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Product vs. Inventory: How Treez was Designed to Give You the Best of Both Worlds

Apr 10, 2020 3:00:00 AM / by Sophia Chong

In California’s Metrc-enabled world, effectively tracking your inventory is the only path to compliance. But regardless of whether you’re in a track-and-trace state or not, having the right tools to support world-class inventory and product control software is key to your dispensary’s success. 

Treez’s inventory management pages are designed with Metrc concepts top of mind, helping you to naturally incorporate the workflows required by the regulations and, by extension, better manage your inventory. 

 

Breaking up Product and Inventory

One of the core concepts in Treez is the separation of product and inventory. This separation was influenced by the way Metrc requires operators to create an item before they’re able to associate packages of inventory with it. By approaching our own product and inventory control software modules in the same way, your Treez product data is standardized (which is great for reporting and eCommerce), reduces overhead by streamlining the inventory intake process, and provides you with maximum control over how you manage every unit in your store.

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they’re distinct concepts in both Metrc and Treez, so it's important to understand the subtle differences.

  • Products can most easily be understood by the dispensary product control software as the name given to a specific item. A product is something that has a name, flavor, brand, price, size, etc., like eighths of Blue Dream, 12oz cans of Lime LaCroix, or Kiva Vanilla Chai Chocolate Bars.
  • Inventory refers to the physical quantity of items in your store's possession. Inventory of a specific product is the number of units you have of a given product, like 50 units (of eighths of Blue Dream), 12 units (of 12oz cans of LaCroix), or 10 units (of Kiva Vanilla Chai Chocolate Bars). 

In other words, with a product and inventory control software, a product is independent of a physical count, location, shipment, etc., whereas inventory is directly tied to a physical count, location, shipment, etc.

Since product and inventory are unique concepts, we’ve built distinct homes for navigating and managing each one. We’ll give you a tour of some of these modules and show you how they’ll keep your inventory tidy, and help your business stay compliant. 



One Product to rule them all... or at least all of its inventory items.

The Treez Product Management page is built around a core organizational pillar: consistency. From intimate neighborhood shops, all the way to complex multi-store operators, inconsistent data standardization practices leads to confusion, errors, and wasted time and money. 

That’s why we designed our Product Management module as a product and inventory control software to act as a library of all the products you carry (or have carried in the past). Meaning, you only ever need to enter product details once, and when the time comes to receive a new shipment of incoming inventory from a vendor, you'll simply associate it with your pre-defined Product “master”. By associating individual shipments of inventory with a fixed master listing, all product details (such as name, photo, attributes, etc.) will remain consistent from shipment-to-shipment. 

This consistency of a product and inventory control software can benefit your business in a variety of ways. A single master listing for each product in your store makes it easier for staff to find items in-portal because the name doesn’t differ depending on who entered it into the system. It saves you time by allowing you to update certain product details, such as price, in a single change instead of having to do it shipment-by-shipment. It also gives you truly clean data by eliminating duplicate product listings, which consolidates all of your sales and inventory intel into a single, centralized place. The reporting improvements are truly one of the hallmarks of the separation between product and inventory with this product and inventory control software.

If those benefits weren't enough, just consider how the process of product mapping in Treez becomes even more significant when importing packages from Metrc. In Metrc, item names are typically defined at the start of the item’s lifecycle in the system, which usually means it’s being done by the manufacturer. Since there isn’t a standard naming format that manufacturers must follow, this inevitably leads to inconsistent naming conventions across your brands. Plus, since the names given to products in Metrc aren’t intended to be customer-facing, the result is often very generalized titles — not ideal for the granular inventory tracking demanded by track-and-trace systems. This is easily addressed with utilizing the Treez product and inventory control software for dispensaries.

Luckily, dispensary operators running on Treez can easily pull Metrc item and package information into Treez and map it to their curated master product listings, which have been designed exclusively with their customers' needs in mind.  

product inventory blog metrc to treez

This standardization makes a huge difference in managing your inventory effectively. It drastically reduces the time it takes to intake new inventory, minimizes the opportunity for manual errors, and keeps your data clean, which makes accurately tracking inventory metrics possible. However, the most beneficial aspect of this distinction is simply that it allows you to track, manage, and report on both product and inventory levels independently. 

 

Your inventory, organized for your shop.  

When a lot of inventory is pulled under a single product master, it’s easy to manage the product’s overarching details — since you only need to create the master listing once and you’re done. But when it comes to working with Metrc packages — especially those with a large number of units — the same set-it-and-forget-it mentality doesn’t necessarily apply. Operators need the freedom to do both with a product and inventory control software: streamline inventory intake, and granularly manage their inventory in a way that makes sense for their business.

Luckily, Treez allows you to do both and that’s where the Treez Inventory Control module comes in. This page gives you the ability to organize units however you’d like internally while still leaving the package’s DNA in Metrc unchanged. Since regulations and Metrc require you to track sales, returns, adjustments, destructions, etc., on the package level, it’s vital that these distinctions are maintained and recorded with some sort of product and inventory control software, regardless of how your internal inventory is organized. 

In the example below, a shop accepted 100 cartridges in a single package, but wanted to manage the units in smaller quantities to practice stellar inventory management. In Treez, dividing a parent package into smaller groups, while maintaining the Metrc UID number across all, is known as “batching”. You can see they made 24 available for purchase on the sales floor, moved 25 into a delivery truck, saved 1 for their display case, and still have the remaining 50 in the backstock vault. The units in the vault are evenly separated within the product and inventory control software into 2 batches of 25 for easier counting and replenishment to the floor or the delivery vehicle. All the package information that’s vital to the inventory’s traceability has been retained, so any sales, adjustments, destructions, etc., made will be reported back to the proper package. Meaning, you can divide your inventory into as many Treez batches that your heart’s desire, to manage in as small quantities as you want, without sacrificing Metrc reporting accuracy or compliance.

product inventory blog ic

If you prefer a wider lens view, the Treez Product Management module has got you covered. 

Each product has a summary of inventory-level information for an at-a-glance overview within the product and inventory control software. Here, you can view any invoices a product was included on, all Metrc package IDs associated with that product, all the batches that exist in your store, and the various locations the inventory is held. This simple card allows you to discern not only how many individual packages and batches of inventory the product is holding, but also gives you a one-click road to Inventory Control where you can perform various actions on the product’s batches. 

product inventory blog batches

In this example, there are two distinct Metrc packages delivered on different days. Despite that, all the shipments share the same product details such as photo, attributes, etc. This shop also has internally split package JVYQH into different locations in the shop without affecting Metrc. 

You no longer need to think of a product’s inventory with the control software as the exact units that came in as part of a certain shipment, because Treez provides you the details both aggregated and separated, giving you the best possible picture of any product in your store.

 

Conclusion

We built Treez to give you the ability to manage your inventory as granularly as you’d like while retaining all the high-level product information and reaping the benefits of data standardization. So even though you’re held to rigid grouping requirements in the Metrc system, you determine how your inventory is organized and displayed in your Treez home base — whether you’re looking for product-level information, shipment-specific details, or prefer an even narrower division, you’re in control of your inventory and products with this control software. 

There are a lot of dispensary and inventory management software systems out there, but with all the attention required to run a business and keep up with the ever-changing regulations, operators in a track-and-trace state need a tool that’s built to alleviate the demands of Metrc, reduce workflow inefficiencies, and automate compliance. Treez was designed to provide you with a user-friendly Metrc integration that unobtrusively makes compliance part of your day-to-day while improving your data integrity — a change that can have a direct impact on the profitability and growth of your business.  In other words, a platform like Treez’ product and inventory control software has your success in our DNA.

 

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Topics: cannabis, Cannabis Compliance, Cannabis Dispensary Software, cannabis software, compliance, data, marketing, Metrc, METRC Integration, POS software, retail, Track-and-Trace

Sophia Chong

Written by Sophia Chong