Improving Procurement for Medicinal Cannabis – Leafline Labs

“The software works well for us to simply create POs with easy fill-in-the blanks for saved company names and other information so staff can essentially use it as an address book. We then have a record that shows all POs we've placed over time as well, across multiple users.”

Kelsey Barnes
Staff Accountant

Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Employees: 50+
Location: Minnesota, United States

As legalisation of cannabis continues to see increasing acceptance around the world, the demand for safe and efficient processes to produce medical and recreational supplies of the drug has increased drastically.

Based out of Minnesota, Leafline Labs has been serving as a healthcare provider for the manufacturing and distribution of medicinal cannabis for several years, and currently operates four branch offices within the state.

As Staff Accountant, Kelsey Barnes saw a valuable opportunity to improve the procurement process supporting Leafline’s operations, and was eager to include Tradogram as an affordable candidate in their search for a solution.

Challenges faced in a traditional pharmaceutical production and distribution process:

The complete process of growing and distributing medicinal cannabis isn’t simple. Many specialised staff need access to clear communications between themselves and the suppliers they work with.

Kelsey explains the challenges faced by the team at Leafline Labs:

“We were struggling to keep track of all of our purchases from a variety of vendors, and didn’t have an easy way to carry out approvals for purchases before they were made.”

Reducing confusion during internal and external communications, moving through approval processes more quickly, and producing spending reports with accurate data were all identified as desirable improvements for Leafline Labs.

Kelsey Barnes

Kelsey Barnes

Staff Accountant at Leafline Labs

Objectives of a new procurement system:

To achieve desirable results, Leafline Labs needed to find a system for managing approvals, streamlining communications, and tracking all of the company’s purchases. Tradogram’s solutions were tested with these requirements in mind during the software sourcing process:

Purchase-to-Pay Tools

Including approval routing, requisition and purchase order creation forms, and automated 3-way match documentation for invoices and deliveries.

Supplier Management Tools

Profiles for tracking price histories, stored financial information for automating taxes, external files, and details for multiple points of contact.

Spend Control Tools

Providing accounting personnel with purchasing statistics and documentation tracked for instant report generation, and integrations with AP systems

The operational team at Leafline Labs

The following challenges were identified as objectives for improving Leafline Labs’ operations, and traceable KPIs were established to determine whether Tradogram was successful as a solution:

  • Reduce purchasing process time by structuring approvals
  • Improve communication quality between all stakeholders and suppliers
  • Establish and enforce budget limitations to eliminate overspending
  • Improve purchasing efficiency by strategically cutting costs, based on spending data

Resulting benefits from implementing Tradogram’s procurement system:

After implementing Tradogram, Kelsey reported the following “before and after” findings from a mix of statistics provided by the system, as well as observable changes to employee workflows:

Before Implementing Tradogram After Implementing Tradogram

Purchase Order Processing Time

(Including Creation, Approval, and Forwarding to Supplier)

2-8 Hours

A few minutes.

Communication with Team and Suppliers

Miscommunication of requirements, and time consuming approval processes. All communications streamlined and documented on-system. Nearly instant approval process.
Effectiveness of Spend Data

Limited to no spending records available, invoices as the only source of spend data.

Automated spend reports available based on specified criteria.

Closing remarks from Kelsey:

With several indoor facilities that span of 42,000 square feet, microclimate control systems installed, and medical purification implemented at scale, Leafline Labs is by no means a small pharmaceutical operation.

After implementing Tradogram, Leafline Labs was able to attain 1-5% operational cost savings by levering spend data to adjust their strategy. They were also able to entirely eliminate bottlenecks caused by manual approvals, resulting in drastic time savings within their processes. Because of Tradogram’s affordability, these advantages were attained at an excellent cost-benefit ratio.

Kelsey had this to share about her experience with Tradogram:

“Leafline Labs mainly uses Tradogram as a PO creation tool, and to track employee expense reports. The software works well for us to simply create POs with easy fill-in-the blanks for saved company names and other information so staff can essentially use it as an address book. We then have a record that shows all POs we’ve placed over time as well, across multiple users.  It also makes the approval process SO much easier!! Tradogram has greatly improved our efficiency in placing orders and has helped with the management of company spending!

I’d give Tradogram 5 stars for their customer service – they’ve always been very responsive whenever our team has a question.

I’d also recommend Tradogram to small or medium sized companies who would like an easy and cost effective way of keeping track of company expenses.”