Choosing the Right Cannabis POS Vendor: A Comprehensive Onboarding Guide
Choosing the right point of sale vendor is a critical decision for any cannabis retailer. The onboarding process, in particular, sets the tone for the entire relationship between your business and the vendor. Onboarding isn’t just about implementing new technology; it's about aligning the vendor's services with your unique needs, workflows, and long-term goals. Before you undertake another onboarding process, be sure you know the green flags of a POS vendor’s implementation process and that you feel confident in your choice of business partner.
A seamless onboarding process ensures that your business can adapt quickly, comply with industry regulations, and provide exceptional service to your customers from day one.
1. Clear Communication and Support
- Dedicated Implementation and Success Team: You have a dedicated team who wants to know your long-term goals for the success of your business. They focus on key challenges, the path to success, desired business outcomes, and success metrics.
- Understanding Current Workflows: They want to know your current workflows to tailor the onboarding process to your specific needs. They ask you questions to get to the heart of any issues you’re facing and suggest solutions.
- Organized and Detailed Timeline: The vendor should provide a clear timeline with milestones to track progress on configuration, customization, training, integrations, and go-live day. A truly stellar service will also offer a training review after the dust of your first day of sales settles, so you can follow up on any knowledge gaps that surfaced during live use of the product.
- Tracking Onboarding Milestones: They track your onboarding milestones to a clear view of progress and facilitate troubleshooting if needed. They target your launch date and are transparent about what needs to be done.
2. Comprehensive Training
- User Training: Training should be available for all users, including managers and staff.
- Certification: A POS vendor should stand behind their training and offer certification in their point of sale system for front of house and management.
- Customized Training Materials: Look for materials tailored to your specific dispensary or retail requirements.
- Ongoing Support: Ensure that ongoing support and training are available as needed.
3. In-person, On-The-Ground Go-Live
- While many parts can get worked out over the phone or Zoom, the day you turn on your new POS doesn’t have to be one of them. Depending on the complexity of your operations and your comfort level with the software, it may be worth paying an additional fee for on-site support.
4. Post-Onboarding Support
- Ongoing Relationship and Alignment: Look for a vendor that maintains an ongoing relationship. They should be prepared to hand you off from the sales process to implementation and then to a dedicated customer success manager. A quality POS vendor knows that providing continuous support, alignment, and updates leads to successful clients, and that transparency and troubleshooting are key to a successful partnership.
- Feedback Channels: Ensure there are channels for providing feedback and that the vendor is responsive to your needs.
The onboarding process with a POS vendor is more than a series of technical steps. It's the foundation of a partnership that can drive the success of your cannabis retail business.
By prioritizing clear and organized communication, tailored training and certification, and ongoing support, you can find a vendor that truly understands the unique challenges and opportunities within the cannabis industry.
A well-executed onboarding process ensures a smooth transition for your business and kicks off a relationship built on trust, alignment, and a shared vision for long-term success. Choose wisely, and you’ll gain a valuable tool for growth for your cannabis retail business and a new set of teammates to grow with.