President of LCBO says 'every day is getting better' amid ongoing delivery delays
An LCBO is shown in this file photo. (Doug Ives/The Canadian Press)
Katherine DeClerq, CP24.com
Published Saturday, July 13, 2019 4:56PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 13, 2019 5:08PM EDT
The president of the LCBO says that ongoing delivery delays across the province are “not an inventory problem” and that systems should be back to normal in two to three weeks.
Ontario residents trying to pick up a case of beer or bottle of wine were met with bare shelves earlier this week. In a statement released on Tuesday, the LCBO said that a new warehouse management system at their Durham Retail Service Centre was to blame.
Speaking with CP24 on Saturday afternoon, LCBO President George Soleas said there were communication issues between the new system and the older systems, but that “every day is better.”
“Three weeks ago, we replaced one of our antiquated systems in one of our best-in-class facilities, the Durham facility, which is really the largest warehouse that we have. And we had some consequences that we never expected.”
The system glitch resulted in delivery delays for LCBO retail outlet and wholesale customer product orders and a depletion of stock.
According to Soleas, there were 240 stores that were “stocking out of product” last week. As of Saturday, he said that number was less than 15.
“I want to make sure that people understand that this is not an inventory problem. We have lots of inventory. This is not the system we implemented,” he said.
“I want to apologize to our customers and thank them for their patience. We are doing everything we can and things are getting much better. “
Union president is “trying to politicize the situation,’ says Soleas
On Friday, OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas called for the dismissal of Carmine Nigro, the chair of the LCBO board, saying that employees warned the agency “many, many times” about the new management system.
He also said that Nigro, who was appointed by Premier Doug Ford’s government in April, “lacks relevant experience.”
“Our members made it very clear that it this was not a good idea,” says Thomas. “But management decided to ignore frontline workers and the ultimate decision rests with Nigro.”
“He should be booted out the door.”
Soleas called the union president’s comments “inflammatory” and said they do a disservice to his members.
“I think our chair is very qualified to be honest with you,” Soleas said. “He is trying to politicize the situation more than anything.”
“You know what, it would be best for Mr. Thomas to get on board and help us because this is a fantastic system for the future of the Durham warehouse.”