In the highly competitive world of cannabis manufacturing, Curio Wellness has gained advantages by deploying a MaxQ Cannabis management solution that includes Power BI analytics.
Brad Friedlander, CIO of Curio Wellness, described how his company is deriving a wealth of benefits from Power BI.
End-to-End BI Value
“Our executive team uses it for sales and key metrics, sales by customer, what products are trending, how things are selling within categories, in both quantity and dollars,” he explained. “We can view data in real time, daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.”
Power BI is used to monitor and manage the entire business, including operations, sales, and marketing, said Friedlander, adding that this has resulted in better planning, decision making, and performance.
Overall, Power BI has given his company a huge competitive advantage, said Friedlander. “Most of our competitors are on QuickBooks,” he explained, “so they don’t have the ability to do what we do with Power BI.”
Using Power BI also has resulted in better customer satisfaction, he said. “It enables us to meet demand and keep customers happy, which is our number one priority.”
Curio Wellness obtained Power BI as a standard component of the MaxQ Cannabis solution that is used to manage the company’s seed-to-sale cannabis operations.
However, as users worked with Power BI and discovered its potential, they desired to expand the range of analyses they were able to perform. MaxQ provided additional consulting and customization to enable Power BI to meet the users’ expanding needs.
Friedlander said he is continuously adding pages to Power BI to add functionality that enables the management team to view data in new ways.
The ability to continually monitor and analyze data in real time is a big part of the advantages the company is deriving from Power BI, Friedlander said. “We can refresh minute by minute and can see data coming from the field for sales and operations.”
Daily monitoring and analyzing of key metrics have enabled the operations and sales teams to make better decisions and change business outcomes, Friedlander said. “It’s allowed us to quickly see problem areas and address them immediately rather than at month’s end,” he explained.
For example, same-day analyses of sales data enable the company to adjust its product processing and packaging to meet market demand. “We can meet demand within a day,” said Friedlander. “When we harvest plants, we have strains that are cured and in the final stages of being packaged, so we can modify the rotation of strains to meet demand on any given day.”
Leveraging Key Metrics
Curio Wellness’s operations and sales teams use Power BI to track a variety of key metrics on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, Friedlander said. “We track many metrics,” he explained, “including sales by customer, sales by strain, dollars and weight sold, inventory on hand, and manufactured products. We also can see margins and selling price over any given period of time.”
Power BI helps the operations side keep in step with sales and marketing. “We can see the best-selling products in any given week, and modify our trimming and production schedules to meet the current demand,” Friedlander explained.
Power BI data also enables the sales and marketing teams to take steps to boost the sales of underperforming products. “We can see what’s selling and what isn’t, and we can put something on special or do special promotions for weaker selling products,” Friedlander added.
Power BI has proven to be fast, flexible, and easy to use, Friedlander said. “You can make changes on the fly, and you can look at the data in so many different ways.”
On the operations side, Power BI enables the operations team to monitor production and gauge its efficiency. “We can see what yields are out of the garden and the gross weights and class of product that results from a crop,” Friedlander explained.
Power BI also enables the operations team to see how the crops that are harvested measure up to the planned production. “We can set the results we aim to hit for a crop, and we can see how well we have performed to hit that metric—for example, the percentage of flower that falls into upper tier, middle tier, and lower tier,” Friedlander explained.
The financial team uses the forecasting power of Power BI in the planning and budgeting process. “We can forecast relatively easily based on historical trends, including growth rates by customer, in quantity and dollars,” Friedlander explained. “We can see trends and apply those trends to our forecast for the next year.”
Friedlander said he could ever see a time when he could say the potential uses of Power BI had reached an end.“There are endless uses for this,” he said. “It will continue to evolve to serve the business.”
The company currently is in the process of automating its Flash report, he said, which aggregates key metrics of entire business. “This will let users access data from a single source rather than dragging in data from multiple data sources, and the Flash report will be formatted for the purpose of visualizing the metrics,” he explained.
Going forward, Friedlander said the company plans to expand the use of Power BI in a number of ways, including creating customized dashboards for each team—executive, operations, sales, and marketing. “We also want to add the ability to analyze cost of sales, particularly on the cultivation side,” he said.
Better Than Expected
After using Power BI for a year, Friedlander said the tool had exceeded his expectations. “I love it,” he said, adding that, “I probably use it more than anybody on the team.”
Having never used Power BI before, Friedlander said he was surprised by the tools’ ease of use, ability to format data in many ways, and generally visualize data. “There’s a lot to like about Power BI,” he said. “It’s easy to create charts and visualize data in an appealing way. We use the mapping, which lets us see where the hotbed of activities is coming from.”
Is the company pleased with the return on investment in Power BI? “Absolutely,” said Friedlander. “The ability to get data in real time, and the amount of time you save in aggregating and reporting on data, you can’t put a value on that.”
Power BI has made life easier and benefited the business in numerous ways, said Friedlander, including better performance and decision making. “It also has given us a huge competitive advantage,” he added.
MaxQ Technologies provides state-of-the-art Power BI solutions and incorporates Power BI within advanced business solution suites. Contact us to learn more about Power BI and how your business could benefit from a Power BI solution.