Propane Provider 1

About

A national provider of propane whose vision is to provide customers with the safest,
most reliable and most responsive propane service in the nation. The company uses the size of
its organization to the customer’s advantage every day, while staying true to its grass roots
by offering the friendly smiles and personal attention found only at local family businesses.

Objectives

ECS successfully completed a Fresh Eyes diagnostic to define, measure and analyze
the current month-end inventory control process. ECS identified pain points and their root causes
and recommended solutions for improvement. ECS then was engaged to develop and implement the solutions
through a comprehensive pilot program with ongoing testing and verification. The pilot results needed
to ensure that the new process resulted in improved and predictable outcomes, field adoption
and the ability to expand and be sustainable across the four field regions.

Phase 1

Define

ECS & Client team – development of a project charter to ensure alignment of objectives, goals, timelines, constraints and success metrics of project, as well as key client stakeholder(s) groups.

Phase 2

Measure & Analyze

ECS conducted a 14-week Fresh Eyes Diagnostic, focused on key process mapping, current process review, key stakeholder interviews, field observations, and collaborative brainstorming sessions with Corporate functions, Supply & Logistics and the Field Operations teams.

Key Stakeholder Value Stream Mapping session – focused on the inventory process (propane) identified, time, motion, pain points, root causes and recommended solutions for improvement.

Phase 3

Develop Strategy

ECS was engaged to develop and implement the solutions through a comprehensive pilot program
with ongoing testing and verification.

Phase 4

Execution

ECS started the pilot program by creating a field focus group to collaborate in the development of a playbook daily and month end inventory control task checklists, and a reconciliation worksheet to eliminate the pain points in the current process. After successfully completing and verifying the results of the first phase of the pilot, ECS expanded the pilot group, which served as a blueprint for expansion, focusing on communication, training, compliance, adoption and implementation strategies.

Outcomes

The new inventory control process established a standardized method for the field operation team to complete their month-end requirements.

The new process focused on 3 key initiatives:
(1) A playbook to simplify the process for new and existing operation personnel;
(2) Month-end checklists documenting and ensuring accountability and compliance to the process; (3) A reconciliation guideline to assist and resolve variances in the monthly inventory calculations.

Overall, the pilot was successful in creating a new, sustainable process
that delivered significantly improved results, compliance and accountability
within the district and areas that were tested. Furthermore,
the pilot established a blueprint for implementation across the country.