Governor’s office wants changes at DABC

Posted at 12:28 PM, Aug 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-27 14:29:25-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The governor’s office has released a highly anticipated report on problems within Utah’s liquor control agency.

In a summary given to FOX 13, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget said it found three areas where the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control could improve operations and customer service. The summary states:

Improved communication and trust between DABC management and individual stores

  • An increased emphasis will be placed on the training role of regional managers to better enable the front-line staff to meet store demands
  • Store personnel will assume an increased role with inventory management
  • Part-time staff will receive additional training and increased responsibilities
  • A specific mechanism will be implemented to support employee suggestions and feedback

Improved processes to meet customer demand

  • Leverage Theory of Constraints inventory management practices to refine the process for reducing product shortages and overages
  • Acceleration of existing programs and initiatives to clear out slow moving products and replacing them with new or introductory items
  • Exploring the possibility of specialized product inventory stores where feasible
  • Further refinement of special ordering processes to better meet demand while also protecting against orders not being picked up by the customer and/or left unpaid
  • Further refinement of policy, process, and equipment changes in support of a faster purchasing experience while reducing the risk of selling to under-age customers

Improved customer service

  • Engaging store managers in the establishment of staff performance metrics, measurements, expectations and staff development
  • Further refinement of the existing customer satisfaction measurement system
  • Continued interaction with vendors (restaurants, restaurant associations, etc.)  to identify ways to improve the customer experience and meet demand

This is one of three reviews ordered by Governor Gary Herbert after a series of complaints about low morale and customer service problems within the agency. Staffers with Herbert’s office have been visiting the state’s 44 liquor stores and interviewing employees about conditions. The governor has also ordered a 60-day review and a 90-day review.

Already, a state lawmaker has proposed laws that create an obmudsman to deal with employee and consumer complaints and giving the DABC more control over its budget. The liquor control agency generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the state, but has no control over its own budget.

A spokeswoman for the DABC told FOX 13 the agency would work with the governor’s office to implement the recommendations.