Part one: Solar design strategies that can help you compete

In this post, we will look at system design as an important area of focus for growing your solar business. Specifically, we will examine some of the tools available to help you scale your business.

Employees with solar design experience are extremely valuable because a carefully designed system can reduce costs during every step of a project. For some large solar companies, system designer is a specific job description. For most small solar companies, the designer often has many competing responsibilities. As your company grows, consider building a strategy that combines tools and automation to support your sales staff, project managers or site evaluators to handle the increasing system design workload.

The importance of system design
System design is your company’s ultimate product. The design travels through your company’s internal process, adding value at each stage (drafting, engineering, permitting, materials, etc.) until it satisfies the customers’ needs as a complete and operating installation.

A poorly planned or incomplete system design can lead to expensive rework throughout the project and eat away at customer satisfaction. For example, if a design doesn’t follow local code and installation requirements, redlines can drive up cost per project. Also, if a customer’s expectations are not carefully set and managed, change orders can cause expensive rework.

Any tools, process improvements or employee education that helps your company provide good quality system designs are valuable.

Selecting the right design tools
Fortunately there are a wide variety of proposal generation tools and services that can help reduce the cost of acquiring customers and producing quality system designs. Several tools on the market offer some combination of customer relationship management, lead generation, proposal, pre-design and engineering/permit package features.

Evaluate each software platform or proposal generation tool for fit with your business model and decide whether it will support or scale with your plans for growth. Above all, consider the value that quality system design can bring to your company.

Continue reading Part two: Solar design strategies that can help you compete