Online liquor ordering system implemented for Michigan’s liquor licensees

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has launched an Online Liquor Ordering system for the state’s liquor licensees to make ordering liquor easier.

“Despite the challenges for many during the past year, it is great that our MLCC team was able to continue the necessary work to successfully launch a new online system that streamlines the process and is user friendly for our liquor license holders when ordering liquor for their bars and restaurants,” said Orlene Hawks, director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), where the MLCC is housed. “LARA’s priority is to modernize outdated Legacy IT systems as a way to rethink how we deliver efficient and first class service to our customers, businesses, and licensees. The excellent work of our MLCC team – along with our partnership with the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and our stakeholders – is a reflection of their commitment to this priority.”

The new system expands functionality for licensees and offers new online capabilities. Licensees can now:

  • View and search orders placed on the new system
  • Search for liquor products
  • Copy previous orders
  • Search by an “old” liquor code, system will bring up the new code if the former has been replaced
  • Allow multiple users for each licensee
  • add products by liquor code and quantity

The OLO system replaces an older Legacy system.

“These enhanced capabilities certainly brings our liquor ordering system into the 21st century for our licensees and will better meet their business needs,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “Also with OLO, we now have a platform to build on that will give us the ability to add other functions that will serve us well into the future.”

Midwest Independent Retailers Association Retail Vice Chair, Michael Mitchell, says he was impressed with the MLCC for implementing a major change to a system during COVID-19.

“In a non-COVID time this new system would be a massive undertaking. The fact that the MLCC pulled this off during COVID is remarkable,” said Mitchell. ‘’We have many issues every time we change a system or upgrade a program. The MLCC has done a great job of listening to the wants and needs of all of us. Change is never easy, but this was managed very well.”

Licensees can visit the MLCC website for a list of Frequently Asked Questions, a video of training sessions, and a new OLO system training manual. Before the system launched the MLCC conducted testing and training with MLCC staff, liquor licensees and the state’s authorized distribution agents’ technical and customer service teams. They used multiple technologies for the testing including phones and tablets.

Retailers are encouraged to contact the MLCC with questions, comments and suggestions for the system. The MLCC is working on enhancements based on recommendations that have already been received and will be implemented in the next few weeks.

Rishi Makkar, store manager at International Beverage in Grand Rapids provided recommendations.

“It’s so wonderful to have an administration and a development team that truly cares about the end-user experience and is willing to take input to further improve on the already cemented improvements,” said Makkar. “It’s nice to know that we are truly treated as partners instead of just a license number.” 

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