How Are Industry Leaders Continuing to Innovate During COVID-19?

This post sponsored by Total Grow Control.

For the cultivator looking to achieve the highest efficiency, most consistent yields, and most predictable revenue results, this year has been a real challenge to say the least. 

Total Grow Control Hardee System. Photo courtesy of Micayla Catanzariti.

“It’s a new landscape with COVID-19,” says Derek Oxford, CEO and Founder of Total Grow Control, an engineering and manufacturing company that builds reliable nutrient delivery systems and water filtration solutions.

Like many companies serving the cannabis industry, Total Grow Control thrives on in-person relationships and traditional sales processes.

Hence, social distancing dealt a heavy blow.

Yet, Total Grow Control (TGC) adapted.

They changed how they managed vendors and how they set up the manufacturing facility.

What’s more, all TGC’s latest systems have built-in cameras.

“This way, growers can continue to monitor critical functions even when they’re offsite,” Oxford says. 

We asked the rest of TGC’s leadership team about the challenges facing the industry today, and how they’re putting their heads together to bring new solutions to the table.

What is the greatest challenge in the cannabis industry right now?

Photo courtesy of Micayla Catanzariti.

Alan Waldheim, President/Co-Founder: Right now, the biggest challenge is trying to keep production moving forward with today’s “new normal.”

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, our suppliers are having issues keeping up with demand, which in turn affects our industry-leading turnaround for delivering products to our customers.

Bob Pullar, CFO: One of the primary challenges growers face is building and managing an infrastructure that can support the industry’s rapid growth.

One of the pillars of that infrastructure is people.

From craft to large-scale, maintaining a strong skill-base among crop management personnel is significant, especially where it involves proper procedures and technology.

Tavo Gutierrez, Chief Development Officer: The biggest challenges in our industry are lack of consistency in aroma, texture, taste, potency and the general experience.

The end-user needs to be able to know what to expect time and again.

Great value is when the customer knows what to expect for the price they are paying — regardless of the pandemic.

How can industry leaders help growers succeed?

Photo courtesy of Micayla Catanzariti.

AW: We believe we are one of the top of our industry at working with our customers in helping to design and implement our systems to adapt to new and improved growth methods.

We have worked in many commercial and industrial applications, and it’s exciting to be able to bring that experience to the cannabis industry.

BP: TGC is working on a “fertigation as a service” solution that will help growers move expensive technology purchases off the balance sheet and on to the P&L.

This offers visibility into the true cost of goods for each strain or plant, giving them predictable expenses month-to-month. 

TG: We at TGC are designing and manufacturing systems that give consistency to the plants during all the stages of growth, such as water, nutrients, light, CO2, and ventilation.

The end product should not be affected if the plants don’t get water at the planned time, due to COVID-19 or otherwise.

We’re also creating online platforms to better interact with prospects and customers since we can’t do that in person right now. 

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