Continuously Improving in the Cannabis Industry

By: Joe Mikes
November 5, 2018

Does your operation run like a clock…….? Interested in getting a little closer every month? Continuous Improvement is not just consultant jargon. It’s a real process that engages lower management with senior managers coordinating positive changes for their work areas while increasing safety, compliance, and PROFIT.

Operational Excellence Lesson 1:

Organize your Business to Get Better Each Month

Even with seasonal work at the farms and sporadic work with the processing centers developing extractions, each area of the business from final sales all the way back up to the farm should have goals to reach each month. These goals need to be tied to the product or service that the receiving department desires.

Here is an example of what activities should tie to department goals:

1:The bud tenders at final sale want well sealed packages, with appropriate weights and labels. They need these in sufficient quantity to satisfy demand of the customers.

2: Packaging needs sufficient cured flower, extracts, & outside vendor products in sufficient quantity and packing materials to develop final product for the stores.

3: The Dry / Cure area needs sufficient raw materials; flower, containers, working space, etc

4: Extraction needs flower, extraction equipment fully operational, gasses, blast room conditions, etc

5: The farms typically work in seasons. Every season at the farm should have goals, from managing seedlings, nutrition, full grow stage, and all conditions of the flowering stage to maturity.

How the information is tracked shift by shift can be as simple as a clipboard with data recorded: It can also be more advanced as your business is capable.

At the end of each month the senior leader in charge of operations meets with a manager and a supervisor of each area in brief meetings, 30 min or less. They discuss how the month went compared to goal and what where the primary issues delivering on those critical few goals. In this meeting the top issues are discussed and the area manager provides one or two options to try to improve the situation. Options must consider compliance, safety, and if there are costs/risks associated, they are all taken into consideration before agreement to move forward.

Month after month the business gets better and better at delivering toward their goals. The next thing you know, your business is continuously improving and its not a buzz word it is verifiable in black and white……

Joe Mikes, Community Volunteer: Retired/Disabled Sr Ops Excellence Consultant living in the PHX valley and member of AMP: Association of Asset Management Professionals. He has been published over 16 times in many areas of Operational Excellence. He is available for more info at

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