As new legal markets come online and established states consolidate, new dispensary owners and established businesses alike are under pressure to adapt to more stringent regulations and increase efficiency.
One primary area of growth is technology. As the cannabis industry matures, owners, managers, and IT partners are looking to increase the role technology plays. From dispensary POS systems, to integrated loyalty, data analytics, and payments, the tech landscape is changing rapidly.
Before deciding on a technology partner, ask yourself: "What factors am I looking for in a cannabis point of sale?"
Here are 8 factors you need in a POS:
1. State API Integration
Not all states have chosen regulatory frameworks as exacting as Metrc, but following success in Colorado and Oregon, California has done just that! One benefit Metrc holds over other solutions is that it offers an API that developers can use to make software products that integrate directly into the system.
Metrc can be a nightmare to manage manually. Keeping spreadsheet records of every transaction and uploading them is time-consuming and error-prone. Having lost or incomplete records is the easiest way to draw attention of the Marijuana Enforcement Division and owners can expect to be audited.
While working in the industry, Flowhub’s founder Kyle Sherman noticed these issues and built the first POS designed specifically for the cannabis industry and Metrc. Compliance is now a one-click data push at the end of every business day.
Green DragonWhen it comes to data that keeps your business legitimate, automation isn’t always preferred. Flowhub’s API integration allows you to push data, but doesn’t allow Metrc to pull from your stores until you are ready. If record keeping errors occur throughout the day, you will always have the chance to identify and reconcile them before sending your closing report.
2. Solid Track Record
The cannabis industry is new and rapidly changing. Verifying the stability of a company before you spend resources adopting a new platform is essential to finding scalable solutions. Does your POS manufacturer work specifically within the industry, or has their software been retrofitted for it? Have they suffered extensive downtime, security breaches, or data loss? Furthermore have they proven themselves capable of supporting high-profile clients meet their goals?
Flowhub’s enterprise platform helped clients effectively scale to become some of Colorado’s largest cannabis retailers. For example, Green Dragon has 12+ locations and is a true enterprise-class customer.
When selecting a vendor be careful of vendors that requires you to purchase their proprietary dispensary hardware. Businesses can find themselves locked into a poor software platform because of the capital expense of hardware that is not compatible with other vendors.
Well-designed software should not limit you to one machine or even one operating system. Flowhub was designed to run on Mac or Windows, and works with desktop computers and tablets, allowing you to have greater flexibility in your hardware selection and general store flow.
4. 7-Day Phone Support
An essential component of any software provider is continuous and knowledgeable customer care. Flowhub’s 7-day support team members all come not only from within the industry, but have previously worked with the software itself in a retail setting.
5. Standardized Data
Enterprise-wide data consistency is essential for his business. Imagine how maddening — or borderline impossible — updating a different inventory database for each store would be with over a dozen locations. Flowhub’s central enterprise solution gives owners the ability to make changes across any and all of their stores, remotely, in a single action.
Inventory is not the only enterprise-level benefit the suite offers. Sales reports, employee data and permissions, and tax rates and discounts are all managed across stores from a central application. Together, these features make Flowhub the choice for those looking to grow their businesses.
6. Ease of Use & Built-In Compliance
Software must be well-designed both graphically and functionally to give budtenders the most pleasant and efficient experience. Flowhub’s minimalist, modern UI is uncluttered and incredibly easy to teach. An automated queue that provides purchase history for medical and loyalty recreational customers means that your employees can help an individual remember a favorite strain or product.
As we have previously discussed, training for compliance is key, and Flowhub also makes it easy for your budtenders to stay within the scope of the law. After a customer’s ID is scanned or manually entered, Flowhub will automatically check their purchase limit and halt any transaction over the state requirement.
Automatic label printing and child-proof container checks complete the picture, allowing your budtenders to focus more on customer interaction.
7. Activity Log
One of the unnerving aspects of operating in a Metrc state is the potential to be audited for missing data. Cannabis, as we all know, is one of the few products to lose weight to evaporation simply as it sits on your shelves. Dropped flower and employee theft can also contribute to discrepancies that put your business at risk.
In Flowhub, every action is logged and timestamped. When employees know that, they act accordingly. One Flowhub client in Oregon found that their losses fell from 10% to 2% following the switch.
8. Interconnectivity with Third Party Vendors
A modern software suite needs to support the interconnectivity of all vendors a client utilizes. Due to the vast amount of information collected on behalf of our clients, Flowhub has begun to provide data exchanges with integrate with cannabis partners.
For example, Flowhub integrates with a variety of technology brands, including Divvy Digital, Dutchie, Jane Technologies, Weedmaps, and more! No more disappointed customers who head to the dispensary across the street only to find the strain they saw online is no longer available.
At the end of the day the decision of which company to go with for your POS should come down to your individual business goals. What kind of a cannabis operation are you trying to grow? Do you want to go multi-state and build a national brand, or are you the mom-and-pop shop serving a small town?
Flowhub’s enterprise-wide inventory consistency makes it the ideal choice for clients trying to scale their businesses as efficiently as possible. At the same time, reduce the worry of Metrc compliance for those who are new to the rapidly changing cannabis industry.
Click here to request a demo of Flowhub.
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