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Inventory management is an essential part of running a successful cannabis retail operation. In order to ensure that your dispensary shelves are consistently stocked with the products customers want, you’ll need to stay on top of inventory levels, create procedures for receiving shipments and stocking shelves, and accurately record all transactions in order to comply with legal requirements. With proper inventory management practices in place, your business will maximize profits while remaining compliant. In this blog post, we'll take an in-depth look at inventory management best practices that will help ensure maximum efficiency within your dispensary business.
With Meadow, you can rest easy knowing that your dispensary’s inventory is taken care of—from accurately recording transactions to informing you of when it's time to order more product. Our software provides the tools necessary to stay up-to-date on trends in the industry, so your business never misses a beat.
Here are 7 best practices for streamlining your inventory management process:
1. Complete smaller, frequent cycle counts:
A cycle count is a physical count of inventory to look at what an inventory system thinks the shop has, compared to what is actually there. Inventory shrinkage can lead to discrepancies between assumed and actual numbers, so a complete count of all products is needed to accurately identify them (and required by Department of Cannabis Control to complete every 30 days in California). Instead of completing a full store cycle count once a month, it’s easier for your team to complete smaller, more frequent counts of different sections or categories of products to ensure that all the inventory is accounted for and accurately recorded.
Meadow’s Cycle Count Feature includes:
- Barcode scanning for fast and accurate counts using an iPad or laptop.
- Count while you’re open using the conflicts tab, which accounts for any changes in inventory while you’re counting.
- Immediate loss/theft detection that notifies you of any discrepancy within your expected inventory.
- Read more about Meadow’s Cycle Count functionality.
2. Separate METRC batches and keep your inventory room organized:
Keeping track of multiple batches of stock can be complex, which is why it’s important to store them separately by their SKUs or tags. Additionally, in Meadow, you can track inventory transactions on the product level or in a report. Also, keeping the actual inventory room organized will prevent confusion when counting or looking up products.
Use Meadow’s proprietary Metrc Labeling system to sticker your products with a QR code to ensure your budtenders are selling from the right packages. Meadow labels can include product titles, brand names, price, and the METRC batch ID. Too much information? Maybe the smaller label size is better for your shop. If you’re not into stickering products, Meadow's Socket Scanners are capable of reading Metrc Package IDs provided by distributors as well as UPC Barcodes. Read more about Meadow’s Metrc Integration.
3. Remember to count new product shipments when they’re delivered:
Make sure that whenever a shipment arrives, you take the time to count physical products to make sure it matches up with the paperwork before accepting it into your POS system. It’s easy for mistakes to happen during distribution so this step will save you from having an inaccurate product count down the line.
4. Reduce opportunities for theft:
All dispensaries have at least some risk of theft due to the nature of their products, so it pays off in more ways than one to have security measures in place—from cameras and alarms, to well-trained staff members who are actively monitoring activity within the premises. If your retail floor model allows for customers to add items to their own basket, keep a limited inventory supply on the floor, and the rest in backstock or a vault. Your POS should make it easy to transfer inventory between locations as needed.
5. Avoid ordering products that are not selling:
If certain products aren’t moving, don’t continue stocking them—this will just lead to unnecessary overstock waste that could have been avoided with better product forecasting techniques and analysis of sales data.
With Meadow's real-time accurate reports and pre-built dashboards, retailers can easily gain insight into what products are being sold, on which sales channels, how quickly, and to whom. With Meadow’s Premium Inventory Velocity & Insights, you can:
- Maximize your profits by ensuring you have just the right amount of inventory on hand without downloading a report.
- Easily calculate cost and revenue to identify high-value items, as well as which products may need more attention or less stock.
- Monitor trends with detailed insights into sales patterns over any given time frame.
- Discover how many days of inventory you have left at current sales velocity.
Rely on accurate, real-time data to make expensive, important decisions for your dispensary operation.
This data enables retailers to effectively plan their inventory, purchase new products efficiently, streamline account balances and stay informed of all aspects of their cannabis retail operation.
6. Monitor thresholds, low inventory values and expiration dates:
It’s important that you remain aware of how much stock needs replenishment. This should be at any given moment as well as projected out into future dates in order for you to never run out unexpectedly. Instead, preemptively restock according to customer demand patterns or other metrics that fit your unique situation best.
Meadow can help you by accurately informing you of when you need to purchase more product or discount current stock based on actual data in realtime with the Velocity feature. You can tag your inventory with your own custom low threshold values so as you take a look at your current inventory values and easily see what needs to be replenished. Also, manage expiration dates on the package level in Meadow.
7. Practice FIFO (First In First Out):
Ensure that you are adhering to the highest standards of inventory management in your shop, labeling packages properly, and reorganizing products as new shipments arrive so that the oldest items are always sold first, before they expire and must be destroyed. This is an industry standard practice where oldest packages are used first in order to minimize spoilage risk while also providing customers with fresher products every time they purchase an item from your dispensary.
By following the above steps, you can ensure that your dispensary has an efficient inventory management system in place. This will not only help to keep customers happy by ensuring that they can always find the products they want on your shelves, but it will also save you time and money in the long run. If you’d like to learn more about how Meadow’s cannabis retail software can help streamline your inventory management procedures, book a demo with us today. We’ll be happy to walk you through the features and answer any questions you have.
Read more about Dispensary Inventory Management best practices.