Technology could enhance liquor accords: Woolies
By James Atkinson
Woolworths says its national, intranet-based liquor accord management system has proved invaluable for its liquor store managers and a similar resource should be made available for all accord members.
The intranet system allows Woolworths' liquor store managers to maintain records of accord activities and share best practice initiatives with their colleagues across Australia, the company's national licensing and acquisitions manager, Shane Tremble, told TheShout.
Tremble was speaking this week as Woolworths released its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, which revealed that it now has 514 liquor stores involved in accords across Australia.
He said that to work properly, the accords require adequate investment in governance, and the minutes of accord meetings must be widely available to stakeholders.
Tremble said this is crucial as it ensures new liquor store managers can be quickly brought up to speed with a particular area's alcohol-related problems – which vary considerably across the different accords.
As such, he said Woolworths had informally suggested to authorities that they consider making this information available online to all accord members, similar to the retailer's in-house accord management system.
Along with better use of technology, he said accords could be improved with the development of model structures, processes and documentation that could be used by participants when establishing and participating in accords.
Currently, Tremble said the effectiveness of accords varies across jurisdictions.
He pointed to the Eurobodalla accord on the NSW south coast – where Woolworths subsidises Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training for Year 12 students – as an example of best practice.
Woolworths this week said its involvement in accords costs it an estimated $468,000 and 15,420 labour hours in attendance.
Tremble said the company would not spend the money if it did not believe the initiatives could play an effective role in reducing alcohol-related harm.