Automating Processes to Improve Control at Blue Rhino

Propane company implementing business process management solution to gain efficiencies, comply with Sarbanes-Oxley

Propane company implementing business process management solution to gain efficiencies, comply with Sarbanes-Oxley

Columbia, MD  October 7, 2003  Blue Rhino Corporation, a provider of branded propane cylinder exchange and propane-fueled products, is seeking to automate processes using a business process management (BPM) solution from provider Metastorm in a bid to improve process controls as the company continues its rapid growth.

While expanding quickly, Blue Rhino has been running its business by way of manual processes. The company opted to automate its processes with a BPM solution in order to continue its growth, maintain control, improve process controls, increase management visibility into critical information and create increased efficiency.

After researching its options, Blue Rhino selected Metastorm's e-Work as its new BPM solution. According to the solution provider, a key reason for Blue Rhino's decision was that e-Work integrates well with its existing infrastructure, particularly Microsoft SQL Server, the company's main database environment.

e-Work will also be integrated with the company's portal tool  Rhino-Net  a Web-based tool used by Blue Rhino and its distributors to share information in real-time.

"e-Work has not only met our needs, it has exceeded them," said Bob Travatello, chief information officer for Blue Rhino. "We like that e-Work empowers our employees with the tools to be more efficient across all aspects of our business, something we didn't realize would be possible with one solution. Before you know it, we will be using e-Work to automate and run our entire business."

In addition to automating manual systems, Blue Rhino will rely on the Metastorm BPM solution to help control and document its processes in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which requires public companies trading on U.S. stock exchanges to validate the accuracy of their financial reporting. Blue Rhino plans to be at the forefront of compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act since their fiscal year ends in July and compliance is mandated for June of 2004.

Blue Rhino has already identified a list of processes to be deployed immediately. The list continues to grow, and the company expects a few dozen to be rolled out by January 2004. Processes to be deployed immediately are its inventory procurement process, ordering process, information technology (IT) change control management process, customer care process and human resources new hire process.

Blue Rhino is anticipating a rapid deployment and expects that e-Work will help them cut costs in terms of the efficiency they expect to gain. The company is also expecting increased employee productivity through more job structure, better communication and a cohesive team environment. Ultimately, says Metastorm, e-Work will provide Blue Rhino's management with a heightened level of visibility into its mission-critical information, enabling them to make key decisions faster and more effectively.

"By streamlining internal process controls and enhancing management insight into its business processes, e-Work is helping Blue Rhino meet its goals and maintain control while the company continues to grow," said Eileen Garry, chief marketing officer for Metastorm.