Purpose of Practice

Improve communication with vendors Improve service levels to stores Move to paperless Purchase Orders and Invoices

Description of Practice

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has implemented an internet based collaboration portal that allows two way communication with vendors. Vendors have access to inventory levels in the DCs, planned shipment levels to the stores, and forecasts by item by DC for all replenishment items. Purchase orders are published to vendors on the portal. Bailment vendors can enter details of inbound shipments to the DCs. Receiving details at the DCs are available. Vendors can use the portal to submit invoices for merchandise. All information is available on screen and is searchable and downloadable as well. By making forecast and inventory data available to the vendors, and by having regular S&OP phone calls with supply chain and sales and marketing representatives of the bailment vendors, the portal facilitates a collaborative forecasting process. This is instrumental in improving service levels while reducing inventory investment. By utilizing the internet, web tools and by making information searchable and downloadable, the portal is able to be used by vendors of all sizes and sophistication.

Success or Improvements

We have successfully moved to paperless purchasing, with all POs published to the portal. In addition, we have moved to paperless invoicing for merchandise vendors. S&OP calls are being held with all bailment vendors. The frequency of the calls is determined by the needs of the individual vendors. Training materials for the portal are available via the web for all users. The design of the tool, the ease of use, and the ability to provide searchable and downloadable data to vendors, ensures that e-commerce benefits can extend to all vendors. In the past, passing large amounts of data to vendors was only possible through tools like EDI, which is only practical for larger vendors. The vendor collaboration portal allows all users to enjoy the advantages of e-commerce tools in a free environment.


Name: Glenn Zearfoss 
Agency: Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board 
Address: Northwest Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17124 
Tele: 717-787-9545 
Email: gzearfoss@pa.gov