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 14 The Mississippi ABC employs 126 people, including 24 law enforcement personnel. agency agency profile MISSISSIPPI ABC though he says the ABC already has great customer service, there is always room for improvement. Next-day delivery is available everywhere throughout the state with a fi ve-case min- imum order. Licensees have the added convenience of submit- ting and managing all orders online, which is a requirement for all ABC customers. Payment is also submitted online, elimi- nating the need for paper invoicing. Moving forward, Frierson says the ability to offer additional products will enhance the customer experience even more. He's also in the process of creating an advisory board made up of different permit holders to advise the agency going forward. "This will help us resolve some issues before they ever get too big, and will also help people engage with everything we're doing," Frierson says. He hopes that the high quality of service the ABC provides to its customers will ultimately thwart those individuals in favor of privatization. While the concept of privatizing the beverage alco- hol industry in Mississippi is fl oated from time to time, Frierson says the consequences of doing so would be dire. "A 27% increase in sales tax will be necessary with privatiza- tion, which is something a lot of people fail to realize," he says. "Our system has worked well for a long time and it will continue to. We also have one of the lowest product mark-ups of any state, and privatization would change all that and make things more costly for everyone involved." INCREASED ENFORCEMENT In addition to addressing the space limitation issue and working to enhance customer service, Frierson and his team are also focused on enforcement issues. While the ABC currently em- ploys 126 people, only 24 are in law enforcement positions. Rusty Hanna, Chief of Enforcement with the Mississippi ABC, "OUR SYSTEM HAS WORKED WELL FOR A LONG TIME AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO." —Herb Frierson, Mississippi ABC Commissioner

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