A common-sense approach to controlling your inventory.

My time working in the industry has provided me with the ability to work and train on several POS platforms. Recently, I’ve been consulting throughout Phoenix for multiple dispensaries to assist in everything from training staff and inventory control, to troubleshooting various POS/inventory systems. I have also been in several cultivation and production operations for vendors helping to streamline operations, production, or wholesale. In my experience, no matter what the system or inventory set up, I am encountering the same mistakes in POS systems. The lack of naming conventions is one of the simplest and most common mistakes you can make when managing inventory. Controlling your inventory by having it organized has a ripple effect across the business from budtenders and patients and helps with purchasing and state audits. 

“The lack of naming conventions is one of the simplest and most common mistakes you can make when managing inventory.” 

In many inventories I’ve consulted for, the biggest jobs have involved sorting mis-managed POS inventory systems like MJ Freeway, Platform, Treez, Metric, and Bio-track. All of these programs are easy to operate, and all have inherent problems or bugs within the system. They all have the ability to be managed, this power will come from how you lay your inventory out via naming conventions. These naming conventions must be ruled by alphabetical order and use symbols to identify specific information. A good understanding of all products, dosages or packaging weights, and basic use of product creation in your POS will be needed. I start organization by separating bulk inventory from inventory on the sales floor. 

Differentiating Bulk and General Products

Bulk inventory will be pounds of flower, or bulk concentrates for in-house packaging. In many systems, the bulk and products are separated but on reports or inventory reconcile, it will all have similar naming. To separate the bulk and general products, using symbols in naming can keep the organization for you. For example, a dash-space at the start of a naming convention would easily put the symbols before the alphabet begins. So, if you were to use naming conventions to separate bulk blue dream, from prepackaged grams, you would use symbols in the naming convention.

Example:

  • Blue Dream Bulk 
  • Blue Dream Gram

Vs. 

  • * Blue Dream – BULK 
  • Blue Dream – Grams 

This creates a system of organization on top of the existing POS standards that allows you to manage the inventory layout within the POS. Working off this introduction to naming conventions to organize the inventory, you can also use it to identify a vendor, dose, item, and details. An example below of how an inventory can be set up with the use of naming conventions. 

BULK INVENTORY

  • * Phoenix Grow – Blue Dream – BULK 
  • * Phoenix Grow – Shatter A1 – BULK 
  • * Tucson Grow – Strawberry Cough – BULK 
  • * Tucson Grow – Strawberry Cough Live Resin – BULK 

PRODUCTS

  • Blue Dream – Phoenix Grow – 1g 
  • Blue Dream – Phoenix Grow – 3.5g 
  • Blue Dream – Tucson Grow – 1g 
  • Keef Cola – 100mg – Root Beer 
  • Pure – Caramels – 100mg – Strawberry 
  • Shatter – Phoenix Grow – A1 – .5g 
  • Shatter – Phoenix Grow – Strawberry Cough – .5g 

How Your Business Will Benefit from an Organized Inventory 

This can have a profound impact on the overall function and organization of your inventory. These naming conventions make for more accurate reconciliation and ordering of products. It will allow for specific mining of valuable KPI data, and can be used to identify trends existing trends in your business. As a function for budtenders, these naming conventions will reflect on labels used for products. These labels are great, because they can communicate exact details of the product to the patient or budtender. It also makes the organization and locating of products simple for the budtenders or inventory staff. The last major benefit comes with integration of an online menu or ordering service as these naming conventions will carry over making online shopping simple for patients. Try it with your POS, and learn all you can about the overall functionality of your systems.