Ever wonder how the BigGuys do it? How can major retailers like QFC receive truckloads of inventory with only a few quick scans? Standards.
Manufacturers and distributors like Kroger, P&G and Unilever recognize that standardization throughout the supply chain is good for their businesses. It reduces complexity, lowers costs, and ultimately benefits consumers.
These companies developed methods to easily communicate by creating standards on labels, product-data, data-formatting, and data-exchange. Standards like these are so ubiquitous now that it is difficult to think of any examples where billion-dollar, highly transactional industries do not leverage them. They improve accuracy, speed and efficiency.
Standards are not perfect
It's not about everyone getting everything they want, it's about everyone geting the basic needs met. Standards establish a stable baseline, from which everyone can build, starting on a level playing field.
But cannabis, and cannabis in Washington, is currently lacking many (most?) of these standards. And that is costing every licensee, every grower, every laboratory, every retailer, every software integrator time and money -- and not a small amount.
It's not just a low quality option for the central authority, it's that we don't have any industry-defined work-arounds. When it stops, it's dead in the water -- and, w/o options -- w/o the pre-existence of standards -- the problems are compounded.
At a minimum we could define a set of standards to trade at least b2b sales. So the next time MJF/LD goes to crap, we can at least get lot identifiers sent across from grower to retailer -- so that good, valid product can make it through. And the nice tidy electronic records could be there -- to reconcile with the MJF/LD/LCB system once it's repaired.
We had outages this last time that held up some deals for like a week! But if the data could be traded, then it can be reconciled later in MJF/LD -- and the deals can continue. We need, NEED a system that can accommodate -- even in some tiny way -- a method to conduct commerce in the likely event of MJF/LD issues.
About 15 months ago we wrote about this, asking, pleading, begging licensees and technologists -- let's come together here. I feel like it couldn't get legs cause we were all so busy putting out MJF/LD fires. Then it was back to business a usual -- until the next fire -- and we couldn't make steps. Then we had yet another fire starting July 15th -- and unfortunately didn't have anything in place to facilitate b2b sales.
We don't need the LCB's blessing to work together -- and I believe that -- together -- with a little cooperation, a dash of technology -- we can solve these business problems. And if all goes well, we could even show the LCB that they don't need to be so heavy handed.