Infinity builds trust at retail point of sale
“Our employees now have all of the functionality they need and it’s very quick. From the user’s point of view it’s very simple: scan the product, take the money and the rest takes care of itself. This allows us to focus on the customer’s needs and not just process the transaction.” Ian Caulfield, Group Finance and IS Manager
Established in the 1970s, the Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trust (The Trusts) oversees the sale of liquor in the West Auckland region, operating 24 retail liquor outlets. Today, The Trusts is a $92 million dollar business, with the majority generated directly through the sale of liquor.
The Trusts’ decision to upgrade from Triquestra’s POS2000 software system to its Infinity platform in 2004 reflected the organisation’s retail growth and the increasing importance it placed on real-time sales and inventory data to create a better customer experience.
The Trusts’ requirements
“Inventory is our business,” says Ian Caulfield, The Trusts’ Group Finance and IS Manager. “Like all FMCG businesses, we need access to accurate and in-depth information that tells us what’s happening in each of our stores.”
He says that the major issue with their set-up was that if they got the timing wrong, a store manager would do a stock take and the information in their system would no longer be accurate. They could do their stock take, load their numbers into the POS system and it would tell them they were $5,000 out.
“We very quickly came to a point where our store managers were saying, “There are a whole heap of timing issues here so I’m not going to take responsibility for getting this right. I’m just going to send it through to head office and they can sort it out,” Ian says.
There was also an increasing business need to analyse sales data.
The Infinity solution
“Before we implement a substantial change in the business we do an environmental scan. One of the great things about working with Triquestra is that they’re very good at sharing best practice knowledge gained from working with their other clients,” comments Ian.
“We spoke directly to Whitcoulls and Barkers Menswear and asked them how they were using Infinity POS software and how it was working for them. The feedback was useful and instructive and we haven’t looked back since implementing Infinity for ourselves.”
Ian says an advantage of working with the Triquestra team is their ability to customise their out-of-the-box solution to meet The Trusts’ exacting needs.
“We worked with Triquestra over a period of about three months to establish what additional functionality we required and how they would go about incorporating it.”
Ian says that Infinity has enabled The Trusts to fundamentally change the way its information management systems work.
“We still have the same ERP system but we have taken inventory management down to the point of sale level. All transactions that affect inventory are controlled by the store manager. So too are adjustments for breakages or stolen items."
Now, when store managers do a stock take, the information is in real-time so they are responsible for identifying and reporting any variances that have occurred. That’s made a huge difference.
“We’re now asking the managers to identify why they have a stock variance as opposed to just reporting it back to head office,” Ian explains.
Since implementing Infinity POS and inventory management software, The Trusts’ has gained access to higher quality business intelligence.
“We have built an interface from the Infinity POS system to our data warehouse. From this we extract analysis of our inventory movements, profits and sales. This information ensures we’re providing the right product to our customers,” says Ian.
Ian is also pleased with Infinity’s power. “In our business there are very obvious busy periods – Friday and Saturday nights in particular – where we put through a huge number of sales. Infinity is such a robust application that we never have any issues even during our busiest times. It just goes – we don’t need to be in constant contact.”
“Our employees now have all of the functionality that they need and it’s very quick. From the user’s point of view it’s very simple: scan the product, take the money and the rest takes care of itself. This allows us to focus on the customer’s needs and not just process the transaction."
“Infinity will be the core of our retail system for the next five-to-ten years,” concludes Caulfield.