Multi-location inventory management is critical for dispensaries. Cannabis stores must run a POS and inventory management system that can track product stock across multiple locations. Record keeping done by the management software must account for cross location product movements and sales from different inventories.
This applies to single location dispensaries as well as larger chain stores. In other words, multi-location inventory management doesn’t necessarily mean physically separate stores. Locations are defined by inventory management units. Take for example, this small dispensary. It consists of five inventory management units:
- Main Warehouse / Processing area
- Off-site Safe
- Back of Store
- Front of Store
- Online Store
Having multi-location inventory management keeps your product stock safe. If one location experiences theft or robbery, your losses will be minimized. Control and visibility is increased if your inventory management software tracks transfers, losses, purchases, and sales of inventory properly at each step. With that information, dispensary operators can see exactly what stock amounts are lost at what point along the product chain. This actionable data can help dispensaries cut losses and gain more revenue.
When choosing a software package to manage your dispensary there are several things to look out for:
- Does the POS allow you to design your business’s inventory flow and manage stock the way you want? Or is the system structured in a particular way so that you need to change your inventory structure to adapt to the system? A good robust POS/administrative system conforms to the way you do business, not the other way around.
- Can the POS track your inventory accurately throughout every step of the supply chain? Transfers, supply orders, and sales need to be instantly and accurately reflected in the POS/administrative software’s inventory tracking system whenever a stock movement occurs.
- is the POS simple to use? How quickly can you edit/add/delete products, pricing, product categories, or make/fill purchase orders? An efficient and streamlined POS should be designed in a way that allows for these operations to be completed quickly with minimum navigation within the system. Daily operations should be easy and quick, no matter how complex the underlying code is; this speaks to good product design.
- Is the POS easy to learn? This is closely tied to the prior point. Nobody wants to spend extra time teaching employees how to use a POS when they purchase the software. Ideally the new system should be approachable for someone with zero tech experience and simple enough to use so that on-boarding the new tech should only take a couple days to get your employees trained.
Besides these points, another important thing to look for in a software package for your dispensary is how adaptable the POS company is. Unless the program is absolutely immaculate and perfect in every way, the software must be structured to be adaptable and evolve according to either your dispensary’s growth or the rapidly changing legal atmosphere. Customization is key. Because of how uniquely dynamic the cannabis industry in Canada is, your business management solution needs to always be able to keep up with how fast the world is spinning.