Stateways Sept-Oct 2014

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 Q Q September/October 2014 24 CONTROL STATES EXECUTIVE FORUM +++++++++++++++++++++ systems security and increase functionality. The most significant development in the regulatory are- na was the Utah Transfer of License Act's (TOLA) coming into effect July 1, 2014. The statue permits the sale of al- cohol retail licenses at prices determined by the market. In effect, TOLA allows buyers and sellers to place a price on licenses that had no value under previous provisions of the code. It also allows transparency in transactions by requir- ing buyers to provide notice of what they are purchasing and by detailing requirements for escrow and protection of creditors. The statute prohibits inter-county transfers and requires that operations begin within a certain period of time to prevent hoarding of licenses. In terms of process, TOLA documents what the de- partment has always done in processing license applica- tions when there is a change in ownership in the business. Still, to ensure a smooth implementation of TOLA, the department met with stakeholders and obtained input on processes, created forms, issued FAQs, and released guidelines outlining pre-submission requirements. The department remains aware that moving forward, ar- eas of clarification may be identified and it is the our intention to maintain communications with the legislature to address issues that may need clarification and to make sure that pro- posed rules are in keeping with intent of the statute and allow public notice of any changes to department procedure. VERMONT Stephanie O'Brien Chair, Department of Liquor Control T he Vermont Depart- ment of Liquor Control has undergone a comprehen- sive business performance audit conducted by the State Auditor's Office. One of the main areas of focus during this audit has been the need for a larger warehouse facility to ac- commodate our growing business. Meeting the cus- tomers' demand for new products, dealing with out of stocks and trying to keep enough stock on hand for the explosive growth of the in-state craft distilleries has been a big challenge. A draft report is expected in September for comment and a final report will be is- sued shortly thereafter. We are continuing to expand the department's mar- keting efforts. A new branding campaign, 802 Spirits was launched in the past year with additional changes being contemplated for the immediate future. The Department continues to invest in responsible marketing by way of various publications that give the consumer information on product knowledge, store loca- tions and, the licensees who also sell our products. The quarterly price guide - 802 Spirits - and the Vermont Va- cation Guide showcase all store locations and are stra- tegically placed throughout the state including our state welcome/rest areas. The Department reviews and lists new products at least every other month. It is a challenge to find room in both the Liquor Warehouse and Agency stores to ac- commodate the deluge of innovative products being in- troduced into the marketplace. In addition, on-premise tastings were added to the process to better evaluate the products for potential listing. These tastings give the consumer the ability to taste and evaluate the product before committing to a larger purchase. Another Record Year DLC is experiencing its 18th straight year of growth in sales dollars. In Fiscal year 2014, sales reached $70,242,670; this represents a 3.33% ($2.2 million) in- crease over FY2013 figures. The Enterprise Resource Planning/Point of Service (ERP/POS) project for the agency stores and office systems is on steady path toward completion. STG is the vendor with Barry/Dunn working along with DLC as project manager. The current system was developed in-house over the past 30 years. While it has served us well, technology and business processes have changed to the point that the current system cannot keep pace. We were looking for a system that offered a more efficient and secure process at the outlet level, an accurate view of inventory to improve product turns, and a reliable financial interface to the state financial system. With the widespread use of credit cards at our agencies, customer security is of utmost concern. The new system will provide a more efficient check out experience for the consumer while being fully com- pliant with current and proposed Payment Card Indus- try (PCI) rules. We looked at the solutions provided by several vendors and decided that STG offered the most flexible, cost effective and scalable solution for our needs. Their application is based on MicroSoft NAV, a widely used, industry standard platform, which ensures a stable operating environment to build upon. The Department's online educational seminar pro- gram has recently updated its format. The response has been very good for those licensees and their employees who currently travel many miles to a seminar location. The Board has added some new agency locations in the past year. It is part of their strategic plan to evaluate the needs for new agency store locations.

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