May 11, 2024

Mastering Inventory Management

Effective inventory management is crucial for the success of any dispensary. This blog will guide you through the nuances of managing inventory, avoiding common pitfalls, and ensuring that your dispensary operates smoothly from day one.

What is Inventory Management?

Managing your dispensary’s inventory effectively is not just about keeping products in stock; it’s about optimizing your entire supply chain and avoiding common mistakes such as underestimating processing times or over-ordering. To support your store's needs and promotions, it's essential to build strong relationships with reliable vendors.

The Importance of Effective Inventory Management

Poor inventory management can result in:

  • Customers experiencing delays at checkout due to unscannable products.

  • Online inventory inaccuracies lead to canceled orders and poor first impressions.

  • Persistent inventory discrepancies due to the lack of bandwidth for resolving issues promptly.

  • Continuation of broken processes as temporary fixes become permanent due to time constraints.

The Pitfalls of the First Product Order Many new dispensaries falter when managing their first inventory order. The excitement of opening often leads to underestimating the resources needed to process inventory. Remember, it will likely take longer than expected, and you might encounter unforeseen issues with your initial plans.

Key Recommendations for Opening

  1. Plan Your Timing: Aim to open your doors at least two weeks after receiving your first product order. This buffer allows for thorough inventory processing and ensures everything is in place before customers arrive.

  2. Prepare for Real-Life Consequences: Rushing the setup process can lead to several issues:

Setting Up for Success Before your first order arrives, ensure your infrastructure is fully prepared:

  • Supplies: Stock up on essential supplies such as highlighters, pens, box cutters, printers, and ink or toner.

  • Storage Solutions: Invest in clear plastic bins and compatible shelving to maximize storage efficiency and visibility.

  • Labeling: Have labels and label printers ready to go.

  • Staffing: Ensure you have enough staff trained to efficiently handle and process orders.

  • Intake Process: Design and document a robust intake process, ensuring it’s strictly followed.

Anticipating and Handling Vendor Errors Mistakes can happen, and it's essential to be prepared. Implement a process to check for:

  • Inaccurate test results or missing/incorrect paperwork.

  • Discrepancies in product counts or types.

  • Mismatches between manifests and invoices.

Compliance is Key Compliance should never be an afterthought:

  • Retain all paperwork for every order.

  • Verify that each order includes a manifest and matches the Certificate of Authenticity with the product batch.

  • Conduct thorough counts, ideally double-checked by a second staff member.

Avoiding Overordering While it might be tempting to overstock to avoid running out of products, this can overwhelm your inventory team and complicate the intake process, potentially delaying your opening.

Conclusion Starting on the right foot with inventory management can set the tone for your dispensary's operational success. By taking these steps, you can avoid common pitfalls and ensure a smooth opening and ongoing operations. Good luck as you embark on this exciting business journey!

Feel free to share your experiences and tips on inventory management in the comments below. Let's learn from each other and improve our practices!