Change POS Management for Cannabis Dispensaries: How (and When) To Switch Vendors

by Santos, Osiris

Careful planning is key to any major infrastructural change – especially in a regulated environment.

Change is scary, especially when you’re running a business.

Enterprise-level corporate executives know this, so they think nothing of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring consultants, conducting feasibility studies, and getting input from key stakeholders before making big changes. They know one small misstep can cost millions in lost revenue.

The same is true in the world of small business retail – especially in highly regulated sectors like the cannabis industry. Effective change management can make or break any infrastructural development in the dispensary environment. 

But dispensary owners don’t have access to the kind of resources that corporate executives at major enterprises do. In many cases, those kinds of resources simply don’t exist – institutional financial support from federally-backed banks, for instance.

This is why dispensary owners need to take advantage of the resources they do have and implement robust solutions for mitigating risk when changing the way their businesses work. Effective change management is key to enabling solid, sustainable growth.

What Is Change Management?

Change management is the process of migrating from one set of processes, equipment, and methodologies to another. It includes everything from upgrading software systems to training employees on compliance to new regulations.

In retail, change management begins with some kind of systemic shift. When something fundamental about the way your company does business changes, that implies different training goals and software requirements, and perhaps even different employee skill sets. Change management is the process of planning and implementing systems that predict a successful outcome in response.

Implementing a new point of sale (POS) system is a great example of a major change in how a dispensary does business. Depending on the availability of training and technical support, that change can either significantly boost the dispensary’s business or lead to costly and frustrating problems.

How to Prepare for Change Effectively

According to McKinsey & Company, roughly one-third of change initiatives fail. In most cases, this is due to a disconnect between leadership and employees. Successful change management requires that the entire organization aligns on the motivations and processes for implementing new systems.

Since every organization relies on its leadership for guidance, alignment has to come from the top. This means it is the dispensary owner’s responsibility to make sure employees are on board with new systems and processes:

  • Identify Employee Pain Points. One of the best ways to get your team to buy-in on new systems and processes is by solving their most frustrating problems. If dispensary employees are spending hours typing compliance data into METRC manually, it will be easy for them to understand why implementing a compliance-oriented POS system that automates that work is a good idea.
  • Plan for Training and Skills Development. Your team will not feel comfortable working with a new system at first. This is to be expected. But if you pair skills development with valuable employee incentives, you will be able to overcome resistance and establish new processes easily.
  • Ask for Feedback. Employee feedback is critical to predicting the success of new implementations. Without feedback, you won’t know whether the direction you plan to go in is a good one until it’s too late.

ezGreen Compliance can transition your POS in 4 steps

ezGreen has developed a 4 step process while maintaining regulation standards around your Metrc reporting.  First we initiate a client evaluation to study and customize your customer facing work flows and validate your internet and hardware capabilities, Second, we execute our program agreement and BAA form which allows a dispensary to work with a database vendor and handle patient data without violating any data privacy standards.  Next we begin onboarding by providing an inventory audit against your current POS system and what has been reported to Metrc. Finally we schedule training, go live and customer support training. Our goal is to make the transition as painless and automated as possible.

Working with a third-party vendor can make change management much easier to handle. The availability of enterprise-level resources and expert training ensures that your team will be able to overcome any obstacles they’ll meet on the way to improved productivity and efficiency.

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