Case Study

One-Time Capital Costs

This case study shows how 3C evaluated a client’s existing systems to identify key areas for improvement. As a result, 3C’s expert guidance yielded powerful change that immediately impacted bottom line profits.

At the time 3C was retained, our clients were employing double-ended (DE), High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps in the production of flower, which was a fairly reliable technology at the time. However, the initial head grower had hung the lights in such a way that each lamp was spaced only four feet off center, rather than the optimal five feet. DE lamps will produce a productive footprint of 25 square feet, so our first recommendation was to re-space the lights accordingly. This required the use of two contractors billed at a rate of $40/hour, for a total of 64 hours, totaling $2,560 to address the lighting in the flower room. During that time, ballasts – which were previously inaccessible to the cultivation staff while plants were in the room – were re-positioned so that the wattages of the lamps could be easily adjusted throughout the flowering process.

New, adjustable ratchets were also required so that the light fixtures could be raised and lowered. This expense was $5 each for 120 pairs, and an additional $600 was required for basic supplies. The trellis frames also had to be altered to take advantage of each light’s full footprint, meaning additional PVC pipe was required along with additional labor from the cultivation staff. The PVC cost $500, and each room required 4 hours of labor at $20/hour, totaling $820 to adjust the trellis frames in all four rooms.

Supplies to construct automatic irrigation for all four flower rooms cost $2,000. Labor hours from the cultivation staff were not counted toward the construction of the irrigation systems; this is because their subsequent operation reduced time spent on irrigation and fertilization by over 75%. Considering this, total labor hours did not decrease but instead were able to be spent more productively on tasks like topping, thinning, and staking plants prior to flowering. This was done to ensure that they entered the final stage of cultivation prepared to produce optimally.

To realize this 75% decrease in required resources, the net total to re-space the light fixtures, reposition the ballasts, adjust the trellis frames, and install automatic irrigation accordingly was only $5,980.

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