Alabama: Forming Retail Partnerships
Alabama is one of the top 5 states in the nation for hunting, and the state worked with many retail outlets to process hunting licenses. However, the process was cumbersome and paper-intensive, which resulted in retailers having issues with compliance, loss, and theft. NIC’s Alabama team partnered with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to pilot a new electronic, over-the-counter licensing retail service at 15 national retail stores in Alabama. NIC’s team rolled out employee training on the new system for the stores’ clerks and provided an interactive tutorial.
Efficiencies resulted from each of the new licensing and game check services. Mobile convenience was delivered in Arkansas and Mississippi, and in Alabama manual data entry was eliminated. Specific results include:
• Game Check allows hunters to check their game instantly instead of having to find a check station. Over 220,000 game checks are submitted each year, and 40% hunters use a mobile device to submit their check.
• Game Check System has allowed for AGFC to look at trends as they unfold rather than 6-8 months after the season.
• Permitting system has automated the process of applying for and awarding hunts on public land in the state. Around 55,000 permits are awarded each year to hunters, and 3,000 of those are sold in a one-time “left over sale” day prior to the start of hunting season.
• The online permit application was reduced from 7 pages to 4, resulting in 5 minutes saved by every hunter applying for a permit online.
• The new online service helped reduce calls to the customer service center.
• 69% of all visits to the licensing site are now from a mobile device.
• Online transactions are up by 24%, creating additional revenue for the state.
• The original pilot of 15 retail stores was expanded to 246 locations including three additional national retailers, as well as state parks, small business retailers, and Probate offices across the state.
• One major retailer estimated that during the pilot the new system saved 16,000 employee hours.
• The agency estimated an annualized savings of more than $200,000 in shipping, printing, reporting, document storage, and staff hours.