I have written blogs extensively on learning and mastering your POS system, so let’s talk about what that means with new options like the Microsoft platform Cannabis 365. These Point of Sale systems employed to also track our inventories are not perfect. We use them to function, and we learn what’s needed to do so, but it isn’t always enough to take a programmer as someone who uses or thinks about the POS use the same way as a dispensary agent here in Arizona. Your dispensary will require more from the POS as business moves forward, this means reports, discounts, and better tracking of products. This means you will need to master your POS system and know the small ins and outs of the programming. The cause and effects of details being incorrect is found when creating product or vendors for your system. When starting this and building your knowledge, I would recommend using names and products that use naming conventions to clarify your system testing or exploration of the program. I will be speaking about this subject broadly instead of focusing on a specific system to explain these ideas, but looking at and mastering your POS system will ultimately, be up to you.
Starting out, to troubleshoot a product error I would normally check my product categories first when I encountered a problem, because many errors I would find when creating a new product started with an error in its category. An example of this would be, I create a new product for a vape, and the category I use might’ve been incorrectly chosen as a CBD product. So when I start to create the product, the MMJ amount would be inaccessible and I would not know why. It is an easy mistake to make, and I have made it, but it can be even harder to catch that mistake upon second look. When creating categories, I would keep it simple by using a THC option, and also a CBD option so I could clearly see and choose what was needed when creating a product. Keeping your details simple will work wonders to de-stress and un-clutter your organization within the system.
Another common issue would be a non-functioning pricing group setup. Let’s say we created the weight and pricing groups, but when we go to check out the product, we do not get the desired pricing. I would start by double checking that I did create the pricing groups and weights, as well as saved them for future use. If this detail was correct, I would often find myself frustrated as to why the desired pricing was not correct at check out. The next obvious but overlooked detail to check would be when creating a product that uses the pricing group. Ensuring that upon creation of a product, you are updating the pricing structure to make sure that when created, it rings up as it should. Often I would select the pricing group, but I would forget to hit the “Update Pricing” button. This seems oversimplified but many of my employees would make the same mistake during and after training. The redundancy of an update button can be frustrating but has also prevented serious mistakes from being made as it allows a second look into what you’re doing.
The last example of a small detail that could seriously affect business is when you need to turn off a specific item from your online store. Depending on what programs and services you use, this could be simple or more complicated than how I describe here. Our online store would ping our inventory to update the online menu of what was available, so you had to turn off products from the inventory side of the POS. To do this, we had to find the product details and disable the product for online sale. In doing so, we encountered a problem where the items we would toggle would not be completely unavailable. It wasn’t until we further explored the product options that we found a secondary option that would fully remove the item from our online store. It was a drop down menu near an area that had options for website integration. Without shutting off the availability to this websites integration as well, the item would remain available on the online store. Items that needed this would usually be out of stock, a special waiting to release, or promo items with a zero cost so patients couldn’t order a free promo item we would be holding for an event in our inventory.
These are small examples from a few systems, which are described more for the idea that a work around to small details might be needed to solve larger issues. Using the POS available to your dispensary might not have these issues or the solutions described to fix, but hopefully it is understood that working to solve the issue is what might be needed for that new Excel style program. I have found that the smallest overlooked details are most important, but in context to the system, these same options and its fail safe make sense. I will often create test product to toggle options on and off while performing normal functions to see what occurs and why. In doing so, I would deepen my understanding of a POS system while also working to better understand the issues that might arise. Using this knowledge to find a solution would only benefit my use of the POS over time as I understood what was needed to find those work arounds. A true mastery of several systems occurred when I took the time to think in sequences related to operation of my POS systems. I would encourage you to do the same, and find what is needed to make your POS function as needed.