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 22 Planning for the Future So what's next for Montana? Looking ahead, Helfert says her priority for the upcoming year is to focus on increasing overall warehouse productivity. The division is currently investigating voice-pick technology, which is a technique that has been successfully implemented in other control states over the past several years. Helfert hopes to have the new technology in place within the next 12 months. ADVICE FOR FELLOW CONTROL STATES Montana has proven to be a leader among the control states, making changes and improvements to enhance operations and improve customer service. So what advice and best practices can Helfert offer to her control state peers? Here's her quick list of key takeaways: Empower your staff. "The most important thing you can do is to utilize your best resources: your employees," she says. "Use them. They are the ones on the ground and they're the people who will come up with the best ideas." Pay attention to customers. In addition to its focus on education and enforcement, a control state agency also functions as a business. By connecting with customers and getting a clear sense of what their key challenges and concerns are, you'll be positioned to make the most well- informed decisions about what's best for the agency. Plan ahead. When preparing to spear- head a large project, such as an online system overhaul or new warehouse technology implementation, there's no such thing as too much planning. From project management to making sure the right people are involved in the process, Helfert stresses that the proper planning makes all the difference in the world. However, it's also important to be flexible with your original plans. "Make sure you schedule time to evaluate things often, because regardless of how well you plan, things will change and you need to be able to easily adapt," she says. [ PROFILE ]

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