How Robots Run our Cannabis Company

BeachHead

A small army of robots work twenty-four hours a day at Tantalus Labs. They talk to each other, and to us. They have drastically shaped our enterprise.

It started from humble beginnings, to see if Slack, a digital team collaboration tool, could work with us. It did. But then we tested how far we could push Slack to work for us. The results proved nothing short of transformative.

Tantalus Labs is rooted in the principle of advancing frontiers. We recently completed construction of North America’s most advanced greenhouse for cannabis cultivation. The facility, called SunLab, often gets the press, but a core of organizational behaviour and communication define our success within that environment.

We believe that company-wide discipline in organizational behaviour sets the foundation for world class results. While we have guidelines to outline best practices, much of our communication success is a result of the technology we use. Slack is a core contributor to this.

Uniting 5 Companies Under One

One unique aspect of the nascent cannabis industry in Canada is that Licensed Producers (LPs) are obligated to at least some degree of vertical integration. Industries often balkanize into tiers of products and services, allowing individual companies to specialise. With strict regulations, many LPs currently wrangle nearly every aspect of the supply chain with mixed success.

From product development and cultivation, to fulfillment and security, Tantalus has various disciplines working together effectively under one roof. Slack helps us keep information flowing across the company’s divisions, allowing us to operate as one cohesive group.

Companies often assign Slack channels to general business duties such as Marketing, Sales, or Product Development. Tantalus does this, but our business necessitates that we go one step further to incorporate enterprise-specific specializations, such as security. Slack integrations allow us to operate an award-winning security system without a bloated security team.

Award Winning Security Leveraging a Team of Robots

Security is a big deal at Tantalus Labs. SunLab employs over one hundred surveillance cameras. All access points leverage two factor authentication, and all secure zones are monitored for who is accessing for what and when. In the past, this level of security generally necessitates a full time security team to constantly monitor screens and stay vigilant for anomalies.

Today, we are able to monitor ongoing events with computer vision AI, and utilize Slack to alert managers if an events occurs that falls outside of the process flow that we have taught it. Integrations in our software even upload real time photos from the triggered camera into Slack. We utilize a #securitylog channel with the help of a service called Pagerduty to record all events with exceptional granularity. This saves Tantalus Labs time and money while providing security outcomes that might otherwise be compromised by human error.

Linking Mobile and Desktop Colleagues

Due to our varied disciplines, Team Tantalus encompasses a wide variety of jobs in various problem arenas. While an accountant spends their time in front of a computer screen in the office, an agricultural operator’s only screen time is with a mobile device in the greenhouse. The ability of Slack to stay agnostic to a variety of devices has allowed us to lean into its use, company wide.

An Off-the-Shelf Product, Customized for Our Business

Slack helps Tantalus bring relevant conversations into one place. It allows the company to organise its thoughts, earn group buy-in for decisions, and collect a record of decisions made.

Digging deeper, we utilize custom integrations with AI and machine learning to automate processes and reduce the workload on our team. By leveraging technology in this way, we’re using less resources and making more progress towards our goal, of advancing the frontier of cannabis into sustainable, Sungrown infrastructure.