Implementation Guide

How to Switch Your Dispensary Point of Sale Software

Flowhub Onboarding Process PDF
Switch dispensary pos

Switching POS systems can feel like a big, scary step for dispensaries.

Many stick with what they’ve got because it seems too hard, not because they don’t want a better solution.

Let's be honest. Changing to a new platform isn't always super quick or easy, but if you’re onboarding the right platform—it’s worth it.

The best way to approach the POS transition process is to understand it from start to finish. Then you can decide if upgrading to another cannabis POS provider is the right move for your business.

Read on for a thorough walkthrough of how to switch POS software at your legal cannabis dispensary, including common challenges, tips for making the switch easier, and a visual representation of the Flowhub onboarding process.

Watch the video here if you'd like to skip ahead!

Common challenges

Changing cannabis POS providers is a multi-step process, with opportunity for issues to arise if you’re not working with a good partner.

Here are a few common challenges that cannabis business owners, managers, and employees run into when switching from one cannabis industry POS solution to another:

  • Employee buy-in: You need everyone at your shop to be prepared to learn and understand a new software in real time.

  • Cost: There are generally fees associated with changing software, like one-time onboarding fees, new hardware, or cancellation fees.

  • Transferring inventory: All of your inventory management data lives in one cannabis POS system. Some softwares are easier to transfer inventory over to than others.

  • New tools: Lingo and workflows may differ between softwares, like how to make adjustments or report sales. If your current hardware (including terminals, printers, and scanners) isn’t compatible with the new software, you may need to purchase and learn to use new tech.

  • Data management: Data (including inventory counts, customer profiles, etc.) must be accurate before transferring it to a new system. Without clean data, the information in the new system will be incorrect and potentially out of compliance. But the good news is switching to a new POS vendor is an opportunity to fix bad data and start from a clean slate.

  • State tracking: Depending on what state you’re in, there are requirements for reporting and managing inventory. Make sure you choose a software that works well with those needs and can help make the compliance process seamless.

  • Adoption: Training employees and yourself to use an entirely new system means there will be a process of trial and error, along with regular training sessions.

Don’t be concerned! Many of these challenges are easy to solve.

flowhub implementation team

Tips for a successful software transition

Set realistic expectations

Come into your POS transition knowing this will take some work. Make sure your team is on board and ready.

Each step in the onboarding process is important. Take your time to do each correctly or you’ll risk being out of compliance down the road.

Ideally, the software you’re switching to will have a dedicated team helping you with the process. Check with them on the specifics of what to expect and how much support you will receive.

Work with your onboarding team to set a realistic “go live” date. Depending on the complexity of your business and cleanliness of your data, this could be as quick as one week, or could take several weeks. Work together to set deadlines that work for your business.

Clean up your data

This may be the most important step in the onboarding process.

“Data” in this process means the information that’s in your current retail POS, such as:

  • Product information

  • Inventory counts

  • Prices

  • Suppliers

  • Employee details

  • Permissions

  • State tracking details

  • Deals

  • Loyalty points

  • Tax rates

  • Customer groups/profiles

Different point of sale systems usually require different fields for data. If this is the case, you may have to manually make changes to your data.

Clean data will make the switching process easier. The messier your data, the more difficult it'll be to switch, and the more risk you’ll have on the new software.

You can look at a POS transition as a “golden opportunity” to standardize your data and processes like Sean Renko, Regional Manager at Silverpeak. This will make life much easier in the long run.

Make sure all key stakeholders are involved

It’s common for only one person to be involved in the initial dispensary POS system training. But then they struggle to train everyone else on their team.

If you train at least 2-3 people during onboarding, you’ll be able to easily delegate work and training to the rest of your team.

It can be helpful to appoint one person to be in charge of the switch process and communicating with the rest of the team on status and expectations.

Consider long-term training for any new hires after the initial onboarding time. Make sure your staff are empowered and educated enough about the software to successfully transfer that knowledge over time.

Run test transactions

It’s crucial to test your team and your hardware prior to switching. You want to make sure everyone has a full understanding of your platform, and everything is going to work well together.

Ideally, you can spend some time in store with budtenders running faux transactions, including deals, loyalty programs, and customer profiles, so they can experience the platform without risking mistakes. This is also an ideal time to ensure every piece of hardware functions properly and all APIs (Metrc, ecommerce, etc.) are properly set up.

Each manager was required to spend 5 hours minimum using the platform, like running faux transactions and entering product. This was beneficial because they can’t make any mistakes while the system isn’t live.

Sean Renko, Regional Manager at Silverpeak

If you need to purchase new hardware, make sure you’ve accounted for the cost and have everything in hand before onboarding begins.

Be wary of free hardware offers. Sometimes these turn into more of a hassle than they’re worth with broken down machines or limited functionality.

Also, be careful about software that only works with specific hardware. You don’t want your hardware to limit your software options over time.

Stick to a timeline

One of the most common points of failure for cannabis retailers onboarding a new POS is taking too long to implement the software.

Dedicate time to the implementation process. You’ll get out what you put in. It is time-consuming and detailed, but setting it up correctly from the start will be worth the effort.

Bottom line: Set a goal with your cannabis retail implementation team and stick to it. Usually, you’ll want to be up and running within two weeks.

flowhub implementation manager

How to switch dispensary POS software

The process of switching from or to any of the dispensary POS softwares will vary considerably. As an example, this next section will walk through exactly what happens when you switch to Flowhub.

We are one of few cannabis point of sale companies that dedicates a team of professionals to your implementation process. Our tried and tested implementation process consists of a 30-minute kick-off call, followed by 5 one-hour meetings.

Our goal is to get you comfortable and operational as quickly as possible with our streamlined process. Typically, dispensary onboarding is complete in under 2 weeks.

Watch the video below to see how the implementation process works at Flowhub.

"Flowhub Maui is by far the best cannabis retail platform available. When we onboarded with our front of house staff, I didn’t need to train them at all. I’m genuinely impressed."

Jaclyn Enlow, Director of Operations at Chesapeake Apothecary

Congrats! You're ready to go live

Switching dispensary POS providers doesn't have to be hard—especially when you’re onboarding Flowhub. We designed our platform to be incredibly easy to learn and use, with an implementation process designed to be comprehensive and efficient.

Maui action

Ready to make the switch to Flowhub?

Start the process by requesting a demo today. You'll be glad you did.

Maui action

Discover a new way to sell cannabis

Flowhub helps dispensaries run fast, smooth, and compliant business operations.