August 20, 2010
This week, DBPR received a great "shout out" from Governing magazine. Governing is the trade publication for government agencies and is read nationwide.
The article pertained to DBPR's latest achievement in making our licensing and regulatory processes more nimble and user-friendly. The idea for this particular achievement was, as usual, brought to us by our customers.
To sell alcohol in Florida, each specific type and label must receive a license. Late last year, our friends in the alcohol industry pointed out that the process of applying for and receiving these brand licenses was cumbersome and slow, taking as much as eight weeks. As we analyzed the situation we discovered we were thousands of licenses behind, and that, at the rate we were going, we would affect the sales of beverages during the holiday season.
To fix the problem we set upon a two-part strategy. Part one was literally throwing muscle at the problem. We re-tasked staff and brought on temps in order to catch up on the backlog. Part two was to develop a more business-friendly process to increase our efficiency. We formed a team of subject matter experts, attorneys and technology staff to review the statutory requirements, eliminate items we were requiring that were unnecessary, and map out a new process that would allow a business to complete the entire application online. One example of an unnecessary step was imposing our judgment on the artistic content of labels. DBPR has no authority to deny a license based on artistic content. Elimination of that step carved time from the process.
While working on the project we had one of those "Eureka!" moments when we realized that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms collects similar information about liquor sold in the U.S. We realized that if we could program our system to reach out and grab this federal information automatically we would save our applicants several steps by eliminating documentation we could get from another source.
We met with industry leaders to get their ideas about our solution. Some of their suggestions were implemented in the final product, as we feel that licensee input is an essential part of implementing any new process.
The bottom line? A reduction in the processing time from eight weeks to a matter of minutes, and a revamped one-stop online licensing format for registering multiple brands and automatic data sharing with the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to capture electronic images of labels.
The automation and streamlining of the alcoholic beverage brand registration application took approximately six months to implement. We are now sharing our online application with other state regulatory agencies that are interested in improving their processes. This project was truly a team effort, along with our partners in the alcoholic beverage industry, we were able to create a new process that reduces the regulatory burden and makes Florida a more business-friendly environment.
It is an honor to be nationally recognized for creating new processes that reduce the bureaucratic burden and makes Florida a more business-friendly environment.
Here's the link to the Governing magazine article: http://www.governing.com/columns/bg-report/A-Snitch-in-Time.html