The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today announced it has been named Overall Winner in the 2016 StateWays Control States Best Practices Awards. The honor recognizes Pennsylvania as a leader in the beverage alcohol industry for its innovations in retail, wholesale operations, alcohol education, technology and regulatory affairs.
“What a fantastic way to bring this year of change and progress to a close, to be acknowledged as a model among among our peers in the beverage alcohol industry for our commitment to innovation and improvement,” says PLCB Chairman Tim Holden. “This award belongs to our dedicated employees. I’m very proud of and grateful to this team, and this award is proof of their hard work and commitment to serving the citizens of the commonwealth.”
In naming the PLCB top among all 17 control states, StateWays recognized advancements over the last year in the following categories:
- Technology: PLCB+ — a 24/7 online regulatory platform through which licensing and permitting is now conducted securely, quickly and simply over the internet – was introduced in fiscal year 2015-16 to replace multiple, archaic legacy systems and convert nearly 70 paper processes into electronic submissions.
- Warehouse/Wholesale Operations: The Licensee Online Order Portal (LOOP) and Licensee Delivery Program (LDP) were developed last year to better serve licensees with an internet-based system for ordering wine and spirits and a delivery option for high-volume licensees. LOOP and LDP brought a new level of functionality and convenience to bars, hotels, restaurants, clubs, and other retail licensees that has been very well received among users.
- Retail: In fiscal year 2015-16, 35 Fine Wine & Good Spirits store rebranding projects were completed, and now about 140 stores feature the modern, welcoming, consumer-friendly atmosphere that encourages consumers to enjoy exploring all that a Fine Wine & Good Spirits store has to offer. In addition to the StateWays retail accolades, Fine Wine & Good Spirits was also featured in the November/December issue of Beverage Dynamics magazine.
- Consumer Education: Last year, the PLCB introduced Limited-Release Lotteries in an effort to more equitably distribute highly sought-after, limited-quantity spirits to Pennsylvania consumers and licensees. Four lotteries in 2015 drew more than 95,000 entries for bottles of Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, and Pappy Van Winkle whiskies, and whiskey forums and blogs recognized the lotteries for their fairness and for awarding the products to Pennsylvanians, rather than out-of-state residents.
- Alcohol Education: Last holiday season, the PLCB led a partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Department of Transportation to promote the SaferRide app, a free Android and Apple download that can facilitate a safe ride home. In addition to increasing awareness of the SaferRide app and inspiring significant increases in app downloads during the campaign, the SaferRide campaign also drew the most activity to the Alcohol Education Facebook page it has ever experienced.
“Long before Act 39 provided us new opportunities for improving customer service and convenience, we were working hard to implement new systems, processes, and educational programs that would benefit our customers, licensees, and fellow Pennsylvanians,” said Holden. “This award recognizes those efforts and is an accomplishment all our employees can share in and celebrate.”
“I congratulate the PLCB on earning this great honor, which acknowledges Pennsylvania’s dedication to improving customer service and convenience,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “In fact, many of the accomplishments the StateWays award celebrates set the stage for the PLCB’s success in implementing the historic liquor reforms passed into law in the last few months. As a result, shopping for beer, wine, and spirits has never been easier this holiday season.”
StateWays, the only national magazine devoted to the issues and subjects affecting control state systems, established its Control State Best Practices Awards in 2015 to recognize control state agencies that are leading the industry in innovation, education and enforcement. Winners, including the PLCB as Overall Winner, are featured in the November/December issue of StateWays.
The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees.