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Cannabisness Day™ An Executive Briefing May 22, 2019

Enterprise Solutions for Your Cannabis Operation

It was an event not to be missed by any cannabis industry leader that wants to be compliant, competitive and profitable. The morning was filled with valuable insights, ideas and contacts to help navigate the regulatory demands of the cannabis industry while growing a business. As Leeann Russell pointed out in her presentation, implementing an ERP system is not a technology project, it’s a business project.  At AXSource and Microsoft, our job is to support you as you select and implement technology solutions that make sense for your business. We want you to do it once, do it right, and do it to grow.

Starting a business in the cannabis industry began as a noble calling for many. Stories of ill loved ones turned into testimonies and the impetus to be a part of a solution for those suffering. It has been a long legalization road for cannabis; now Canadians have easier access, but it isn’t perfect. Cannabis covers being a Quarternary to Primary industry, demanding stronger management practices and business systems. Many companies with noble beginnings are now struggling with regulatory compliance, mass production, scaling and looking to take the next steps.

At Cannabisness Day™ speakers were Brad Poulos MBA, Ryerson University Professor and Cannabis Industry Leader | Navneet Sekhon, B.Sc. (Hons. Microbiology & Biochemistry), President, AXSource Consulting Inc.  | Avneet Sekhon BA, Partner and Lead Solution Architect, AXSource infotech Inc. and Leeann Russell, CIM, FICB, MBA, Global Vice President EPMO & Process, Fleet Complete.

Are you ready for what’s coming? Edibles, topicals and international buyers are on the way.

There is a trending shift away from flower/oil toward formulated and derivative products according to Professor Poulos. This might be an obvious market change considering how many applications cannabis can have but likely bigger than we think. With the ability to break a strain into its smallest parts, isolating the properties means the gates are wide open for new therapeutic applications of cannabis.  Cannabinoids have become a common term when discussing how cannabis works. Now, focus has expanded to profiling terpenes in the individual strains of cannabis   . This allows a consumer to be selective and determine the strain that best suits their needs.  Synthesizing the medicinal aspects of cannabis is coming next along with the ability to Create consistent, measurable, exact building blocks for many more products to come.

Some other points Brad Poulos stressed:

  • Think beyond the Canadian market; make direct foreign investment to fully capitalize on the global market
  • In the industry value chain, many players don’t need a license. You must be prepared and take responsibility for compliance to minimize risk
  • Threat and opportunity represented by the looming possibility of the US moving cannabis off schedule 1, to decriminalize it federally
  • It’s critical to have integrated, flexible, powerful information systems to enable and accelerate business in a highly regulated environment that’s in a constant state of flux.

Is your operation compliant? Do you have a reporting system that works for you?

Navneet Sekhon with over thirty years of international experience in human pre-clinical, clinical research, GMP manufacturing, regulatory affairs, environmental health & safely, quality assurance, quality control, pharmacovigilance and in establishing strategic business initiatives for over 100 companies, talked to us about how Health Canada works and the reasons compliance is important. One being the safety of packaging given the number of children under six that have had accidents with cannabis. Any where you are in the supply chain there is regulatory compliance. It is prevalent and you need to deal with it. She did explain that Health Canada is approachable and responsive, so you can be comfortable taking your business concerns to them.

Cannabis is a substance that needs to be treated like the drug it is. Therefore, strict monitoring is unavoidable, and you must comply. Regulatory agencies such as Health Canada and FDA require that your computer systems be validated due to their impact on GMP and / or GPP.

It is possible to make compliance your business advantage with a business system that can:

– Eliminate the use of duplicate Quality Management software solutions and paperwork with your ERP.
– Dynamics 365 Organic Compliance Suite (D365OCS) reduces cost and supports efficiency.
– D365OCS is a validated solution with huge savings in costs compared to conducting onsite validation efforts with multiple partners.
– Meets FDA, Health Canada, ACMPR, Canada’s new Cannabis Act and EU compliance requirements.

That is just one small piece of the capabilities of D365OCS — Navneet supported the development of the system at every stage so she could offer her clients the best.

The bottom line: compliance, compliance, compliance. You must be prepared.

What is Business Intelligence really? Manage your operation from a dashboard.

Avneet expertly took the group through a high-level demonstration of Microsoft Dynamics 365, bringing all departmental data to the table to collaborate and create one fluid business system. There is no need to keep extraneous systems for specific departments, let them all merge seamlessly, sharing data in one system. Organizing your business system this way saves time and costs, increasing productivity by uniting the whole company team.

Business Intelligence (BI) gives you all the power at your fingertips. It works with the data from your business to allow company leaders to create analytic dashboards at a high or drilled down level. BI is an exceptional tool to instantly evaluate your entire company. Avneet is a sought-after advisor and solution architect who was able to simplify an otherwise very complex system clarifying there is one business system solution for you, Dynamics 365.

Business Intelligence: Your Business at Your Fingertips

What does it take to implement an ERP in an fast-paced environment?

Leeann Russell from Fleet Complete graciously shared her time and experience implementing an ERP in a busy environment. She shared excellent advice and lessons learned. Her presentation was focused on how her company scaled so fast they needed a bigger and better business system yesterday. There were some challenges implementing a new system. With her hindsight wisdom she has broken it down for those who may face some of the same challenges. The last two slides of her presentation were such valuable references she gave us permission to share them.

Our goal is for you to

Do it Right

Do it Once

Do it to Grow

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Compliments of Leeann Russell:


– Choose the right partners to drive a quality solution and increase speed to market
– Introduction of guiding principles that drove decision making, i.e., Solutions should be 95% out of the box
– Developed the future state process map at the big rock level to help the organization align on the scope and mission of the program.
– Identified “Operational Firsts” to drive understanding and faster adoption rate
– Scope Management: Driven based on enterprise and process readiness alignment
– Planned for global flexible standardization
– Built a strong governance foundation into the plan early
Communicate with media (videos etc.) that people can self serve as they travel
– Introduced progressive cycles (relatable, personal, value) in continuous improvement as part of the change plan.
– Core team enabled and POD delivery structure

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Compliments of Leeann Russell:

Implementation-Opportunity to Improve

This is not a technology project, it’s a business one. Stand up the Business Stream early
Resources: Smaller companies scaling have a heavy dependency on few key people
– Secure resources early-Plan for when you really need them and be clear on the tasks
– Understand the re-skilling that is required for existing resources to be successful
– Recognize the support employees may need if they have never been in a program of this scope and scale
– Accept that the stars of today may not be the stars of tomorrow
– Plan early for how the team will deal with knowledge transfer. This will allow the team to stand on their own once the external partner has left the organization.
Ownership: Clear ownership for strategies in disciplines (i.e. Data, QA) that the organization is less mature.
Organizational Change: Do not underestimate the cultural shift needed when moving from a little to a lot of structure. Balance the entrepreneurial mindset
Feasibility: Conduct a feasibility study to understand the impact of the change on the organization. (Budget/Timelines).
– Be prepared to stop some business as usual work
Expectations management-delivery understanding.

Our consultants are some of the most experienced in the industry. We value your business and provide support, training and advice you need to scale and grow strong.

As you plan your next business steps and considering better solutions for your operation that keep you compliant and well positioned for growth, please take advantage of our offer for a one-on-one consultation.

Book for a consultation here

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