Cannabis POS Software & Retail Blog

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7 Dispensary Inventory Control Tips

As the operator of a cannabis dispensary, you are well-aware of the headaches involved in day-to-day management. Human error can trigger inventory audits, and you could be fined or worse. Products can sell out or expire, reporting to government agencies can seem overwhelming, and inventory theft by employees is also an issue.

When a dispensary is not run efficiently, it can lead to lower productivity and higher labor costs. However, with so many aspects of the business to run, it’s difficult to stay on top of it all yourself.

This guide to cannabis inventory management will make your life easier. Keep reading to learn more about how efficient inventory management can positively impact your cannabis dispensary’s profitability.

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Why Is Cannabis Inventory Management Important?

In most states with legal cannabis, there is an established system you must follow if you want to stay in business. Dispensary operators are legally required to account for every gram of cannabis, and failure to do so can result in fines and penalties, including possibly losing your license for good.

It’s not worth taking any chances with your inventory management. An investment in seed-to-sale software that works together with your state’s reporting system is essential to remaining compliant.

Dispensary Inventory Control Tips to Help You Stay Compliant & Manage More Effectively

If you aren’t using these tips now, it’s time to start, especially if you run a chain of dispensaries.

1. Understand Inventory Management Principles

There are a few basic inventory management best practices every dispensary operator should follow.

  • Weigh each batch as it comes in to minimize waste
  • Check-in each unit of inventory as it arrives
  • Dedicate time to pre-packaging your stock
  • Conduct daily—or at least weekly—inventory of your stock
  • Use inventory software that allows the state to see what you have in real-time

2. Know Where the Cannabis Industry Deviates from Typical Inventory Management

The inventory management software used in other businesses don’t work for cannabis businesses because they simply aren’t adequate. Dispensaries have very specific legal needs.

In this industry, inventory mismanagement can cost you a lot more than lost profits—it can cost you your license. You need software that will work with your state’s regulations to show that you are keeping compliant.

3. Use Data & Analytics to Predict Trends

Data and analytics can be used to predict trends by letting you see what is selling. Seed-to-sale software can be used to create customer profiles that will allow you to better understand your customer’s needs.

4. Strike the Balance Between Keeping Things In Stock While Avoiding Overbuying

Overbuying means having extra product sitting around, taking up space without generating any profits. Worse still, the expiration date may be looming. When this happens, you’ll end up having to sell at a discounted rate, which means taking a loss.

If you run low on stock for certain items, your customers may leave empty-handed and head straight for your competitors. Or they could settle for a product they didn’t intend to buy, leaving them disappointed.

You can use data to learn about what is selling and what is not. Seed-to-sale software can alert you to low stock, remind you to reorder, and tell you when it’s the peak time to buy.

5. Use Inventory Management Software to Increase Efficiency

Seed-to-sale software has allowed dispensary operators to stay compliant, all while increasing efficiency. This technology will streamline the processes that make your business profitable. It will also free you up to focus on your customers.

Anyone running a dispensary knows that inventory management can be a full-time job in itself. However, imagine being able to download and fill out a template to track your inventory, then being able to submit that information to state authorities through the same system instead of having to conduct a full periodic audits of your store. With seed-to-sale software, you can do just that.

6. Train Staff to Avoid Data Entry Problems

Your staff should be trained in proper inventory count techniques with and without automation. Again, this is an area where there is simply no room for human error, and no technology is foolproof. Ideally your staff will have a deep understanding of how to conduct inventory counts that will allow them to integrate their own counts into your software as well.

7. Automate What You Can

Automating your inventory is the easiest way to make keeping track of your inventory accurate and efficient. Software can take the place of two employees, allowing you to keep your costs lower. On top of that, automation can communicate directly with the state’s reporting system in real-time in a way your employees cannot.

Seed-to-sale POS software is something any dispensary with growth in mind needs to use to stay on top of their inventory management. When used in conjunction with proper training and knowledge of inventory techniques, this technology will revolutionize the way you do business.

In this industry, the importance of your inventory management practices cannot be overstated. Software is the easiest way to manage your inventory, to plan ahead, and to ensure customer satisfaction. If you’re ready to decrease your chances of manual errors while increasing your bottom-line, run a smart and compliant dispensary with seed-to-sale software.

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Posted by Jeremy O'Keefe

Jeremy O'Keefe is the CEO of Yobi, an industry leader in the cannabis tech marketplace. Jeremy's extensive experience in designing and developing retail and operational software for partners such as Amazon and Zappos are what drove him to build a best-in-class platform to serve the burgeoning cannabis market. Prior to starting Yobi, Jeremy worked as a Project Manager/Software Engineer for some of the largest infrastructure projects in the US and served in the Air Force as an Electronic Warfare Technician for 8 years.

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