Digital workflows for PV installers

The global solar industry is shifting to larger industrial-scale projects. Due to economies of scale and the opportunity for higher returns, many solar project owners are focusing on these large-scale developments.

However, what is often overlooked in this trend is the advanced engineering and data management software required to effectively manage such large-scale projects. Digital workflows can help streamline decisions so that they maximize workflow while reducing costs.

This article looks at the benefits that digital workflows offer to both solar installers and solar power plant end users!

Digital workflows as an important part of solar project management

As solar energy has grown in importance, projects have spread across many different solar technologies. However, due to a lack of data standardization, project owners are unable to compare performance monitoring, asset management, and financial data across these different platforms.

Because project owners cannot identify where productivity is being lost, poor performance and asset downtime have increased, resulting in decreased revenue.

Digital workflows can address these inefficiencies and increase project profitability. By automating the management of routine tasks, digital workflows free up valuable time for solar installers to focus on higher value activities that actually require human involvement.

The added value of centralizing and streamlining solar operations

When sales processes and project management are digitized, project developers, contractors, suppliers and installers can be involved at every stage of development. This allows for closer coordination and communication, which is critical to a successful solar installation.

As part of this centralized and streamlined data flow and workflow for solar operations, new efficiencies are developed, new cost savings are realized, and employees have more time to perform higher value activities as a result, resulting in a bottom line gain for the company.

Important aspects of a digital workflow

There are three important aspects of a digital workflow: Documentation, Collaboration, and Decision Making:

Documentation

A digital workflow is only as good as the documentation that supports it. To ensure that everyone involved in a project is on the same page, all relevant files and information must be accessible and up-to-date. This includes design files, specifications, bills of materials, as well as photos and videos. If you create and maintain clear and concise documentation, stakeholders can refer to it when needed, avoiding confusion and delays.

Collaboration 

Digital workflows facilitate collaboration by allowing stakeholders to communicate with each other easily and efficiently. This includes the solar installation project owner, installer, subcontractors, and all other parties involved in the process. Digital project management software can facilitate collaboration by allowing remote teams and members from different departments within the company to come together on a single platform. It also allows all parties to make more informed decisions about the performance and workflow of their projects by accessing this data in real time. Digital workflow tools also allow users to share information securely, protecting sensitive data. You can use trigger words to set off an alarm to notify the appropriate parties

Decision making

Digital workflows help speed up the decision-making process by providing stakeholders with all the information they need in one place. This includes performance, financial and asset management data. By accessing this data, project managers can make better decisions about their projects and identify areas for improvement.

Digital workflows are an important part of solar installation projects! If you understand the three aspects of a digital workflow - documentation, collaboration, and decision making - you can use them to your advantage! Workflow automation enables consistent data collection from multiple sources, which is essential for accurate analysis. Digitizing the project management process can bring stakeholders into the loop at every stage of development. This allows for better coordination and communication, which is critical to a successful solar installation.

Maximize the overall efficiency of your project workflow

Solar project management software can help you maximize the overall efficiency of your project workflow by tracking resource utilization, goal achievement, assigning upcoming tasks, managing schedules, and forecasting costs and contingencies.

Project Planning

Using solar project management software can help your team manage projects more effectively. You can easily set up projects using project templates, use flexible project duplication options to create new projects from templates, and flexibly allocate resources.

The software can also help project managers view the entire project plan with a clear Gantt chart and get a comprehensive real-time snapshot of project status, down to the task level.

In addition, your team can create revenue and cost estimates for jobs and use "what-if" scenarios to optimize pricing, margins, billing rates and staffing.

Project Schedule

Solar projects are moving forward at a steady pace due to strong demand from enthusiastic consumers and industry standard production methods. Any delay in the completion of projects is unacceptable to customers.

Therefore, you need to keep track of project activities and ensure that potential delays are avoided. With solar project management software, you can compare planned and actual schedules, manage materials, plan staff capacity, monitor projects that are often running in parallel, and recommend further actions.

Procurement process

By using solar installation project management software, project managers can streamline the procurement process and minimize data entry and administrative overhead by managing the entire process on one platform.

They are able to effectively manage RFPs and vendor communications, select a preferred vendor/subcontractor for projects, manage purchase order and delivery deadlines, and perform sign-offs.

Estimated costs

Each project is unique in terms of the customer's requirements, budget, materials needed and other aspects. To effectively engage clients, it is essential to quickly calculate the cost of the project so that clients have accurate data at their fingertips to make the best decision possible.

The software provides the ability to track time and expenses for projects and specific project tasks. This information feeds into the accounting and payroll modules to automate project reporting and payroll.

Conclusion

In addition to the features described above, there are several others, such as creating alerts and reminders, various reports, and setting up a dashboard to help you keep track of everything and stay focused.

PowerOn™ Software for Solar Installation Companies

PowerOn is an end-to-end software solution designed specifically to meet the needs of solar installation contractors. Optimized for both residential and commercial solar installation companies, the PowerOn software solution saves money and time by streamlining the entire installation process.

More than 50,000 companies use our software platform to modernize their business processes.