Monday, July 25, 2016

New Positions, Old Positions

The PLCB says, over and over, they want to run like a business. I did a comparison of how they attempt to go about that in my "Run Like A Business - Really?" post at the beginning of this year.

One of the things businesses do, one of the most important things, is hiring personnel to do the work and run the operations. The PLCB way is not so much to hire qualified people in 99% of those occasions, as it is to prefer the policy of promoting from within. In general, though, those people know nothing about how real retail is run, because all they know is the Socialist Monopoly PLCB retail model, which has little to do being "run like a business." Governor Wolf continues the tradition of hiring hacks, people with no liquor retail experience, with his latest addition to the board.

Who runs the "business"? The Board seems to have abdicated that responsibility, reserving to itself the job of rubber-stamping license applications (and reading letters from the Governor), testifying to the Legislature about how wonderful things are (despite how they look), and hiring people to actually run the "business." People like Joe "Da CEO" Conti and John Metzger and whoever Metzger's replacement will be when he retires at the end of September.. Nice work, boys.

Now we have the new made-up position of COO (Chief Operation Officer), which you usually find in businesses with more than one thing going on. Maybe he is in charge of the liquor testing lounge too. Just another $120+K slot that didn't exist before this year, filled by another born and bred PLCB insider, the former Director of Retail Operations Charles Mooney.

Besides getting paid every two weeks, just what has Mooney done? Not much so far, that we can see. But that's not surprising, considering that he was the guy who took years to replace Renovo's store, a year to move the Mountaintop store 50 feet (give or take), and pulled the State Stores out of downtown Lewisburg and Lock Haven against the wishes of the community, the local Representative, and their state Senator. You can read some other consumer friendly (I'm kidding) things he's had his hands in here. I don't expect much to change in the new position. Charlie's replacement is another brainwashed 30 year PLCB vet, Carl Jolly, so you know there won't be any innovation happening, just like during Charlie's tenure. Same old, same old, that's the way we've always done it here at the good old State Store System.

I'm not sure how this is going to work. In a real business, all the "Chief" officers are higher up the food chain than Directors. But at the PLCB we now have a COO and have had CIO (Chief Information Officer), both ostensibly under the Executive Director, at least according to the PLCB's own wire diagram in their Fiscal Year In Review (page 9 if you are following along). Just like every business you've never seen.

It is a typical PLCB answer to a PLCB problem. Throw money (or in this case, Mooney) at it and see if that fixes it. Adding more bureaucrats to an already top-heavy, incompetent organization is not the fix that is needed. Neither is keeping and promoting the old guard who only know the PLCB way. PLCB lifers have no real business experience, because the PLCB isn't a real business.

But if the PLCB is intent on creating high-paying positions that they don't have anybody qualified to fill, I'll offer these suggestions so they can fully mimic what a real business does.

CXO - Chief experience officer - A chief experience officer is the officer responsible for the overall user experience (UX) of an organization. This executive is ultimately responsible for the strategy and user interface design to connect the consumer to the organization's products and services, and may further oversee marketing communications, community relations, internal relations and HR relations. This would then supply someone convenient to blame for the millions of customers who have and continue to have poor experiences with the PLCB. Very handy for the Board to deflect criticism; this should be someone especially expendable.

CFO - Chief Financial Officer - This person manages the corporation’s financial risk.  They deal with data analysis, financial planning and record keeping. Being $240 million in the hole might require somebody to blame, so who better than the CFO?

CHRO - Chief Human Resources Officer - With all the new hires, the PLCB will need to be open longer hours and Sundays, and deliver products. That's gonna take a CHRO to combat the likely 40% turnover rate for new employees (and to blame for it).

CMO - Chief Marketing Officer - Somebody has to be in charge of the new, exciting coupons (and take the blame for their inevitable failure to meet revenue expectations).

CRO - Chief Revenue Officer - You really need this guy to explain to the unions and other PLCB supporters (and maybe even the Democrats in the Legislature) that "revenue" is not "profit". 

CSO - Chief Strategy Officer - Somebody has to be the point of focus to fight every pro-consumer initiative, every threat to the status quo, and any changes that weren't approved by Gifford Pinchot himself. (This position is unique in that it doesn't accept blame, it creates it. Very useful.)
How a real dysfunctional business works. Maybe the PLCB's not that far off...
Of course, all of these people need to report to a CEO, which they haven't had since Conti smeared crap all over title like an incontinent monkey, so you can add that salary to the total. You should be able to waste at least a few million on these folks and their staff  in addition to your new COO position. To make sure you expend the maximum amount, remember to only hire people with no experience in real life retail or liquor — just like was done over the past 80 years.

The only way the liquor and wine business in this state will ever "run like a business" if it is a business. Even better: lots of businesses.

Privatize. Accept nothing less.

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