Cannabis Prospect Magazine - February '19 - Issue #1

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retail management alerting it that products are no longer in-stock within the machine. This is very powerful data, eliminating OOS that is on-shelf OOS gives retailers and licensed producers a great advantage over their competition. If you can ensure that your customers’ product is always available, you will not lose sales nor will customers decide to switch to a different brand. Out-of-Stock is definitely something people in the retail and manufacturing space need to be thinking of and keeping an eye on. How do these automated dispensing products differ from traditional merchandising methods? Bill Gates has a quote: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” It’s very difficult to manage 200+ SKUs with a variety of strains and products (e.g. capsules, oils, flower). Also the weighing of product in-store will not be allowed. All products will come prepackaged from the LPs and distributed to retail. When we talk about traditional merchandising methods, the ones we’ve seen are out of date and time consuming. As mentioned before, it’s cumbersome to have retail staff spending time looking and searching for products in the back-storage area. It’s going to negatively impact the shopping experience for customers and unless they have a very efficient system in place it will be difficult to manage and control their inventory. Automated dispensing systems allow for more staff on the floor to support and educate customers, ensuring all your product inventory is under lock and key and that you are protecting your most valuable assets, your employees. We believe that if customers see or know a store has an automated dispensing system installed, this will correlate with a positive shopping experience, shorter wait times, knowing your product is in-stock and an accurate and efficient check-out process. Markus Merrill is the General Manager of Vend Data Media Solutions

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Things to Consider Security: Cannabis retailers will need a secure way to protect these assets, both in-store and outside the store. The best way to combat burglaries is by being proactive and making it difficult for people to rob your store.

Shrinkage: In-Store Employee Theft: This is a reality in all retail sectors. People steal from their employers and this will be the same for cannabis. In the retail space for tobacco it is estimated that shrink is anywhere from 1-3% of total sales.

On-Shelf / Out-of-Stock: »» It is estimated that on-shelf OOS is around 8%, which means the product isn’t on the shelf when customers are looking for them, and often cannot be found in the store. »» The time spent looking for product costs money for labour, the loss of the sale because the customer gets frustrated or the customer may look to an alternative brand with the same attributes. »» If a product is OOS it usually means that there are issues within the operation and this problem affects retail operators/owners, manufacturers and ultimately the customer.

Convenience: How to do you keep your customers happy? »» By ensuring you always have their products in-stock and that it is convenient for them to buy the products they are seeking. »» Long lines, delays in finding products are a few issues that really frustrate customers. It is great if your store is appealing and makes the purchase enjoyable but, you can often lose customers in the last few minutes of their in-store experience and that is the check-out process. »» This process needs to be seamless and effortless. Tell the person behind the counter what you would like and then the product is provided and paid for.

Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2019