As cannabis brands and retailers know all too well, the cannabis supply chain is anything but simple right now. The average cannabis retailer in California is dealing with 14+ distributors per month which makes it all too easy to mismanage reordering timelines. New brands are entering the market so frequently that it can be overwhelming for retailers to discover the best new products, putting young brands at a disadvantage. Retailers have a lot going on and since lead times, ordering processes, case sizes, and payment terms differ from brand to brand, properly managing inventory on an ongoing basis can be challenging without the right set of tools.In traditional retail, brands almost always manage themselves and it’s the brands’ responsibility to prove to retailers that they are a good fit and can be reliable partners. In order for cannabis brands to achieve this level of ownership, they need access to important information like inventory velocity from their retail partners. Until recently, the only way for a brand to obtain this information was to contact their retail partners multiple times per week to request the data and coordinate orders accordingly. This is where AskTreez and BrandTreez come in.
The brand portal in AskTreez not only provides a clear view of inventory velocity at participating retailers, but also creates a clear jumping off point for communication between a brand and retailer. By leveraging the data in AskTreez, brands can take the guesswork out of lead time and inventory tracking and anticipate when a replenishment order needs to be placed. By utilizing BrandTreez — the industry’s first-ever universal product catalog — brands can create high-quality listings for their product collections, increasing awareness, simplifying brand management, and ultimately assisting retailers in managing their product selection both physically and digitally. Brands enter approved data on their products in BrandTreez so retailers can skip the manual work of creating imperfect versions of product listings themselves. This allows retailers to utilize pristine brand-generated listings to feed their menus, which in turn immediately feeds clean product performance data into AskTreez where both parties can access it.
This is a huge improvement from how the industry functions today, as it places actionable data into the hands of both brands and retailers on a daily basis. This system enables brands to establish themselves as reliable, proactive partners, since they’re able to optimize reordering timelines, avoid stockouts, and simplify the inventory management process for retailers.
Inventory inconsistencies and stockouts can happen when inventory velocity is not properly tracked. Many retailers are not taking into consideration the variable lead time that’s necessary for each vendor to get the product to them, and because of this, they may not be managing inventory safety stock appropriately.
This leads to an inconsistent selection on-shelf and retailers having to stock redundant products in addition to the best-sellers so their budtenders have a substitute to recommend. AskTreez inventory reordering takes into account lead time (per retailer, since delivery may vary by location) as well as inventory velocity in order to calculate optimal reordering quantities to avoid stockouts.
If inventory velocity is not properly tracked with a predictive tool like AskTreez, it can lead to stockouts that hit emerging brands especially hard. For young brands, stockouts are extremely costly — they simply cannot afford to become irrelevant or redundant if they’re doing well with specific retail partners. No retailer is going to forget to restock their most popular products, but they're far more likely to forget to restock a new brand that isn't so ingrained in their inventory rooms. By leveraging the actionable insights in the AskTreez dashboard and the universal brand management tools in BrandTreez, young and established brands alike can proactively communicate with their retail partners to mitigate inventory shortages and ensure their products are always in stock.
Real-time reports and analytics generated through AskTreez allow brands to better predict how unstable conditions will affect their ability to deliver, giving them the chance to adjust production schedules and communicate more effectively with supply chain partners. The more that brands can manage themselves, the more opportunity they’ll have to get on a mature retailer’s shelf. Empowered by data, brands can proactively work with distributors and retailers to simplify the cannabis supply chain.