Cost analysis of Digital Checklists vs. Paper Processes in Cannabis Dispensaries

executives having discussion on dispensary cost analysis

As a cannabis dispensary owner, you have strategies like checklists and field audits in place to keep your team compliant with regulations. But what are those strategies costing you? If you’re using pen and paper checklists to help staff stay on track, it may seem the less expensive way to go than using a digital application. But is it saving you money?

Paper Checklists Harbor Hidden Time Syncs

The traditional pen-and-paper checklist looks simple, but turning it into a useful business tool takes a lot of effort. That’s time you and your employees spend dealing with the paper instead of focusing on your business.

For example, physical forms have to be printed and distributed to all the stores. There will be different checklists for different people. You might have separate lists for each major procedure, like opening the store or closing a cash drawer. If an employee doesn’t have the right paper form handy, they have to find one. Managers have to check the form supplies and print out copies regularly. And if you need to change the form in response to new regulations, you have to collect all the old copies, recycle them, print new versions, and hand them out.

Finished checklists have to be collected each day, and you or a manager has to review them, copy the data into a spreadsheet or report, then sort and file the forms. Your physical records must be well-organized and easily accessible to regulatory auditors.

Depending on the number of stores and employees you have, this process can take hours. And considering what managers need to accomplish every day, it doesn’t make sense to load them down with administrative tasks.

The accumulated labor hours that employees and supervisors spend on managing paper checklists could tally up to 2 or 3 hours a day per location. That’s up to 15 hours a week for one store. Considering that many stores are increasing hourly wages to attract employees in the current labor shortage, those paper forms could be draining your budget.

Digital checklists eliminate most of that work. Forms are available to all employees on their mobile devices, so there’s no more paper wrangling to do. You can make updates and push them out to the whole team instantly. And the data is uploaded as you complete a checklist, so managers never have to stay late copying handwritten notes into a spreadsheet.

With digital checklists, you’re not only saving direct labor costs; you’re also gaining the benefits of employees who have more time to focus on productive work.

Paper Checklists Increase Risks from Unreliable Data

The name of the game in cannabis retail is minimizing risk. Compliance penalties can severely damage your business, and you need checklist data, among other tracking information, to verify your store operations are running as intended all day every day – even when you’re not there.

However, paper checklists significantly increase the likelihood of inaccurate information. Because of the extra effort required to complete paper forms, employees are less likely to finish them. In fact, switching to digital can raise checklist completion rates by 30%.

Employees also sidestep the paper checklists by filling them out at the end of a shift without doing the work. If there is no way to ensure staff complete the steps they are checking off, store operations will be blurred. For example, the checklists may indicate budtenders are culling out expired products every week, but in reality, they’re not doing it consistently, which puts you at risk for violations at the next audit and may threaten customer safety.

Checklists that record time, date, and location encourage accountability. You’ll know the work was done at the right time and place. Checklists can be locked so if they’re not finished before a deadline, they can’t be faked later. Plus, staff can add photos of their completed work to verify it was done right.

And if a checklist isn’t complete, you’ll know instantly because you’re not waiting hours or days for a tally. Managers can address the problem as it happens, which is the most effective way to help employees improve performance and keep your store compliant.

Data Generated by Paper Checklists Goes Stale

As part of business growth, you’re building a brand that shoppers recognize and rely on. Your brand attracts and retains customers as competition heats up in what will likely be a 30 billion dollar market in 2022.

Checklists can help your team maintain brand standards, such as customer greetings, store displays, and cleanliness guidelines. But if you’re relying on paper forms to track employee performance, you may not spot problems until days later when managers have a chance to collect the information and create a report. By then, your brand may have sustained damage and lost some customers.

Because digital checklists post employee performance in real-time, managers catch and fix issues immediately before they have a chance to harm the company and cost you revenue. As a bonus, digital apps automatically turn checklist records into charts and graphs illustrating trends over time and comparing performance between locations.

These charts help you make business decisions that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of staffing, training, and daily operations. With the power of digital performance data, you avoid the costs of poor performance and inefficiencies while uncovering opportunities to grow revenue.

MeazureUp’s DailyChex Delivers Where Paper Doesn’t

Paper checklists had their place, but with digital cloud-based apps like MeazureUp’s DailyChex, paper doesn’t make sense any longer. DailyChex frees your team and your budget from paper administration while handing you insights that help propel the business forward.

  • Easily customizable checklist forms on employee mobile devices.
  • Geotagging, photo, and video verification built-in.
  • Real-time progress reports.
  • Standardized brand and compliance performance tracking.
  • Data analytics across time and locations.
  • Instant records for regulatory audits.

With DailyChex, our customers save hours a day in labor, create a culture of consistency and accountability, decrease employee errors, improve training effectiveness, and stamp out inefficiencies.

You can try DailyChex for free today. See how you can save money over paper checklists and spur business growth at the same time.