00:18:00] To do that is, as you said, if you had the statistics, what gets planned together now, it comes easier. Okay. In this room, you know, these strains, here's the group, here's the five strains that I can put into this room, you know, under the same conditions, you know? And so the more we can get that planning ahead, the more it makes the whole business just run a more efficient because with that type of forecasting, you can come in.

[00:18:23] So, you know, okay. So I know if I planned, you know, You know, if I put an estimate out there for, you know, two harvests out in the future, now you're purchasing team procurement. They can come in and they can say, you know what? We started here, you know, September 15th, I'm going to run out a two gallon pots, you know, unless we want to do a rush order, .

[00:18:42] Let's make sure we have those coming in, in advance, you know, acutally keep track of those different types of levels. That's the great thing about the ERP is everything. Nothing runs on silos. Everything's interconnected, you know, and that's a hard thing to get across with people. Cause cultivation and the things [00:19:00] that they do affects the inventory manager or, you know, that's a buying pots and that type of stuff, you know, it's, you know, it really is all that information needs to be in sync. 

[00:19:09] Chris Guthrie: [00:19:09] You know what you just said, it that's the problem that people run into. They have successful small to medium operations, but then once they get to scale and they cannot be involved in every single part of it, the growth cycle things sort of fall apart because like, and people don't really realize this, like on harvest day, you are looking at the results of decisions that you made six months ago.

[00:19:38] Right. And especially, I mean, like I have customers that plan out their entire year and they know how  many of what mothers  need to be in the mother room and at what size on January 1st, if they want to pull that crop in June and that's how far you have to [00:20:00] plan backwards. And that is impossible to do on a whiteboard, especially for the larger cultivators.

[00:20:05] You can't do that. You, you shouldn't expect yourself to do that. 

[00:20:11] Brian Cissell: [00:20:11] Exactly. You know, I mean, it's just a, it becomes way too cumbersome on the larger operations. You know, trying to do that level of planning, you know, let the system do the work for you, you know, put those numbers in and you know, you don't, you know, can all start with somebody new and they'll say, you know, I can't do this.

[00:20:28] I don't have those numbers. Like you have a ballpark, right? Everybody has a ballpark.  Start with the ballpark each month. Let's say reanalyze, the data let's adjust. And you know, it's not going to happen overnight, but over time, you'll start getting dialed in, you know, and then you'll start, you'll start seeing the real benefits of having that full traceability of all aspects of the business.

[00:20:50] You know, in a report. 

[00:20:53] Chris Guthrie: [00:20:53] In order to be profitable and make sure you always have fresh product going out, you [00:21:00] have to be, unless you're a small craft producer. You have to be in perpetual harvest. And that means that you've got a mother team, you've got a propagation team. You've got a vege team, a bloom team, a harvest team, a package team, and making sure that everybody is all pouring their data in.

[00:21:22] So the head of program. Can actually get an overview of what the entire operation looks like is so important. Like it is mission critical. You are not going to succeed unless you can see the entire business and keeping people siloed. It's so easy because everybody is in their own environments. You know, the bloom team for these 10 flower rooms, they are working, you know, one to one.

[00:21:49] The second bloom team is working, you know, one to one on the opposite schedule, because you're not trying to run your lights all at the same time. Sometimes these teams never see each other in these [00:22:00] big facilities. 

[00:22:01] Brian Cissell: [00:22:01] Right. You know, and the, you know, another aspect of that too, is why it's good to have like the central system for all those teams to work together is, you know, it could be something as simple as tracking the past, you know, you come in and log those against a batch. And in certain rooms you can do analytics. You can realize, you know, the, you don't mind that long ago. I had somebody realize that they went through the rows. I had a lot of, you know, spider mites always happening. And I got down and realized that it was always happening on only in one particular location of their grow.

[00:22:33] You know, my reporting and, and keeping that in the system, they're going to go through and realize, you know, what, 80% of our spider mites. Came from clients that are in this corner of this room. 

[00:22:44] Chris Guthrie: [00:22:44] So let's look at that corner of the building for some hole in the Tupperware that is letting people in.

[00:22:51] Brian Cissell: [00:22:51] Exactly. And then that's what they did. They did, they decommissioned that room and said, we're going to just get her, you know, here's a part and do a full inspection. You know, after that [00:23:00] last harvest, once they went into realize it, they said, people always felt like, it feels like it's always happens in here, but no one knew.

[00:23:06] You know, but by tracking in the system, recording it now, it's you have a hard fact, like, yeah. Literally 80% of the problems came from plants in this one corner of the room. 

[00:23:16] Chris Guthrie: [00:23:16] Right, right. Or, you know, I had, somebody that I, that worked in my building and it, my building in Seattle and we kept having problems with PM.

[00:23:32] Okay. The PM showed up. When this person arrived at work, like joined the organization and then disappeared for about six months and our PM problems disappeared. And I was able to see like, okay, I don't think this person is sabotaging me, but it made me ask that person like, Hey, what kind of plants do you have growing around your house?

[00:23:59] Well, I [00:24:00] don't really have any plants. I was like, okay, well, where do you live? Show me a picture right behind his house was a gigantic Blackberry field, which. I went out and looked. I was like, Hey man, I just want to come out and check covered with PM. He was inadvertently dragging PM into the facility and you know, like that led us to change our QA processes.  That led us to decide that we were going to suit and boot every single time. You know, like this was early in, like when we were getting up to scale. So like collecting all of that data, knowing exactly when the PM first started, the problem started is so crucial in being able to look back at your data and take an actionable solution to solve that.

[00:24:49] You know, you want to be able to see when you're doing something right by accident, when you're doing something wrong by accident. If you have a hypothesis to improve, you, the only way you're going to be [00:25:00] able to prove your hypothesis is to be able to look at data afterwards, 

[00:25:05] Brian Cissell: [00:25:05] data is King, right? I mean, it's just a, you know, you can really do so much analytics with it, but data is also a little bit of a double edged sword, right? Because you want to capture all this, you want to report on it, but it also can be, you know, where the decision process comes in is it can be cumbersome. Like, you know, you'll come in and, you know, someone's like, I want to track the time spent on each plant.

[00:25:29] It's like, technically, yeah, you could do that. But you know, that's a lot of it data, you know, the data's good, but. What are you actually going to use with that data? Is that type is that level of recordkeeping within with you don't want to be a great benefit, you know, so there's, there's a balance, but, but yeah, but I mean, I mean, and.

[00:25:50] You know, it's and that's the beauty, like the system that you can make those choices of what data do you want to, and it varies from area to area. You know, a great example is, clients that go through and they [00:26:00] want to track each, cutter. So each person that goes in and takes the cut clippings from the moms, they have their own login, they track their time on those mothers on a number of clippings they do. The reason why they're tracked individually is, they're rated on their success rate. So if they go down a certain percentage of failed plans, they're no longer allowed to do cuttings, you know, and they move them to a different area, you know, 

[00:26:22] Chris Guthrie: [00:26:22] and somebody has this high percentage of success. You can say, what are you doing?

[00:26:26] What subtle difference? Like, are you shaving the root? Are you, what are you doing? 

[00:26:31] Brian Cissell: [00:26:31] Exactly. Yeah. So, I mean, so that, so that area, you know, so that one specific area of clippings yes. Let's capture a lot more data than we would for somebody who's just doing like  deleafing, right.  I don't want to track per plant.

[00:26:45] Doesn't matter. That's fine. That process on there, but you don't wanna hear that makes a lot of sense to do this, you know? 

[00:26:53] Chris Guthrie: [00:26:53] HR might be like, whoever is head of program might really be curious if you know, Teddy [00:27:00] is producing two pounds of, you know, defoliation material for a day when everybody else is producing six pounds like Teddy, what are you doing?

[00:27:10] Are you just staring at the pretty leaves or are you... get to work? 

[00:27:15] Brian Cissell: [00:27:15] Yeah. I mean, it's a, you know, there's all the different aspects of it, you know, it's, you know, I've heard of, you know, clients like the requests coming in that, third trimmers that they had a certain percentage of, you know, trend like rated bottom, their training process.

[00:27:29] Then they got an increase for the next month, you know? And so they're wanting to track the trimmer rates, you know, so, I mean, there's just so much, it can be tracked with an ERP and, you know, it's a, you know, always have to have that conversation of what makes sense for your business and for that process when it collected.

[00:27:46] But it's good to make those decisions with. The hard facts on the data. 

[00:27:51] Chris Guthrie: [00:27:51] So guys, I want to tell you a little bit about Delta nine systems. The organization that I work for. The Delta 19 brings a deep understanding of the cannabis industry to [00:28:00] work for today's industry pros. Our team has operated collective gardens, medical dispensarys and early adult use rec and retail operations.

[00:28:09] We speak the language. We know the workflow. And have a deep understanding of the challenges of partner space. To be successful in today's cannabis. 2.0 industry, producers and processors will needto operate as efficiently as possible while reducing costs and maximizing their brand. Partnering with Delta nine systems gives you access to all the best tools, technologies, products, and expertise you need to collect and manage your critical data, streamline your operational workflow, maximize your brand potential, and grow and prosper in today's cannabis industry. Check us out at delta9systems.com.  

[00:28:43] narrator: [00:28:43] Now back to Chris Guthrie 

[00:28:45] Chris Guthrie: [00:28:45] Today representing the 365 cannabis team is Brian Sissel. He's a solutions architect for three 65 cannabis. You, you said something earlier about three 65 being customizable.

[00:28:58] This isn't just like something that you [00:29:00] take off the shelf and plop down. In every facility the same way. Right. 

[00:29:06] Brian Cissell: [00:29:06] So, yeah. So the, what it is, so we have the software itself is a product, right? So you can, the software you can take and run, you know, 90%, if not more of a businesses without having to make a change to a software change with the software.

[00:29:23]There it's custom it's configurable. Right? So it's a, instead of using customer that I can use configurations, so you can come in and set up and configure it to meet your needs, you know, because not everybody needs the whole offering that we have, you know, so we can go pretty big. Right. It's massive, you know?

[00:29:40] And so that's why we can go in and we can tailor the system to, you know, a small craft grow with like maybe a thousand plants or less, you know, a few employees to somebody who is, you know, Giant multi-state operator or a global operator, you know, Managing all the different, legal entities that they have in the [00:30:00] system, you know, managing the, grow, the manufacturer, you know, the packaging, the extraction, the retail stores, you know, so we can scale all the way up, doing that.

[00:30:09] Yeah. So, I mean, it's, you know, it's really great. the system, the way we have it set up to scale and size like that, because most people are starting out right. You're starting out small. You don't have, you have plants. You know, you're going to become a big multi-state operator. Right. But you're starting out.

[00:30:25] We're not there yet. That's fine. Use only use a portion of the software that you need for right now. You know, keep the, what, keep the data you're collecting on the grow. Keep it small. Once you're a greenhouse gets full, start adding, okay, now we're larger. Now I want to start tracking these different things.

[00:30:42] Let's turn on this functionality. Right? So let's expand this on there and let the software scale with you. You know, nobody wants to go through and stop and halfway through and like, Oh, My, you know, nobody wants the software to be the limitation of the grow. 

[00:30:56] Chris Guthrie: [00:30:56] Right, right, right, right. You don't want to have, [00:31:00] and that's the, that's sort of, sort of the biggest pushback that I get from people who come from a manufacturing mindset and they have, you know, like extensive experience with SAP.

[00:31:11] And they're like, yo, I am not getting into an SAP situation where I am working for the software. That's the biggest pushback is that like, I don't want to stop what I am doing with plants to work for the software. I want the software to work for 

[00:31:28]

[00:31:28] Brian Cissell: [00:31:28] Right. We're always going to bring in best practices.

[00:31:34] Right. When we come in here saying, you know, we have a, you know, we've. Gone through several implementations, we have a good feel, you know, and the markets, you know, the best practice, how to do things. So we're always going to bring that to the table. Here's the best practice. Here's how to lay it out.

[00:31:48] However, if you have a different process or unique scenario, right, we can always go in and reconfigure it without doing like a development customization, but doing like, just [00:32:00] tracking different boxes and reconfiguring it, we can set it up to suit your needs. You know, on there. So yeah, so we'll always, if you're starting out, we have the ability to provide defaults and saying standards, but then we always go in and we're always addressing our standards, you know, as you know, as our clients grow and we grow, 

[00:32:19] Chris Guthrie: [00:32:19] right.

[00:32:20] Brian Cissell: [00:32:20] You know, it's, you know, we're always going in and learning new things. Like, you know, no one ever wants to stay stagnant, right. Thanks. Just 

[00:32:27] Chris Guthrie: [00:32:27] stagnant is death. You've got to keep growing and the industry is dynamic. Like it changes every single day. Somebody is pioneering a new technology, a new, extraction method.

[00:32:39] Somebody has a new automation, process that they want to, that they want to implement, you know, like being mobile and being agile and adapting. Is key. The people who are not, who are stuck in their way and say, I know what I'm doing, and this is what I'm going to do. They get swept aside pretty quick.

[00:32:59] Brian Cissell: [00:32:59] Yeah. You [00:33:00] gotta be able to adapt, you know, and, you know, and use the data to make the changes. As you said before, you know, there's a little bit of a feel to it, but let's back it up with the data that's captured, you know, as you're making those adaptive 

[00:33:11] Chris Guthrie: [00:33:11] changes.

[00:33:12] Cool. That's  awesome. Let just tie, let's just tag back real quick to what you were talking about before, about data integrations, because you guys don't have a suite of grow sensors, right.

[00:33:24] That you deploy. So when somebody says they want to use their garden atmospheric data logs, like the temperature, the humidity, the vapor, the vapor pressure deficit. You know, when lights on lights off, what water, like all of those are controlled through some of the automation, modules and physical sensors.

[00:33:47] How do you capture that data? So people can use it to know if they're making more money or not. 

[00:33:54] Brian Cissell: [00:33:54] Yeah. So the, it's a couple of different options on there, you know? So in some cases, depending on the data, [00:34:00] we can bring that thing to do an integration and store that data within the system. but now what, you know what, we're.

[00:34:07] Doing more of is when I mentioned earlier is, it's called like a Data Lake or a data warehouse, two different terms, kind of the same thing, 

[00:34:15] Chris Guthrie: [00:34:15] is that the right? Is that the right 

[00:34:17] Brian Cissell: [00:34:17] Well the api is the integration into different programs. So you use the, in a degree, like an API to push the data out of  365, use the API to push the data out of your environmental, you know, or you're greeing to house grow' software, right?

[00:34:32] So you push that out and push you that API to push the data out into this data warehouse. So now what that does is the data warehouses gives you the capabilities to do a mapping because they may, you know, ideally like we'll try to, we'll advise you to set up the ERP to grow, to match your environmentals are your rooms, right?

[00:34:53] So there, so it makes the mapping very easy, but in there you can go in and you just want to pay up saying, okay, this, this [00:35:00] value, you know, room one and 365 equals, you know, room a and this environmentals. So you put, you build those links in that data warehousing. Now you have all that data going into one central spot without clogging up either one of those systems.

[00:35:20] And now you can run your reports based on that, because you already had the mapping done when you push it out into that data, that data Lake, like I've seen clients that have pushed out data from 365 data from, the greenhouses. And data from the machine language, you know, from the prog, from their automation, from doing the packaging machines and the, the automatic sorts and those glow meter, all that data is being going into one central repository in that data Lake mapped together.

[00:35:51] So now they can go in and run reports, you know, from the whole aspects of the business, you know, so now you can go down and get. true, like machine [00:36:00] runtimes on the batch, like down to the milliseconds, you know, by doing that because some of that data doesn't make sense to bring into the ERP. You know, some of those environmentals, you know, they'll record, you know, temperature, humidity, level changes, you know, like by the minute, you know, or something, we're not, that's a lot of data to bring into the ERP when it's not going to have a true impact on the ERP, but it's fantastic data.

[00:36:24] For monitoring and for the roles and alerts, you know, and analyzing what was done in the past. So having a way to go in and run a report against it is great, you know? And so that's where that kind of pushing everything out into that central data warehouse. really becomes beneficial because you're not affecting the performance of either system.

[00:36:45] Chris Guthrie: [00:36:45] Right. And that's that's key. And that goes back to what we were talking about at the top. Like collect all the data, even if you don't use it all, you might actually get to a point where, you know, like this particular cookie [00:37:00] strain. This batch is awesome. This batch is not. Having the atmospheric data to go back and look at and say like, okay, right at week five, I, you know, there was a little dip in the temperature.

[00:37:16] Okay, little dip in the temperature to two degrees for four or five days, but the color was better. you know, like deep purple popped out and we just like had extra myrcene in this batch. Like being able to find that data in your data warehouse is crucial. If you want to be able to repeat that happy accident, right.

[00:37:38] Brian Cissell: [00:37:38] Right. 

[00:37:38] Chris Guthrie: [00:37:38] That's this is the stuff that I just love geeking out on. Thank you for getting so nerdy with me. 

[00:37:45] Brian Cissell: [00:37:45] No, I love it too. It's always great. 

[00:37:47] Chris Guthrie: [00:37:47] So you've got data links. You've got, Like you can capture atmospheric data. You can capture automation data. So like, this is probably, you know, we're going to run out of time here pretty soon I could [00:38:00] sit and geek out with you for like hours, but for the sake of our dear listeners, we should probably err on the side of being a little more, a brief, what other kinds of data can you get around automation?

[00:38:15] And when people say automation, What are they actually talking about? 

[00:38:21] Brian Cissell: [00:38:21] That's a great question. So, a couple of different, types of automation that we would run across, you know, one popular one is, machines out there that are actually take the clippings on you. Pick clippings, you lay them out on a conveyor belt and the machine will go pick them up and actually plan on the low starting pots, you know, and put them out in there, you know?

[00:38:39] So. From that type of automation we're coming in, where we have to send to the machine. Here's the batch, right? Here's the batch of you're working on, we're looking to come back is how many plants would they actually put in were successful, right? Type of automation. The other type of automation that we deal with is, our common one is.

[00:39:00] [00:39:00] The actual tables. it's getting more and more popular having automated tables within the greenhouses. Cause it almost looks like a rollercoaster going through the facilities, right. There's cracks everywhere. Some of them are manual tables that they'll pull, you know, but then we S I've seen a few places now where it's automatic.

[00:39:17] So the idea behind it is, it limits the amount of people that have to go into a room. You go in and programming and saying, you know, bring table one. You know, to the trimming station. So like actually come puts it on the track, wheels it over to the trimming where the employees are, they turned the plans and then they say, put it back in X spot.

[00:39:37] So with that type of automation, and so the user having to plug it into the terminal to call the cable, you know, and push it back and then having to go in and log into the ERP. We can go on there and we can track, you know, this user pushed this table to here, then this did their trim, then pushed it back to  position two, you know, from position one to position two.

[00:39:58] So that type of [00:40:00] automation we're logging, you know, from the packaging standpoint, when we hear automation, some of it it's as simple as. Integrating in with scales, you know, coming in and not, you know, we don't want people to key in the weights, you know, as they're doing the hardest cause I'd finger, you know, all of a sudden the a hundred grams turns into a thousand grams.

[00:40:18] Yeah. Yeah. You know, so now if integrating it with the scales. You can go in and get the exact number, you know, that level of law, 

[00:40:26] Chris Guthrie: [00:40:26] I lost two pounds. 

[00:40:29] Brian Cissell: [00:40:29] Exactly. But, you know, yeah, so it's a very, the automation always means different things, you know? from a packaging side, the, through, you know, a lot of those packing machines have flow meters.

[00:40:40] So now there's no longer like guys so hard, you know, I started out, you know, I may have waited. He waited. But then, you know, did I spill something before I waited and towed on the conveyor belt? You know, if you do automation with the flow meters, we can track how much actually made it through the flow meter, into the packaging run.

[00:40:58] So we can come in and say, okay, [00:41:00] I did take my thousand grams, you know, but I only you know, one thousand, grams went in. Ask him, you know, was it, you know, only a few number of, A's came out now I know something happened right. 

[00:41:13] Leakage, 

[00:41:14] Chris Guthrie: [00:41:14] man. Oh my God. That was a problem that every single producer processor that I know has struggled with you start with a thousand grams.

[00:41:25] Right. You start with one kilogram of high quality, hand trimmed cannabis. At the end of the day, you're supposed to have 1000, 1 gram units, right? No, that's not what you get. You get 927 one gram units, right? Flow meters. They are going to control that. And just like it doesn't, I, it doesn't seem like a lot hand weighing flower.

[00:41:54] You want a one gram unit, 1.1 grams, [00:42:00] 1.1, right? One 10th of a gram. It's not that big a deal, right? Well, how many, one grams are you making that day? Are you making a hundred? Because you just gave away a lot of flower. How many are you doing over the year? You are giving away hundreds of pounds, one 10th of a gram at a time.

[00:42:19] And I have seen as margins shrink. Capturing that one 10th of a gram is so important. 

[00:42:30] Brian Cissell: [00:42:30] It is. And it's, you know, when some of that is going to be planning, you know, most of our clients when they're going and setting it up, like those one grams, you know, on that one point one a great example, because that will set up the process within the ERP.

[00:42:42] If they're going to say. But this wasn't a one ground guard. Doesn't take one gram of flower. It takes 1.1. You do that slight overfill in case something evaporates. You never want to get paid, 

[00:42:52] Chris Guthrie: [00:42:52] As long you're making a conscious choice to do that... great!

[00:42:54] Brian Cissell: [00:42:54] Exactly. So it's accounted for, so now, you know, to make those hundred, you don't need a thousand, [00:43:00] right. 

[00:43:00] You know, you need 1,100, you know, to, in order to go in to account for that one 10th on there. And by having the automation machines, that flow meter in the packaging, The third can get to that 1.1 and more exact than somebody hand filling the jars going in and getting that out to a 1.1. Right. You know, on those processes on there.

[00:43:22] So yeah, so a lot of value to automation and it's just, you know, it's quicker, you know, you go in and look at it. I mean, those machines on, you know, how many they can fill, you know, the, you know, there's some of them out there, they can fill up a. You know, a hundred jars at one time where, how, you know, take a minute to fill a hundred jars.

[00:43:38] And how long would it take a single person to go in and a hand to fill a hundred, you know, one gram jars, 

[00:43:44] Chris Guthrie: [00:43:44] Right. 

[00:43:46] Capture the data, know your numbers. Don't grow with your heart, well know, grow with your heart. Don't run your business with your heart. You love your product too much to [00:44:00] actually be objective about it.

[00:44:02] Right. So you deal with. You said large producers and processors multi-state operators who are, you know, getting super corporate, you know, these are large corporate operations. You deal with small craft growers, right. And this is a solution that can be tailored to whatever scale that you're at. And so like, just like the last thing that I want to touch on is.

[00:44:34] Do you think both models are gonna survive? You know, cause everybody in the, from the old school days fought corporate cannabis super hard. There are entire brands whose identity is based on F corporate cannabis all the way in every way. I have met some very, some very nice people who work for large producer processors that love good [00:45:00] cannabis and single source hash, as much as you know, somebody who is feeding their plants with their hippie tears.

[00:45:07] Where do you see the industry going? And like the tension between small craft cannabis and large corporate cannabis? Like what do you see? Where do you think it's going to go? 

[00:45:18] Yeah. it's a great question. I, you know, I think you're going to see more of, that corporate structure, but I think some of those corporate structures are still going to allow for those craft markets.

[00:45:30]you know, and it could be in the case. I mean, like if you look at it, I kind of compare it to, you know, Whiskey, you know, is what I like. You know, whiskey was like a big corporate, but now it's all these small batch whiskeys, hard to find ones that people are searching out now trying to get it. Yeah. And I see the industry going that way and we don't really know.

[00:45:47] So a lot of those small batches are owned by one or two of the big. Whiskey guys. Right. They just they're they're funding it. Right. They're funding it to allow them to do those neat experimental [00:46:00] thing processes? You know, so I think, I, I think that's kind of where it's gonna go. you know, you're going to, you are getting more of that corporate structure, but that corporate structure, they're trying to make it more, you know, Economies of scale, right.

[00:46:15] So, you know, I can buy, I can get a better price if I buy hots and bulk or YPO cube. Right. You know, if I can do that, but they're also going to go in and they want to keep looking successful. Right. So if the markets are dictating those, you know, those craft grows and they're going to allow that to happen,  you know, through corporate structure. 

[00:46:36] It does. And that doesn't mean that you can't use these best reporting practices, having great documented SOP standard operating procedures about how things go. Small craft growers have SOPs. They are just stored in people's heads and in their hearts and passed down from like, you know, group to group to group.

[00:46:59] It's the [00:47:00] same model. And I don't, I, I want the. I want to help the cannabis industry like have the best of both worlds. Like that's my ultimate goal is keep the craft mentality Super high quality, put your heart into your plants, but have an iron clad documented. SOP so you're able to produce a repeatable product, right?

[00:47:26] Brian Cissell: [00:47:26] Exactly. I mean that, and that's, and that's what this is. It helps you repeat it. That helps you learn, seeing what worked, what didn't. Right. You can go back and do that analysis instead of going in and trying to remember all those different steps, you know? So by cabinet in the system and doing that repeatable process on those crafts, you can do it and it will go through and help it, you know, helping you stay successful, you know, it could take cost a little bit more to do those craft processes, you know, because you're not outputting as much.

[00:47:52] Right. So, I mean, it's yeah. It takes a lot more time. So, you know, streamline what you can while still allowing you to [00:48:00] do R and D you know, try new things on there. Right. And being able to track it for, as you said, for that repeatable process, 

[00:48:08] Chris Guthrie: [00:48:08] right. Man I seriously could. I could stay on the phone with you all day long and just like push my glasses up in the middle of my face over and over and over while we geek out.

[00:48:20] I so appreciate your time. I so appreciate your input. I so appreciate the 365 team you guys are fantastic. just like people, you have a fantastic product. I cannot recommend it. Highly enough ladies and gentlemen, this is Brian Cissel solutions architect for 365 cannabis. I would strongly recommend if you want to learn a little bit more, visit their 365cannabis.com.

[00:48:49] Once you are signed up and you need good ways to print barcodes, read barcodes, way things, get computers, get good information in and out of 365 cannabis. Go [00:49:00] to www.delta9systems.com. We can't have one without the other. Brian. Thank you so much, brother. 

[00:49:07] Brian Cissell: [00:49:07] Thank you Chris and Delta nine.

[00:49:08] It's been great. 

[00:49:10] Chris Guthrie: [00:49:10] Ladies and gentlemen, stay safe out there. Wear are your mask. Crush the COVID and enjoy fine cannabis. I'm Chris Guthrie guys be well, 

[00:49:24] narrator: [00:49:24] a high level conversation brought to you by Delta nine systems. A division of general data company, Delta nine systems is a team of cannabis, manufacturing, and labeling experts that advise and supply cannabis professionals like you, the technology you require to compete in this challenging and rewarding industry for more info, visit Delta9systems.com.

[00:49:46] Thanks for listening

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Chris Guthrie
Chris is the General Manager of Delta9 Systems, a division of General Data Co. He is an expert in the cannabis industry, having participated in the birth of the cannabis industry in Washington, and has operated one of the first and oldest medical dispensaries in Seattle. For a decade, Chris has participated in the design and managed the construction of dozens of indoor gardens, and has been involved in cultivation, processing, retail operations, as well as industry activism.
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