Maximum Yield's Industry News August/September 2020 - Page 20

BALANCING PRODUCT DEMAND AND WORKFORCE IN A PANDEMIC by Kent Gruetzmacher With COVID-19 impacting businesses around the world, Kent Gruetzmacher caught up with urban-gro’s Colin Ferrian to discuss how his company’s gro-care platform is helping cannabis firms through these challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the cannabis industry in ways that were inconceivable several months ago. These challenges affect every facet of the cannabis business, from retail shopping to international supply chain. Even more, the pandemic has made us reassess the way we do business — especially concerning technology. While the world shares in our newfound reliance on technology for such things as communications, the cannabis industry has taken things even further with the automation of growrooms. However, this cultivation approach did not necessarily begin with COVID-19. urban-gro is an engineering and design firm dedicated to the modernization of cannabis cultivation. They have gained a reputation as leaders in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) as related to cannabis growing. They help commercial growers design and manage cultivation facilities, while focusing on such things as irrigation, lighting, layout, and environmental controls. Interestingly, urban-gro recently launched a training and management program named “gro-care.” This service is designed specifically to help growers operate, manage, and service horticultural technology. gro-care is an expansive platform that offers hands-on consulting for today’s grow equipment, including employee training, operations guidance, and phone support. As COVID-19 forced cultivators to slim down workforces, while simultaneously beefing up automation, gro-care launched when the industry seems to have needed it most. To help Industry News readers get a better understanding of urban-gro and gro-care, we reached out to their Director of Enterprise Solutions, Colin Ferrian. Here is how the conversation went: 20 Maximum Yield