Welcome back to the partner spotlight! At Elevated Signals, we work with the industry’s best to bring our customers valuable insight and support to help their businesses thrive. Our partners have tried and true expertise and experience, and we’re excited to showcase their services and thought leadership through this series.
Today’s interview is all about Sarah Seale Inc. - a veteran of de-risking early, middle, and late-stage businesses to ensure a company's organizational strategy enables sustainable growth and repeatable and scalable processes. At the helm is CEO Sarah Seale, who grew up in Barbados and has worked with over 50 cannabis companies, including transportation, cultivation, processing and ancillary businesses 🚚!
We sat with Sarah to ask her about her business, her perspectives on the cannabis industry, and the biggest challenges facing producers in 2023.
What services do you offer?
“My company specializes in aligning organizational strategy with the business strategy and vision. We work to streamline operations and ensure that the right teams are in place and the company is set up for success.”
“The competitors in this industry have tended to specialize in one area - HR or recruitment, for example. My team and I work to set up the organization either from start-up mode or on a large scale, so we cover many brackets, but we will set up the foundations needed for a successful HR department, for example, or assist a current HR team on large-scale recruitment. The other side of my role involves arranging the team that is called when things have gone wrong, and a strategic restructuring plan needs to be discussed.”
What type of businesses do you typically work with?
“I’ve worked exclusively in the cannabis industry for the past few years. Previous to that, I worked with CPG and franchise model companies.”
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing cannabis producers in 2023?
“The biggest challenges revolve around financing and strict regulations. Specifically, the high taxation rate is creating extreme difficulties in the sector. We operate with regulations that require high upfront taxes, and yet the government-operated distribution system takes 60 days to pay POs, so unless companies have very deep pockets, they are finding themselves in extreme cash flow problems. In tandem, due to the number of companies that have gone under, there is a distrust for the sector and a lack of financing options both for start-ups and established companies.”
How did you first get into the cannabis industry?
“I was fascinated by the new industry, and I had my first experience as a recruiter going into a large LP to help with their search for a Marketing Manager. When I started working there, people were quite literally running around, leaving the poor HR manager stressed and overwhelmed. I sat her down and we had an open talk about the problems the company was facing. Mainly insufficient recruitment strategy, employee retention in a volatile industry, and the board's lack of support for organizational strategy. For context, there was a lot of dysfunction at the C suite level, where there was a friends and family hiring process, which meant that many unqualified people were sitting in strategic roles that were deeply hurting the company's progress. After an hour-long meeting where she outlined about 50 problems the company had, I realized that I could solve around 30 of them, and I had a great network of professionals that could help with other areas. She called in the CEO, and we had an on-the-spot strategy session around it.”
“That inspired me to set up a business providing a broad business strategy-based service to the industry. Many of my initial clients were legacy cultivators who had a love and a passion for the plant but didn't have the skill set to translate that into a strategic business or had tried and were failing to get past the initial start-up phase. This is how I found myself quite uniquely suited to being a strategy-minded problem solver.”
What is your favourite thing about working in cannabis?
“The people! We work exceptionally hard and at light speed, and the heart and belief of the people behind the scenes that are developing this industry is what keeps us all driven.”
How Elevated Signals and Sarah Seale work together
Sarah has a unique subset of experiences that enable her to ensure her customers operate long enough to realize their vision. A de-risking maestro, if you will. A large part of de-risking a company's operations is identifying the gaps and bottlenecks of a customer's supply chain, ultimately alleviating those bottlenecks.
A crucial part of this de-risking of her customers' operations is visibility and transparency into data - QA work, inventory movements, lot traceability, crop yields, vendor and supplier validation, SOP status, and labour tracking. All this data helps Sarah curate a story about the health of her customer’s company, the gaps and inefficiencies that prevent operational scale, and where human resources can be optimized.
Elevated Signals has the functions and features built to optimize labour practices and make remote auditing easy and transparent.
About Elevated Signals
Elevated Signals is a manufacturing software for cannabis producers tired of battling paper, spreadsheets and outdated seed-to-sale software.
We help our customers streamline data collection and aggregation by combining digital batch production records, inventory tracking and environmental data into a single customizable platform. This allows our customers significantly lower costs and make informed business decisions.
Want to learn more about our cannabis software can save your business time and money? Check out our products page or book a demo today!