The first handmade Infinity Surfboard was made by surfer Steve Boehne in 1970 which put this surfing enthusiast in business, opening his Infinity Surfboards store two years later.
Located in Huntington Beach, CA. where surfing is a way of life, the store attracts a large following of surfers, from beginners to advanced and the real Pros. Hand-shaped surfboards are made right on the premises, and clothing apparel and accessories for the normal beach-goers compliments the store’s beach theme.
The following is an interview with owner Steve Boehne:
Tell us about Infinity Surfboards.
I love surfing and surfboards. I made the first Infinity surfboard in 1970 and opened the first store in 1972. Clothing is very secondary to us given that we actually hand-shape the boards right on the premises.
What did you do for POS and inventory control before Retail Pro?
I avoided computerizing for years. When you don’t have computerization, it’s overwhelming. You don’t have any control. You have to take handwritten receipts and check off each item that was sold. You have to add in inventory you receive. I did hand inventory for many years and then got a DOS system around 1994.
How long have you been using Retail Pro?
We installed Retail Pro in April 2003.
What problems or challenges did you face before Retail Pro?
The old DOS system solved the problems of tracking inventory, time clock and sales receipts, but Retail Pro just does it better.
The biggest challenges before was inventory control, balancing the cash drawer at end of the day, and managing the employee time clock. Retail Pro saves me an hour or so each week on just the time clock functions alone.
How has Retail Pro helped you increase the efficiency of running your retail operations?
One of the basic problems it handled was balancing the cash drawer at the end of the day. The Retail Pro method of tracking credit cards, checks and cash really helps us track down problems. If you’re short, you can identify if it was cash, check or credit card. It saves a lot of time if there’s something wrong when it doesn’t balance.
What do you like most about Retail Pro?
Compared to my old DOS system, my favorite is the many ways you can search for an inventory item. I also like the customization. I have been able to perform functions of my sales receipts and consignment items with a lot more ease.
For us, when I put an item into inventory, like a kayak paddle for example, if the tag on the item is un-readable or missing when a customer brings to the cash register, we just type the keyword “paddle” and presto, it makes a list of all the paddles we have.
I like the whole filtering system and the flexibility in how you keep the data and change it the way you want. If you’re smart about how you put your inventory in, Retail Pro generates lists to help you find things. We have 10,000 items with 200 pages of inventory, and the filtering system is really good; it searches for items so quickly. It’s been very useful.
Do you use Retail Pro for any special needs unique to your store?
We sell a lot of surfboards on consignment. It’s a lot of work to track, but Retail Pro is flexible enough where I can do all that.
With Retail Pro, I made a neat system for doing surfboard consignments, designed a tag that had all the information about the item, made a consignment department, and it helped me keep track of it and whether or not the consignee has been paid or not.
What have been some of the long-term benefits of using Retail Pro?
For me, it is very adaptable to my needs as far as customization goes. I have my receipts customized and the tendering screen. Everything is customizable. And not having to hand-tally receipts has saved me a lot of time.
We don’t rely on Retail Pro much to tell us when we’ve had inventory too long because we’re one store and you know when something has been sitting on the shelf too long. If it’s been sitting on the shelf too long, we put it up for sale. But if we had more stores, it would be very helpful.
How do your employees like working with Retail Pro?
Retail Pro is so prevalent in all the surf shops that many of my new employees already know it. Those who don’t, pick it up pretty quickly.
How has your system consultant been of help since Retail Pro was installed?
While I was learning the system, One Step Retail Solutions was very helpful. Everyone there has been very patient with me and was always willing to teach me what to do.
I found the support department to be very good. Whenever I have to call support, they get back to me in a reasonable amount of time, and are very knowledgeable in solving my issues.
What do you see in the future for your company?
Our Internet sales have really grown, so we no longer depend on dealers to sell our boards. We are not striving to open more locations, but if something comes along, we would look into it.