Meet Erika Tingey. She’s Head of Product at Backbone, a fully customizable supply-chain management platform, tracking production, compliance, COGS, yields, and audit reporting data in real time. Around the world, cannabis and hemp growers are facing an increasing market demand. Producers are faced with new challenges in their supply chain on an unprecedented scale. That’s where pioneering software company Backbone comes in. Because they’ve witnessed first-hand the struggles and challenges cannabis and hemp growers faced in Humboldt County, CA and across the country, they are inspired to solve their problems.
That’s where Erika comes in. Her work is driven by solving the unique problems cannabis companies face, developing features based on client insights, while minding the future vision for Backbone products. Drawing from a background as a software engineer at QuickBooks and Product Management at Sage Intacct, Erika brings expertise in financial systems, accounting, and inventory to the needs of mid-tier enterprise customers. Additionally, Erika performs product design, data analysis, problem-solving, customer research, and helps develop strong engineering teams. Intrigued by Erika’s problem solving prowess, we’re highlighting her cannabis journey here at Green Market Report.
When did you start working in cannabis?
Erika Tingey: I started at Backbone in January of 2019. It was my first introduction to the cannabis industry, but I was lucky enough to have some veteran cannabis operators, like Dr. Peter Huson, to introduce me. I’ve visited a lot of cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution customers, and followed them around, learning what problems they have and what their biggest needs are. Cannabis has some really interesting and unique issues I haven’t encountered before, so it’s been a fun journey to learn about it and try to work through solutions.
What is your vision and mission for your professional cannabis endeavors?
ET: To help people in the cannabis industry be successful in their businesses, by building software that makes their lives easier.
How did your cannabis journey begin?
ET: In the early days at Intuit, we were focused on solving customer problems. We spent time doing “follow me homes” where we would go to our customer’s office to observe them and learn what pain points they had, so we could make software that would actually make their lives easier. When I started learning about the cannabis industry, I knew that I wanted to bring that sensibility to cannabis software.
What is your superpower?
ET: Listening! I’ve found that the best way to really understand people and the world around me is to listen for that extra moment — when I could jump in and talk, but if I wait, they might say that last thing that’s really important.
What is your vision for women in this industry?
ET: As with a lot of industries, cannabis seems to be male dominated. But there are amazing women doing great things in our industry, and our community is very supportive and empowering to other women. If you’re getting into cannabis, or even have been around for a while, reach out and you’ll find some incredible women there to lend a hand.
Who are some women you admire in the industry?
ET: Amanda Friedman is doing impactful community work. Rebecca Gasca at Pistil & Stigma is another woman I admire.