StateWays - January/February 2017

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 | | January/February 2017 13 Mississippi ABC Commissioner Herb Frierson and Director James Eubanks. Revenue. Frierson's main priority is to continue building on the success of his predecessors, encouraging growth and champion- ing for the resources needed to make it happen. PLANNED WAREHOUSE EXPANSION Upon inheriting the top post at the ABC, Frierson was faced with several challenges - the main one being limited warehouse space. "We're trying to fi nd the best possible solution for the state of Mississippi," Frierson says. "We will be at full capacity by fi scal year 2017 or 2018. During the holiday season, we're already at capacity now." In order to be as effi cient and cost-effective as possible, Frier- son and his team are investigating solutions that will work within the existing structure of the warehouse, specifi cally the installa- tion of an automated racking system to free up 30% of warehouse space and allow the ABC to continue operating in the same facil- ity for at least eight to ten more years. The additional warehouse space will also give the ABC an op- portunity to better meet the needs of Mississippi retailers, who con- stantly ask for new products that are requested by their customers. A changing market means the industry is saturated with growing trends, such as craft beer and fl avored spirits. Frierson reports that back in 1966, the ABC stocked a grand total of 165 items. Currently, the agency stocks 4,300 products, in addition to offering more than 8,000 special order items. More warehouse space will allow the ABC to keep more products in stock at all times. "We need to fi nd a way to not only better identify products that will sell better than others, but look for automation opportu- nities that will further enhance the warehouse we envision for the future," Frierson says. "We don't see this market slowing down at all, and neither does the industry, so it's important that we have the resources needed to keep up." A warehouse expansion proposal is expected to be delivered to the state legislature by the ABC in January 2017, offering sev- eral options for the lawmakers' consideration. Customer service is another main focus area for Frierson. Al- PHOTOS COURTESY OF GIL FORD PHOTOGRAPHY

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