Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A year later, and inventory is still mis-managed

Back in November of last year, the PLCB Annual Report said they had "...improved the product search feature of the Fine Wine & Good Spirits online store." (pg. 13). I pretty much proved that was BS at the time in my "After 80 years they still can't do inventory" story in January.

Here it is a year later, and you may be thinking, there might been some improvement. Maybe the PLCB has come up with some internal cooperation so that the database, retail stores, and website all know what is going on. If you believe that, well, I have a bridge to sell you.

Take the entry on the Fine Wine And Good Spirits  Facebook page of October 26th at 9 AM, where they tout having a coupon for the "new" (their words) Casa Noble Crystal Blanco tequila. If you want to find this item, you can go to one of two places to search it out, the Online Product Catalog or the "fancier" FWAGS website.

The Online Catalog lists Casa Noble Crystal Blanco tequila as an SLO item: you must buy a minimum of six bottles, at $43.79 each. Not a great deal even with a $3 coupon, considering it can be had for under $35 across the border. Going to the FWAGS webpage and doing a search for Casa Noble Crystal nets you  six listings in the Available Online section, none of which are actually Casa Noble products. Then there are 33 entries in the In Store section, which includes some wine cocktails even though it was a Spirits search. Of course, none of these are Casa Noble either. Finally we come to the 56 listings in the Available Special Order section. After fourteen items -- White Rum, Creme de Menthe, Captain Morgan, white whiskey, and Cognac -- comes the one and only listing for a Casa Noble Crystal, the last item on page one; it's still a 6 bottle SLO.

Is this their improvement after a YEAR of work? How much "modernization" of the search function should have we expected after the entire Board said they improved it back in November of last year? The answer is the same amount of improvement we can expect from any of the PLCB modernization schemes...little to none.

This just proves that there is little to no internal coordination in the PLCB.  The highly trained people who run the Facebook page don't know what the highly trained people who do the inventory call the same product and can't be bothered to find out, and the highly trained supervisors seem oblivious to the difference.

Is this any way to run a business? The answer is no, which is no shock: they aren't any kind of a business, just a poor excuse for the status quo.



Anonymous said...

Is this search tool accurate for the most part?: https://www.lcbapps.lcb.state.pa.us/webapp/Product_Management/psi_ProductDefault_Inter.asp

Lew Bryson said...

Not particularly, as it's only as good as the PLCB's data entry, which is lousy. As an example, I just now picked a category at random: BOURBON (STRAIGHT). There were wrong entries on the first page, and then I came across an entry that wasn't even a bourbon: Forty Creek Double Barrel, which is Canadian whisky. Didn't even have to look too hard, as you can see by how quickly I got this up after you posted.
A search tool is only as good as the database it's searching.

Albert Brooks said...

Given the choice of the one you listed or the one on the FWAGS page, take this one. FWAGS is totally fucked up with entires that not only don't pertain but sometimes make no sense at all.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow the PLCB is releasing new board minutes. I can't wait to read what stores they plan on "upgrading" this time... despite the fact that most of the public has been tired of state stores, no matter how you slice it, for decades.

Anonymous said...

Not only is their data entry lousy but PLCB stores are often very disheveled. Some stores seem to have more empty shelves than they have full shelves. And yet at the same time, carts and boxes full of bottles are allowed to just sit (in the aisles!) for days. Also usually when carts are used, bottles are stacked very precariously in the carts, with no regard given to the fact these are fragile glass bottles. Lastly when the shelves are allowed to sit empty, years-old rust/stains from leaky bottles can be seen.

I also am someone who often peeks into the back rooms of PLCB stores and most of the back rooms look not only filthy, but the boxes are just thrown everywhere in random order. It makes me feel bad for the few employees who take pride in their jobs and truly care about their store.

Albert Brooks said...

Most stores should have some arrangement to their stock. Fast moving items will most likely be nearer the door and the rest would be in PLCB number order. You see the PLCB isn't good enough to use the barcode numbers for inventory order they had to come up with their own numbers and make all the wineries and distilleries use it by having tags glued on the boxes. Another PA way to be highly inefficient.