Holiday cheer experiences some technical difficulties...
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming Department of Revenue-Liquor Division officials, who oversee liquor purchases for the state, are seeing problems across Wyoming when it comes to meeting retailers’ needs and ordering everyone’s holiday cheer.
The Wyoming Liquor Division has been around since the 1930s and has changed its name over the years.
Their newest warehouse, which is a little over 145,000 square feet, carries over 2,500 spirit and wine products.
They are also at capacity after over ten years at that location, especially this time of year.
”Normally, it’s probably not this packed, but it’s Christmas season that the number one season for alcohol just like it is for everything else. Black Friday is the number one purchasing day for alcohol,” said Thomas Montoya, Administrator of the Wyoming Department Revenue Liquor Division.
But there have been problems recently or, more to the point, glitches.
The pandemic brought with it workforce shortages and supply chain issues which affected every industry.
Yet also, during that time, their newly installed software hit its capacity, and customers were not happy.
”There were over 200 products that we just couldn’t get and for a number of reasons. Suppliers were telling us they couldn’t get glass for the product, they couldn’t get labels or caps, or if they had product freight... they couldn’t get trucks to ship it,” said Montoya.
1,300 retailers purchase directly from the Wyoming Liquor Division, but the computer system the division used couldn’t meet retailers’ demands, causing ordering issues that caused incorrect orders or not taking orders at all.
One of the ways the liquor division staff worked around labor shortages was by hiring third-party freight workers to truck the product to retailers.
And they are looking for other ways to keep customers happy.
“We’re holding a town hall meeting right now with the vendors with trucking companies, with the retailers and with the brokers... they go out and sell the product to the companies. But they need that information right there now. So now they are going to be able to get real-time inventory, and it’s going to be a lot more robust system,” said Montoya.
The division is also currently working with Microsoft directly, thanks to Wyoming’s Legislative backing, to get a new software system on board by the summer of 2023.
“We’re probably 40 percent to completion. We are working extremely hard. We’re putting in sometimes 30 hours a week, and we still have regular jobs.
Liquor division staff will continue to work hard to make sure everyone gets their holiday cup of cheer.
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