Choosing the best tools to automate and optimize an entire seed-to-sale workflow isn’t easy.
Whether it’s a lack of features, problems with hardware and software compatibility, limitations on customizability, or lack of support, selecting the wrong application or vendor inevitably results in added direct costs and mounting frustration with eroding profit margins. Here are some common software-selection pitfalls and features growers should consider prioritizing when choosing a solution.
Common cultivation software pitfalls
A cannabis grow room is a complex system of moving parts. Integrating software should be helpful, but some solutions end up segmenting data to a degree that prevents moving parts from communicating with each other effectively.
Inadequate access control
Access control is an integral part of every organization’s IT environment. When adding a new user into a management system, access control frameworks set specific permissions and eliminate the risk of breaching information or giving access to managing areas outside of that role’s jurisdiction.
Limited hardware integration
Despite the growing number of cultivation software solutions available, integration with hardware remains challenging. Often growers and operators are not able to use valuable features due to limited or clunky integration.
Limited data-collection capabilities
Cultivation software often falls short when it comes to automating, aggregating, and correlating data input from multiple independent sources. Manual input is particularly problematic due to associated labor costs, the high possibility users will make data-entry mistakes, and the potential for fraudulent data manipulation to reach a specified target.
Inability to scale
Outdated technology, software hosted on-premises, and inflexible products that require substantial installation and configuration time can hinder scaling by limiting a business’s ability to remain agile and expand.
5 software features every grower needs
1. Production planning tools
Production planning tools create and manage just-in-time delivery schedules for every stage of the cultivation process to optimize operational efficiency and effectiveness. Solutions should include pre-allocating consumables inventory, utilizing the proper space for each cultivar and minimizing labor needed for plant-touching tasks. Integrated space-planning features should organize by cultivar for efficient rotation of plants transitioning between growth stages with minimal inactive space within the facility.
2. Individual access control and auditing
Keep data protected by creating individual logins. Individual profiles and role-based security enable administrators to manage staff members’ access. Adopt a system that creates an audit trail of user actions, allowing insight into skill gaps among staff.
Role-based access also provides operators the ability to limit access appropriately and assign tasks to specific individuals. It also helps speed up task completion and reduces training time. In addition, role identification enables users to assign tasks automatically to only those personnel who are qualified to perform them.
3. Automated data collection
Good cultivation software automatically stores extensive data for each cultivar. Watering schedules, light intensity, fertilization schedules, temperature, CO2 levels, humidity, soil moisture, EC (electrical conductivity), and pH (acidity or alkalinity) all play important roles in maximizing a strain’s potential. Manually capturing and accurately recording this torrent of data in near-real-time simply is not possible.
“Big data” analysis is the key to spotting trends that are positively and negatively affecting yield, phytocannabinoid levels, and terpene production. With the proper toolset, quickly identify and apply lessons learned to future harvests for each cultivar, achieving consistent outcomes and consumer experiences.
4. Third-party compliance integration
Regulatory compliance tracking is a vital aspect of the cannabis industry. Most legal states now require cannabis tracking from seed to sale. By integrating with state0compliant management tools, harvest weights and lab test results can be downloaded automatically and further analyzed for plant health optimization and streamlined data transfer without the risk of human error from manual entry.
5. Automated device control
Automated device control gives users a choice in selecting hardware for the facility that meets all needs while including a single integrated real-time dashboard for complete transparency of physical plant operations. It also supports scaling, allowing users to easily add new grow room space to an existing layout without interrupting any operations.
Agrify Insights™ software is a comprehensive, all-in-one solution for managing all aspects of a cannabis facility from full environmental control to production planning to compliance integration.
With unparalleled automated device control, Agrify Insights allows growers, owners, and operators to manage and monitor the critical variables that impact the success of their cultivation.
Agrify Insights was built to harness the power of Agrify’s VFU (Vertical Farming Units), one of the world’s most technologically advanced grow systems. The software enables users to collect up to 1.5 million data points annually per VFU and, along with integrated analysis tools, allows for adjusting and optimizing the grow environment to maximize yield and crop consistency.
Agrify Insights helps teams stay in compliance by seamlessly integrating with METRC and Confident Cannabis. By linking lab test results with environmental data, Agrify Insights identifies ideal environmental conditions and creates the perfect “recipe” for consistent outcomes for each unique cultivar.
The software’s OPEX calculator accounts for all major factors that could affect the bottom line, while integrated production planning tools help increase facility usage rate by up to 98 percent. Both tools can be used in planning mode, allowing growers to have full transparency into projected outcomes before it’s too late.
Agrify’s customer support is available 24/7, customizable standard operating procedures are loaded directly onto the platform, and a trouble-ticketing system help keep customers up and running. Onboarding programs at Agrify University make learning the platform easy.
Agrify’s cultivation solutions focus on the future of growth, preparing operations to be competitive, nimble, and successful in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Customers’ challenges are met head-on by rapidly adding and improving on innovative features with data-driven paths to maximize, standardize, and optimize each harvest.
For more information, visit Agrify.com.