MECHANICSVILLE, Va. – Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) has earned the Overall Best Practices Award from StateWays magazine, the only national magazine devoted to the issues and subjects that affect the 17 states and multiple local jurisdictions where government manages the sale and distribution of distilled spirits at the wholesale level.
This is the third such recognition for Virginia ABC in the last decade. StateWays recognized Virginia ABC’s innovations in five categories:
- Best Distribution/Warehouse Innovation
Team W.O.W. (Warehouse Optimization Workgroup) implemented 54 ways of enhancing operations and logistics; people, performance, and culture; safety and enforcement; and communications and training. The effort led to an increase in cases packed per hour; an increase in cases shipped per day; a reduction in staff turnover; and a record 146 days without injury.
- Best Enforcement Program
Virginia ABC Licensing (VAL) allows licensees to apply for, renew, modify and surrender any license online. Additionally, VAL processes all fees and fines online, eliminating the need for people to drive to an ABC regional office. The system was developed to replace a largely paper-based system.
- Best Technology Innovation
A dedicated call center has improved the Authority’s phone call answer rate from 60% to 97%. Improved, quality service has led to more incoming calls, an estimated 33,000 this year. The call center also features data tracking and metrics that were not previously available.
- Best Licensee Outreach Program
In response to a change in state law, the ABC Community Health and Engagement Division developed the Responsible Alcohol Delivery Driver (RADD) training. This 45-minute online training educates licensees and alcoholic beverage delivery drivers on delivery best practices. More than 15,000 people have taken the training, with 89% of survey participants agreeing the training was relevant to their job duties.
- Best Retail Innovation
To create an equitable way of selling allocated products (primarily bourbons), Virginia ABC created the drop system. Store locations and times are randomized, and once a drop occurs, store employees receive a five-minute heads-up notifying them that a range of products are now available for sale. Shortly after that, Virginia ABC announces the drops to the public via email and social media. Products are then made available to customers on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a limit of one product per person. Earlier this month, Virginia ABC added text notifications for drops.
StateWays’ editorial staff judged all award entries and deemed the totality of Virginia ABC’s entries deserved the highest recognition.
“This award from StateWays recognizes our commitment to accountability, service, integrity and performance excellence,” said CEO Travis Hill. “Earning this honor speaks to the incredible teamwork that is part of our culture and values. I am thrilled to be a part of such an incredible team that has accomplished so much in service to the commonwealth.”
“We’re proud to recognize the Virginia ABC as our Best Practices Awards Overall Winner for 2023,” said Jeremy Nedelka, StateWays magazine vice president. “The agency is our first three-time winner, repeating an achievement from 2015 and 2021. Our judges chose Virginia as the ‘Best of the Best’ due to innovation and operational excellence across a number of areas, including distribution, technology and licensee education.”
The fall 2023 digital edition of StateWays is available at this link.
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