How To Reduce Cannabis Inventory Loss With FIFO & Shelf Life Management

How to Reduce Cannabis Inventory Loss linkedin

In the cannabis industry, where products are highly perishable, inventory losses eat up profits, and out-of-stock products impact customer experience. If your inventory is too low, you may not be able to meet demand, and too much stock can lead to significant waste if not sold off before the expiry date. Shelf-life management optimization is essential to reduce waste, increase profit margins and improve customer satisfaction. This is where a fully integrated inventory management with your dispensary POS comes in to do the tedious work.

For cannabis products, it’s crucial to track two parameters: packaging date and expiration date. If these data points are available on your inventory management reports, you can efficiently manage the shelf life of your cannabis inventory and save thousands of dollars. In our constant endeavor to improve our products, Cova recently introduced these for all our clients, thus making our inventory management software even more robust than before. Let us now tell you the different ways to reduce inventory loss and maximize shelf life in cannabis retail.

1. Use a Cannabis POS that Helps Track Expiration Dates

Since cannabis products have an expiration date, your dispensary needs to keep track of the inventory that is about to expire. Expired unused products can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Not only is the investment lost when cannabis inventory expires, but you also need to invest in alternatives if products must be made available immediately.

Using the right inventory costing methods can certainly help facilitate cannabis shelf-life management. However, built-in features within your cannabis POS and inventory management software that track and monitor expiration dates are a game-changer. These allow inventory managers to have a higher inventory turnover, facilitate product rotation and reduce shrinkage.

2. Purchase Products With the Most Recent Packaging Dates

Cannabis retail is a highly regulated industry, and you can not sell expired products to consumers. Products that expire can be a drain on profitability and may even cause unhappy customers. Hence, you must purchase the freshest stock of cannabis products from your suppliers. By tracking packing dates, you can easily use the FIFO method of inventory control, which is the most recommended method for perishable cannabis products.

Since dispensary staff makes recommendations to a consumer based on personal preferences or what is on promotion, these tend to drive the product mix. With Cova POS, an inventory manager can track both packaging and expiry dates, thus allowing them to use forecasting reports better, avoid over-stocking, sync with staff about products in demand to order the right mix, and work closely with suppliers to secure the best and high-quality cannabis products.

3. Use Barcode Scanner to Record Product Information

An advanced dispensary POS system with a barcode scanner can significantly increase your business efficiency while saving time and money. An inventory management system that includes barcode printers, scanners, and software compatible with barcode scanning and other operations is your best bet to record and track all product information. It facilitates real-time cannabis inventory tracking information and simplifies inventory management.

A barcode system ensures better data accuracy than maintaining inventory by hand. With barcodes, you can easily find what you have in stock and what is out of stock. When a customer buys a product, it is automatically taken out of your inventory records once scanned. You will always have real-time inventory data for one or multiple locations to help you streamline your reordering and purchasing processes and make proper business decisions every day.

4. Organize Inventory Based on Product Expiration Dates

Tracking the shelf life of your cannabis inventory requires policy, planning, documentation, and system controls to guard against waste and financial loss caused by passing the expiration dates. Thus, it is essential to organize your inventory based on expiration dates so that the products with the earliest expiry dates are sold first. For the cannabis industry, most inventory management plans are built around the first-in-first-out stock system, which ensures that your customers get their purchases in the best condition.

With Cova POS and its barcode scanning system, you can identify the best-before dates of perishable cannabis. Once information relating to packing slips and batch numbers is added to your inventory control system, you can easily sort inventory by the expiration dates column. Also, POS reports will offer you complete inventory visibility to make better business decisions. Keeping track of expiration dates will ensure customer safety and minimize waste.

5. Audit Inventory and Forecast Demand to Avoid Wastage

Automated data management software does more than track expiration dates-smart forecasting tools built into your POS can anticipate demand to help you streamline your purchase processes. Awareness of seasonal demand patterns helps avoid over or understocking. That’s why it is important to audit your inventory regularly. Although this process can be time-intensive to execute manually, an advanced cannabis POS system like Cova allows you to automate these processes for more accurate forecasting and better purchase decisions.

All the above recommendations won’t just help you help reduce cannabis inventory loss and avoid wastage but also remain compliant with cannabis inventory tracking regulations. With Cova POS and its inventory management system, you can easily track the purchase and expiry dates of your cannabis inventory to ensure better product rotation and shelf-life management. You will always order the right product mix and the appropriate number of units of any given cannabis SKU, based on the demand forecast. Sign up with Cova today for more efficient cannabis inventory control.


Written by

Ankush Lamba

Ankush Lamba is the Content and Social Media Manager at Cova Software, an award-winning cannabis POS platform. With an MBA from HEC Montreal and over a decade of experience in business marketing, creative writing, and content management, he brings retail and online marketing expertise along with unconventional creativity to the cannabis retail space. An entrepreneur at heart, Ankush leverages a passion for technology, research, and innovation to keep up with a thriving industry and empower cannabis businesses to grow and expand further through unique insights, best practices, and thought leadership content.

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