13 May

A Guide to Training Your Staff on Cannabis Automation

As technology advances, many cannabis businesses are incorporating these technologies into their industry operations and benefitting from the advantages of automation. From production quality to efficiency, this equipment is helping level up brand reputation and the final customer experience.

However, what’s important for these operators to remember is that this transition requires significant change. Change for your staff, your operation, and your company as a whole.

This guide offers strategic advice on preparing your team for a seamless integration of automation into your cannabis operations.

Choose the right team for the automation job

The first step in integrating automation into your production line is assembling the right team. Select individuals who already possess mechanical skills or have experience with automation. Their prior knowledge will help minimize the learning curve and enable them to grasp the functionality of new systems quickly.

For businesses operating multiple shifts, pair experienced workers with less experienced ones. This mentorship approach ensures knowledge transfer and operational continuity, reducing training time and costs.

First and foremost, executing a successful automated cannabis operation means being backed by the right team. Select individuals who already possess mechanical skills or knowledge in the workplace. This prior knowledge and experience will help minimize the learning curve and allow them to pick up and understand the functionality of your new automated preroll machine more quickly.

If your cannabis operation organizes multiple shifts, pair experienced workers with less (or newly) experienced workers, for instance, a senior-level worker with a more mid or beginner-skill employee. This helps evenly disperse work experience and skills among your team. This approach ensures knowledge transfer and operational continuity, reducing training time and costs for your operation.

Hire adequate support for your team

Although adding automation to your cannabis production process will ultimately make your life easier as an operator and increase your product quality and productivity, don’t overlook the need for supervision or oversight. Transitioning to an automated operation will require some skill and training, and a managerial role can help streamline these operations and further set your team up for success.

Many commercial cannabis operators hire a Factory or Operator Manager, whose role is to ensure all automated equipment and employees are running smoothly and efficiently. This managerial role is critical in setting your team up for success by maintaining ideal operation conditions and providing ongoing training and support to your team.

Additionally, many automated cannabis equipment providers offer comprehensive post-sale support so you can access information if any mechanical issues or questions arise. For instance, PreRoll-Er offers live, on-site training and ongoing support that connects directly to your machines for accurate troubleshooting and diagnosis if something is wrong with your automated cannabis machine.

Prepare your staff in advance for new cannabis equipment

When introducing a new automated machine to your team, preparation is key. Be sure to update all standard operating procedures (SOPs) and ensure they are clearly communicated to your staff. Like a restaurant kitchen staff that runs food and ingredient prep before the peak business hours, coordinate upstream tasks to your works that help to think ahead and prepare your automated procedure for an even more streamlined operation.

For automated preroll manufacturing, this process could mean:

  • Grinding and sifting your products
  • Preparing your cones in the machine trays
  • Cleaning the machine between operators
  • Preparing your toolings according to the production

By preparing and managing your automated process with upstream tasks, you’re reducing the risk of bottlenecks and instead, maximizing your operation’s efficiency.

Set expectations about automation appropriately

A common misconception about automated cannabis processing is that jobs and labor are replaced. This is not necessarily the case, as automated cannabis machines enhance and engage in more efficient productivity rather than remove and replace existing jobs. Operators who have incorporated cannabis automation in their procedures open up their staff and team to more meaningful roles within the company.

Whether it’s focusing on upstream tasks, managing a team of automated operators, or adjusting your internal SOPs for processing – automated cannabis machinery allows you to efficiently shift your focus to more important details of your operation.

When shifting into cannabis automation, explain to your team that automation is meant to help address workforce shortages and support business growth. Clearly communicating the importance of machine maintenance to your team will also avoid any downtime and instead, maximize output quality.

Treat your automated machine like another team member – don’t let any automated machines run or work alone while no one is supervising, and remember that the care you put into your machine will provide better results.

In all, this will secure their employment and provide opportunities to grow and advance, as individuals and as a team.

Make sure your cannabis automation equipment actually operates

Be sure your operators operate! Practical machine operation is vital. There have been instances where operations were halted because staff were needed elsewhere. Automation is designed to accelerate your workforce, not to function autonomously without oversight. It’s important to organize staff duties to ensure that machines run whenever they should while avoiding costly downtimes.

There are a couple of examples of customers using PreRoll-Er’s automated preroll machines who have had to shut down the machine because the operators were occupied with other tasks.

In one instance, a cannabis operator shut down the machine because the supervising operator needed to do paperwork. In another instance, the operator handling the automated machine had to pause to handle putting the finished pre-rolls in tubes. This could have been easily streamlined and solved with one of the many cannabis packaging solutions from PreRoll-Er – like our PreRoll-Er Line, which fits and runs cohesively with any of our automated preroll machines.

We recommend browsing our full inventory of cannabis packaging solutions to learn how to automate every possible step of your cannabis operation.

Incorporating cannabis automation into your manufacturing operation means strategizing the most efficient tasks and steps to ensure your machine is actively running and operating, constantly. Every second the machine is not producing, you’re losing money.

Best cannabis automation equipment in the industry

Implementing automation in your cannabis business is a transformative move that can significantly affect your entire company – from your annual revenue to your bottom line. More importantly, the success of this automated integration heavily relies on how well your staff is trained and supported.

Remember, the decision to automate should not be made in isolation. Think of the larger picture – remind your staff this doesn’t replace jobs or tasks, but efficiently enhances the productivity and work value of your day-to-day operations. Value your staff by involving them in the process, providing necessary training, and equipping them with the tools needed for success.

At PreRoll-Er, we are committed to partnering with commercial cannabis manufacturers and operators to tailor automation solutions that fit your operational needs and complement your experienced team.

After you’ve purchased an automated preroll or cannabis packaging solution from us, the partnership doesn’t stop there. With technicians stationed across both the U.S. and Canada, we’re here every step of the way – offering both remote and in-person support to address any issue that arises promptly and effectively.

Online portal access with your automated machine purchase allows you exclusive access to additional online resources, from instruction manuals and the ability to track your service requests. PreRoll-Er is here to help you transition your workforce and company to a more streamlined, automated way of cannabis processing.

Ready to get started with automation for your operation? For more information on our automation technologies and to explore how we can help you transition smoothly, visit us at PreRoll-Er Contact Page.

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