First In, First Out (FIFO) is an inventory management best practice to ensure that the oldest inventory gets sold first.
Because cannabis products do have expiration dates, it's important that your entire staff knows how to follow the FIFO method to reduce waste and prevent products from spoiling on your shelves. Most testing laboratories’ display the product expiration date on the Certificates of Analysis, typically six months after the date of analysis.
In a Metrc world, you don't want to mix your product batches physically, so it's important to set up workflows that make it easy to sell the oldest products you have in stock before opening up new batches.
Make sure you are following best practices for dispensary inventory management, keeping your packages organized with proper labeling, and moving products as new packages arrive so the oldest inventory always gets sold first.
After receiving products, we recommend labeling your packages with the date received and the sell-by date on the outside of the cardboard box. Stick the corresponding Blue Metrc UID tag outside of the box as well; that way you can quickly identify the package. Next, ensure these boxes are physically organized so that newest products get stored in the back, and the oldest products are in front, always the first to go out the door.
Each dispensary has different inventory requirements and inventory must be received and stocked differently in each store plan.
Counter/Traditional Store Model
In the Counter/Traditional store model, inventory is kept in display cases that customers shopping in store can view. The newest product must go closest to the customer in the display case so your salesperson pulls from the back and doesn't have to reach in and pick the wrong product from the wrong package.
Back of House Fulfillment
All inventory is kept in the back of the house and you can have a really organized, easily audit-able inventory that is easy to pull from and you're able to get orders together quickly. FIFO is a breeze in this setup.
Open Floor Dispensary Flows
In the open floor dispensary model, it gets even more tricky if you're keeping some live product on the floor and some in back of house; ideally everything is kept in back of the house and orders are put together in a dedicated staging area, but sometimes operators want to keep some live product on shelves. Multiple locations add a layer of complexity to operations; make sure you have clear SOPS so your team knows how to keep track of inventory with this model.
Managing multiple inventory locations with Meadow is easy; you can easily track products across different physical locations (ie. Sales Floor, Flower Room, and The Vault). It also enables you to set up more than one sales channel so you can differentiate between inventory for orders made via your website (for Pickup and Delivery) or at POS (in store).
>> Learn more about dispensary inventory management