There are so many technology bases businesses in the cannabis industry, each addressing a unique need. In this partner series, CUE Cannabis is speaking to Founders and owners within our network of partners.
CUE cannabis is a resource for dispensary owners, operators, cultivators, and anyone in the flower touching side of the business to find all the software that they need we can help you get connected with the best partners. We are highlighting not only what their business does but also what they are excited about for the future of the cannabis industry.
We recently caught up with Onfleet’s, Robert Fierro to discuss changing regulatory compliance for logistics, and the last mile of delivery in these uncertain time of COVID-19. We discussed how cannabis businesses can compete in this market with the right tools, strategies, and processes. Check out the full written interview below.
Sean Glynn: We are live here! We’re featuring some of our essential partners in this time because we believe when you know you’re not able to have as many people in your dispensary and with the shifting landscape of legislation to enable delivery. Today, we’ve got in our partner spotlight – Robert Fierro from the onfleet delivery & logistics platform. Onfleet is the trusted last-mile delivery solution for thousands of companies across dozens of industries, including food and beverage, retail, pharmacy, and legal adult-use and medical cannabis.
We are speaking Robert today about onfleet on what they do and also get insight into conversations that onfleet has been having with some of the customers that they’re servicing in the cannabis space. I’m going to hand it over to Robert. Thanks again for joining us
Robert Fierro: It’s going great. Thank you for having us today, Sean.
Sean Glynn: Can you give us a high-level overview of Onfleet?
Robert Fierro: Yeah. Onfleet is the last mile delivery & logistics provider. We provide a software solution to simplify something very complex, and as you had mentioned, we have thousands of customers across all different types of industries. We offer services in 700 cities around the world with multiple millions of deliveries a month. Some of the larger customers outside of cannabis we support our Total-One and Banana Republic in the Middle East and Napa auto parts. In the cannabis space, we assist most of the multi-state operators that are out there. Then we also help all different types of cannabis businesses from regional players to single dispensaries. We also assist a lot with supply chain management, so more of the distribution side of cannabis. With cannabis, we’ve become the de-facto solution for modern delivery software.
Sean Glynn: That’s a really crucial point. We’ve been noticing this in our conversations with cannabis clients across the country on how quickly things are changing in the legislation that will enable the delivery of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.
In which states are you currently operating and then which states are on your radar right now from the legislative perspective?
Robert Fierro: With COVID-19 and the changes that have been happening across the nation and pretty much internationally as well. As these deregulations of cannabis have come about, COVID-19 has pushed things on to deregulate even faster. We see this ability for cannabis companies to operate where they weren’t able to before.
The beauty in that is onfleet works with multiple integration partners, so wherever those integration partners can legally begin to sell cannabis onfleet is brought along. We’re operating in any state that can legally deliver cannabis. One state that we’re interested in right now is Oklahoma. Oklahoma has taken steps to broaden the consumers’ ability to access cannabis across the state. We see a massive influx over there. Across many states, we see this rapid push to allow for curbside in-store pickup and then also at-home delivery.
Sean Glynn: I think as an industry, that’s something that will benefit
everyone. Operations will be able to obviously drive sales through a delivery type of experience, especially right now. They can operate efficiently with the right platform& tools like Onfleet.
What is one of the biggest trends you’ve seen with retail dispensaries as they adapt their operating models in response to COVID-19 realities?
Robert Fierro: With COVID-19, I think one of the biggest things we’re seeing is employees’ repurposing. As dispensaries are limited in their ability to have customers come in store, the situation has changed back a bit, but there are still places where there’s a concern about proximity, so there are limitations and the number of people that can go into a location. We’re seeing this rapid move to curbside pickup to at-home delivery and trying to accommodate the customers the best they can.
Onfleet is there through all, and one of the beauties of onfleet is the simplicity in setting up and running. We’ve seen across many different locations companies that have had to shut down. Once they find onfleet within a day, they can be back up and running delivering out to their end consumers where they didn’t even have that ability before. Ease of use assists all of these different locations or different companies as they’re trying to keep their businesses running in these uncertain times.
Sean Glynn: what is your typical onboarding process?
Robert Fierro: yeah, it’s pretty easy. We have fantastic integration partners who assist in this process but even if the integration partner isn’t in place Onfleet is intuitive.
Our designers and engineers have done an incredible job building something that is easy to use, intuitive user interface, and best-in-class driver applications in both app stores. Companies approach onfleet, and we’ll set up a demonstration of our software, which takes about 30 minutes. We have built a robust support center to offer white glove guidance as people on board. Most customers can be up and running you know within 30 minutes of opening-up onfleet and signing up. It is that easy.
There’s a walkthrough as they go on the driver app; all of it is very intuitive. If you feel like there’s something you should be able to click on or right-click on, most customers we’ll figure it out, and they’ll be up and running. When you look at logistics software’s out there, they’re bulky and complicated; it takes time for the user to understand what they’re doing. With Onfleet, it’s just simple.
Sean Glynn: That is powerful to be & running in 30 minutes, considering if you’re a business that had to shut down due to unforeseen reasons. Are there any integration partners you’d like to highlight that are specific to the cannabis space?
Robert Fierro: It’s difficult to pick winners, but there are some notable leaders in integration, online ordering eCommerce, and even the seed to sale. I’d say some of the key partners that we’re working with, and we are certifying partners so that our end-users know which partners have the ability to work efficiently with Onfleet through the integration. Some of the partners I’d like to highlight are COVA, Blaze, Meadow, dutchie, Jane Technologies, FlowHub, Leaf Logix, and more. I do have like an endless list in this manner. More and more partners are coming online integrating with onfleet considering we are as I mentioned the de-facto solution in delivery.
Sean Glynn: Yeah. You mentioned some of the early heavy hitters in e-commerce enablement and some more significant point-of-sale systems. That’s important to keep your inventory straight and making sure you’re staying compliant. There are many moving parts when it comes to delivery logistics alone, and then you start adding in all those complexities around compliance and inventory management; it’s something that takes some time to make sure that you’ve got the tools that you need. Onfleet is in the right spot of excellence.
Are you set up to support the retail and wholesale sides of the cannabis industry?
Robert Fierro: Great question, Sean. We are a logistics platform, so we’re flexible enough to support both types of business models. We are working with the supply chain on the distribution side on the brand management side, but then we’re also supporting those last-mile logistics pieces to make sure that we’re getting to that end consumer in an efficient & compliant manner. We also make sure that all the customer messaging is going to alert the end-user of cannabis to understand where that delivery is in real-time, track the driver in recreational states, and provide feedback on the delivery experience. It is an all-inclusive package.
Sean Glynn: That’s good to know. What’s the best practice from one of the other industries that you support that should be applied to the cannabis space that they’re probably people aren’t thinking about right now?
Robert Fierro: Yeah, I would say that for us one place that we really represent is in the modern pharmaceutical industry. We do support almost all of the modern pharmaceutical players out there and all of those learnings around the HIPPA compliance has helped us be effective in the pharmaceutical space and make sure that there are are no missing pieces especially as we have to report back to different government organizations.
Sean Glynn: Yeah, and I would assume that would be around identity verification and age verification?
Robert Fierro: Exactly. In regards to just on PII compliance so making sure that only the necessary data is maintained on onfleet and shared with the appropriate people.
Sean Glynn: Can you share a customer success story that highlights Onfleet’s unique value to the cannabis space and last-mile delivery logistics?
Robert Fierro: We have several different companies that we could highlight and I think we have some press releases out there in regards to some of these companies. One of them is Hobo cannabis in Canada; another would be Caliva in California. Both are large brand dispensaries or retail locations, and what we found is that these companies had started with us years ago really in the infancy of cannabis retail, and in that time, they’ve now grown to be one of the major players in the space.
That is due to the ease of use and using onfleet and managing large amounts of orders efficiently and distributing them across drivers and different delivery zones. This type of management can get very complex and onfleet works to simplify it.
Sean Glynn: Simplicity is the DNA of Onfleet for sure. I really appreciate your time today, Robert. Is there anything else you wanted to leave us with?
Robert Fierro: We have a breadth of knowledge in the industry, so we’re always happy to act in a consultative nature if needed to help people understand how to get their delivery business up and running efficiently. We’re just delighted to help.
Sean Glynn: We can talk about your delivery needs or your POS needs, or we can help you get dots connected to multiple different categories of software & services for your business.
Thanks again, Robert, really appreciate your time.