Dispensary Inventory Management Tips for Cannabis Retailers of All Sizes

Effective inventory management is a top priority for cannabis dispensary owners and managers.

Knowing where your cannabis inventory is, how much you have on hand, and when you will need to reorder products is an essential part of the business to properly serve your customers and compete in an increasingly crowded industrial space.

For cannabis dispensaries, inventory management can be difficult. Inventory can often represent a significant part of a business’s expenses and must be managed properly to remain profitable.

But when it comes to cannabis business, there is also the concern about dispensary compliance. These days, it is imperative that cannabis retailers of all types and sizes have the right tools and technology to simplify inventory management processes, eliminate tedious manual labor, and better organize their ever-growing cannabis inventory. Here are some tips for dispensary owners and managers to help make your dispensary inventory management easy and profitable.

1: Inventory auditing standards

Auditing your inventory or the process of physically counting all the cannabis products in your store is critical for accurate reporting and overall dispensary compliance.

Inventory auditing best practices for dispensaries:

Define your store audit processes Delegate roles and responsibilities to your staff Create a Standard Operating Procedures Manual Require your staff to use your SOP Implement employee dispensary training Conduct weekly inventory audits

2: Integrate dispensary inventory management software

Software makes things easier. Therefore, you will need to choose a simple yet robust dispensary inventory management solution to help you manage your cannabis inventory. You’ll also want to make sure your dispensary POS system integrates with other tools, such as updating inventory availability in real time with customer dispensary menus online, and more.

The most important integration for any cannabis dispensary inventory management software system is Metrc, which is an inventory tracking system that state regulators use to monitor activity and overall dispensary compliance. This allows you:

Import new packages and inventory from Metrc Verify package labels with previously completed inventory information Submit sales reports to Metrc daily or automatically after each sale Reconcile physical and reported dispensary inventory with Metrc Reporting

A Metrc Discrepancy Report will only help you analyze inconsistencies between your dispensary’s inventory software system and Metrc’s inventories by providing a detailed spreadsheet of errors so that you can easily track and correct each and every one of the mistakes.

3: Product order planning

Although dispensaries often put a lot of effort into inventory planning, they will undoubtedly run into situations that will ruin their best laid plans, such as:

External factors can cause specific products to sell faster (or slower) than expected. Sales spikes based on seasonality, discounts, and regulatory changes can cause product shortages. A new product disconnects with customers and its stock remains on its shelf occupying a space that should be delegated to the best-selling products. New legal regulations can change products or processes dramatically. Cash flow problems impede your ability to purchase other necessary products. Supplier or transportation delays due to staffing, weather, etc.

Regardless of the number of problems that may arise internally or externally, it is critical that all retail cannabis dispensaries have contingency plans for the unexpected.

4: Use a mobile inventory app

If you are trying to track and manage your inventory of cannabis products by hand, you not only have a high probability of human error, but you will also be wasting your precious time. Managing dispensary inventory is time consuming and it is important to streamline processes for your team and avoid as many costly mistakes as possible.

Proper inventory management technology will save your team hours and hours every day auditing and managing your dispensary inventory. For example, you can use Flowhub’s dispensary inventory management application Stash, which makes it a breeze to conduct regular inventory audits simply by scanning SKU or package labels and confirming quantities rather than counting them by hand.

With this, your staff can also set up discrepancy approval workflows so a manager can check their work and investigate any errors before reporting everything to Metrc compliance.

By using a robust cannabis retail management platform, such as Flowhub or dispensary inventory management, point of sale and fulfillment, your dispensary operations will run smoothly and profits can be substantially higher than what they would be without the use of these cannabis technology software solutions.

At the end of the day, inventory control is the machine that drives growth and stability in retail cannabis dispensaries. Your store’s ability to effectively store, track, and analyze your product stock allows your dispensary to be much more effective, agile, and responsive to changing customer demands that arise.

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