You’ve started your cannabis dispensary, followed your cannabis compliance checklist, you’ve secured your supply, and now you need to streamline your inventory management. We could talk about inventory best practices for days, but right now, we’ll stick to three of our biggest tips.
1. Implement the FIFO method.
First In, First Out–commonly known as FIFO–is a widely used asset management system. Under FIFO, the product you receive first gets sold first. It’s a great way to prevent your product from drying up, expiring, or otherwise becoming unsellable.
In order to maximize FIFO’s benefits, you need to organize your stock appropriately. Much like you see at grocery stores, your oldest products should be stored in front of the newest products. Then, fulfill orders using the very first product available, working from the front of the stock line backward.
Not only will this system mitigate inventory (and thus financial) loss, it’ll also ensure that your customers get fresh, high-quality cannabis with every purchase.
2. Use inventory management software.
One of the quickest ways to simplify your cannabis inventory management is to utilize software designed for that purpose. Ideally, you’ll use a program that integrates with your POS and is already a part of your cannabis tech stack, as well as with any locally or state-mandated tracking programs, like Metrc.
BLAZE, for example, is an all-in-one solution that not only manages your orders but also updates your inventory in real time. This also means that your sales are promptly reported to your jurisdiction’s tracking system, saving you the hassle.
Another key benefit of using software like BLAZE? You can compare the results of your hard audit to what’s recorded in your system. If the numbers don’t match up, you’ll know right away what products are unaccounted for. This is crucial in the cannabis industry, where inventory management is so heavily regulated.
3. Conduct regular cannabis inventory audits.
Along those lines, you should do a physical inventory count at least every two weeks, although weekly is better. This should be common practice in your dispensary, even with inventory management software in place. Your software may be reliable, but humans will be humans, after all.
This hard audit serves as a failsafe of sorts to make sure that you catch any discrepancies–and the responsible parties–before an official auditor does. Imagine a government compliance officer coming in to check your records only to find that your sales and inventory don’t match up. Imagine how that will look to the officer–and what that could mean for your dispensary.
You can train your most trusted employees to do your inventory audits, or you can hire a third party auditor. Either way, make it a habit to physically count your product and compare your manual totals to your software reports. This is an easy way to stay on top of your inventory and stay in compliance.
Cannabis Inventory Conclusion
Inventory management is everything when you’re in the cannabusiness, and you can’t afford for any product to go “missing.” It’s in your best interest to be proactive when it comes to tracking your inventory. Otherwise, you risk noncompliance and the consequences that come with it.
Fortunately, combining systems like the FIFO method and manual audits with fully integrative software like BLAZE, your inventory management will be a breeze.