Ready to maximize profits and optimize operations for your dispensary?
Cannabis inventory management is an essential part of running a successful business. 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 strategies and best practices that will help ensure maximum efficiency within your cannabis business.
How can Meadow help me run a successful cannabis dispensary?
With Meadow, dispensary owners can rest easy knowing that your inventory is taken care of—from accurately recording transactions to informing you of when it's time to order more product. Our cannabis POS system provides the tools necessary to stay up-to-date on trends in the industry, so your business never misses a beat.
Complete smaller, frequent cycle counts
Does your cannabis inventory management software offer cycle count functionality?
A cycle count is a physical count of cannabis products. This count compares what your inventory POS system has on record, compared to what is physically on-site.
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 state regulators such as the Department of Cannabis Control every 30 days in California).
Regular inventory audits do not have to be a daunting task
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.
Train up your staff
Concrete inventory management processes are imperative to running a successful dispensary. Make sure you create and implement standard operating procedures around managing your inventory. The next step is to train your staff up on these new procedures.
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.
- A user-friendly interface that any employee, no matter their experience, can use confidently.
- Read more about Meadow’s Cycle Count functionality.
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. In Meadow, you can track sales and adjustments by product or package ID. Keeping the actual inventory room organized will prevent confusion when counting or locating products.
Label your products with Metrc package data for faster transactions at POS and to ensure you are always selling from the correct batch
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 labeling 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.
Remember to count new product shipments when they’re delivered
Make sure that whenever a cannabis product delivery/shipment arrives, you take the time to count physical products. Make sure the physical shipment of product matches up with the Metrc paperwork before accepting it into your POS system. It’s easy for mistakes to happen during the distribution process so this step will save you from having an inaccurate product count down the line. During the delivery, you should also be confirming the Metrc manifest matches electronically and physically, that the product passes legal standards, and that the blue Metrc tags are accounted for.
Reduce opportunities for theft
All cannabis 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.
Consider your retail workflow
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 inventory management software system should make it easy to transfer inventory between locations as needed.
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. Proper inventory management strategies begin with careful monitoring of sales trends and the implementation of proactive measures to adjust stock levels accordingly. If you are stuck with product that isn't moving, make a plan to discount it, or communicate with the vendor for a return or reimbursement.
Reporting and Analytics
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.
Monitor thresholds, low inventory values and expiration dates
It’s important that you are always aware of what inventory needs replenishment. This should be at any given moment, or projected out into future dates in order for you to never run out unexpectedly. Preemptively restock according to customer demand patterns or other metrics that fit your cannabis dispensary best.
Organize yourself for success
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 when you take a look at your current inventory values, you can easily see what needs to be replenished. Enable email notifications for low inventory thresholds with our software solution.
Record expiration dates in your cannabis inventory management software
Manage expiration dates on the package level in Meadow. Meadow will inform you of product that is currently expired or when expiration dates are coming up. Proactively discount this inventory or make a plan for next steps to move through what could potentially become waste.
Practice the FIFO Method (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.