StateWays - July/August 2015

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays n n July/August 2015 18 The online application also provides value to the gaming industry. In order for a business to obtain a gaming license in Montana, it must also hold a liquor license. Montana's Liquor Control Division collaborates with the Department of Justice to maintain a joint application that allows people to apply for both licenses at once. "It saves people time and also avoids the hassle of having to go through two different agencies," Helfert says. Before launching the system, it was tested by some of Mon- tana's top licensees, who offered feedback on features and us- ability. Implementation and roll-out of the system took about a year, starting with on-premise applicants in January 2014 and expanding to include manufacturers and special permit requests by summer 2014. Overall cost? About $200,000. Helfert estimates that about 25% of new applications are currently being submitted using the online process, although applicants still have the option of sending all their information through the mail. The mail-in option will always be available to accommodate people in rural areas who don't have Internet access or who simply prefer the paper format. Currently, the division continues to work to promote the new online licensing system with a goal of increasing participation to 40% - 50% in the coming year. Announcements about the sys- tem are prominently featured in the division's monthly industry newsletter, and are also detailed in each license renewal letter that is mailed out. Online Training Programs In addition to the TAP online licensing system, the LCD also developed an online portal to aid in training processes. All al- coholic beverage sellers and servers are required to complete a training process (although it isn't mandated that training must be facilitated through the state). In 2013, Helfert and her team invested in the development of an online training portal. The portal launched in spring 2015 and contains information on Montana's in-person training programs, [ PROFILE ] The Montana LCD is investigating voice-pick technology for its warehouse, which Helfert hopes will be in place within the next year.

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