Digitalization:The Future of Solar Installation Companies

Emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and Data Analytics are enabling energy companies to build smart grids, better manage energy generation, distribution and consumption, and reduce wastage. 

Digitalization is probably the greatest empowering agent of that change, allowing energy companies to remotely monitor assets, unearth insights, and improve operational performance from a service and maintenance perspective.

The common problems of the solar photovoltaic installation and maintenance business model


Fast-growing solar installers and service providers are feeling the limits of their disconnected solar sales tools. What used to work for handling projects is now becoming manual, time-consuming, and nearly impossible to scale for growth.

While solar deployments are growing rapidly, solar companies lack the infrastructure and systems required to build a scalable solar sales solution. 

For a solar sales team to be effective today. They must have access to a streamlined system that reduces the time it takes to gather and score leads, optimize proposals, and track follow-ups.

Many solar installation companies continue to use a mix of incompatible entry-level software, disparate technology systems, and specialty programs to run their businesses, even as they scale up to meet the growing demand for solar installations. 

Processes can easily digress into a patchwork of spreadsheets containing outdated information that are used to manually shuttle data between incompatible applications. 

Because QuickBooks isn't integrated with Salesforce, or because Salesforce isn’t integrated with job-costing tools, an installer’s procurement, accounting and sales teams are literally working from different playbooks. 

This fragmented approach requires lots of labor and simply doesn’t cut it in today’s collaborative world. 

Both internal and external partners need common technology platforms, such as cloud-based ERP software solution.

Project management

Solar PV installation companies are typically involved in the implementation of multiple projects at the same time. The allocation of resources and the monitoring of progress becomes quite difficult. Solar installers also must maintain real-time contact with all teams in order to handle difficulties at project locations.

There are several concerns and obstacles that must be tracked throughout all project sites.

Tracking procurement and timely delivery of materials, optimum manpower allocation, and obtaining timely regulatory permits are just a few of the challenges that emerge during installation and commissioning on various locations. 

Without the assistance of a digital software solution, things may get quite complicated, negatively damaging company bottom lines.

What digitalization brings

Initially, solar photovoltaic installation companies need to track customer inquiries, submit quotations, and track the status and do follow-ups with customers and ensure business closure. 

Once the projects are secured companies need a central online dashboard to monitor documentation, material availability and procurement, delivery, inventory, structure installations, and liaison with government. 

There is a large number of tasks across multiple projects that needs effective and timely implementations. 

Having a platform that makes it easier for teams to collaborate and monitor project status is a must to control a large no of factors that can go wrong and eventually impacts the business.

Timely material availability at project sites

Maintaining optimal inventory at the central store and mobilizing inventory based on project status is a major difficulty in the solar installation project. It is critical to ensure that the amount of material utilized throughout a project does not exceed the amount planned. The purchase is unrelated to actual stock levels or the utilization of the item on the job site. 

As a result, there is either an understock or an overstock situation.

What digitalization brings

An integrated software solution that includes intelligent inventory tool ensures that material is consumed as per project-wise material planning. any excess consumption is notified to the management for corrective action. 

A solution that ensures optimum inventory level using minimum and maximum stock level for all materials.

Scattered team and disconnected sites

Multiple teams are involved in a solar installation project, including the design team, installation team, material vendors, electricity distribution businesses, and administrative teams. 

Each team's work is important to the success and timely completion of the projects.

At the same time, several initiatives are being carried out in various areas, involving numerous stakeholders. 

Any solar installation company will find it difficult to coordinate with so many teams in real time.

What digitalization brings

A cloud based software solution that connects with all the stakeholders on the central platform. A customized software solution that brings all the tasks along with installation updates in one central base in real-time.

Conclusion

The companies in the solar installation space are at a point where the acceleration in demand puts them in a position where they can't scale or grow further. 

Some of them won't be able to sustain their current profitability levels and competitive position without switching to a system that allows them to use the same data across all of their departments.

By digitizing operations and processes, solar installation companies can improve their bottom lines by reducing the cost of customer acquisition, improving the accuracy of project estimation, and providing better visibility into the progress of work at each site. 

If you're interested in learning more about how your business could benefit from digital transformation or would simply like to discuss your specific needs in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us. We'd be happy to chat with you!

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Digitalization:The Future of Solar Installation Companies
Irena Milovanovic 17 June, 2022
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