Electricity and gas supplier RWE Npower is standardising its business processes in a bid to improve its view of operations and increase efficiency.

The utility, which trades simply as Npower in the UK, is using IDS Scheer ARIS software, a business process management tool, in order to identify and track existing processes, and set standards.

A standardisation of processes had become necessary as the group was formed out of numerous acquisitions, and it said it had a “fragmented” view of operations. In the UK, Npower was formed in 2000 and now comprises MEB, Calortex, MEB Powerline, National Power Energy Direct and Independent Energy, Yorkshire Electricity and Northern Electric & Gas.

The RWE Npower group first implemented the ARIS software in April 2007, when it began a three year company-wide business process improvement programme.

“A year in, we’ve defined the conventions, trained those who use the software and run two pilot schemes,” Russell Dominey, process methodology manager at RWE Npower, told CIO sister title Computerworld UK.

The next steps in the programme include performance management, and improving how enterprise architecture is set up for business processes.

The group is focused around SAP enterprise resource management and customer relationship management systems. It also uses application lifecycle management software from MKS to automate the software release process for its billing system.

“At the end of the programme, we want a single tool, so that we’re all speaking the same process language,” Dominey said.

In the UK, Npower has also standardised its five million customer records using a Macro 4 document management system.

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RWE Npower's Michael Semrau, Global CIO