StateWays - March/April 2017

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays | | March/April 2017 10 locations are on-premise restaurants with alcohol licenses. The county generates an average of $35 million in annual profi ts, much of which is allocated to its reserve fund. Dorfman's appointment marks the fi rst time an individual from outside government has taken on the director role. He thinks that his diverse background will bring a fresh perspective to the agency. "I have an opportunity to look at the organization from a private business standpoint and make any necessary im- provements, and also bring certain issues forward that need to be addressed," Dorf- man says. Customer service is his primary focus. Despite the fact that the county controls alcohol sales, Dorfman is adamant that the DLC needs to proceed as any other business would when it comes to cus- tomer retention. "We need to operate as if we need to earn our customers' business every day," he says. Dorfman plans to concentrate on cus- tomer support in order to ultimately make the agency more profi table. His long-term plans include remod- eling agency stores in order to provide customers with a more engaging shopping experience. He also hopes to incorporate more educational offerings into stores and programming, in order to capture customer attention and maintain their interest. Acknowledging that these plans will require additional money from the county, Dorfman is confi dent that the DLC will receive the support it needs. "The county recognizes the need to make some changes, and they'll see this as a priority," he says. "I'll be able to easily justify it with ROI. In the end, we do hope to increase sales, but we know we can't do that unless we also improve the relation- ship we have with our customers." Dorfman thinks that his plans to enhance the customer experience will lead to more sales, which will in turn offset future agency costs and avoid additional tax increases across the county. He hopes to roll out the agen- cy's new business strategy mid-year and is currently working with consultants to explore various rebranding and remodel- ing efforts. PART OF THE COMMUNITY Another plan of Dorfman's is to add addi- tional marketing resources to the agency, not only to help increase sales, but also to enhance the efforts of the DLC to repo- sition itself as a valuable resource to the Montgomery County community. "The way we want the public to view us is as a great retailer: very customer-focused, offering great merchandise and provid- ing an added value as a county that others simply cannot offer," Dorfman says. "The whole argument of privatization from a customer per- spective is skewed," he insists. "Privatization doesn't change the idea of a closed system, it just changes who is in charge of it." New DLC Director Robert Dorfman had a long career in the private sector before coming to the agency. "THE WHOLE ARGUMENT OF PRIVATIZATION FROM A CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE IS SKEWED. PRIVATIZATION DOESN'T CHANGE THE IDEA OF A CLOSED SYSTEM, IT JUST CHANGES WHO IS IN CHARGE OF IT."

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