ARP Solar, a seasoned player with 15 years in the industry, is a leading force in residential and commercial installations across Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. With a team of 20 solar experts, they are gearing up for the wave of opportunities in the solar industry. ARP Solar is strategically preparing for scalability, ensuring readiness to grow with the market by equipping their team with the necessary tools.
Challenges: Decentralization, Field Access & Visibility
Preparing for what’s to come required a moment of introspection at ARP. While operations were functional and allowed them to be in business for many years, they had to reflect on what could become a blocker.
“As installers, we know that a growth wave is coming. So I came on board ARP Solar looking at what we can do to prepare ourselves.”
– John McNamara, COO
- Disconnected Systems: ARP Solar relied on tools such as Google Sheets, Excel, Word, and emails to manage installations. This fragmented approach resulted in a lack of cohesion, with team members facing challenges in information retrieval and inefficiencies associated with manual data and document handoffs. The absence of a clear and centralized process contributed to operational headaches, hindering speed and impacting the ability to deliver outstanding installations consistently.
- Ill-Equipped Field Team: ARP Solar faced a significant challenge in equipping its team, which was described as being run on, as their COO John McNamara would say, “passion and duct tape.” This led to an unsustainable situation where individuals consistently did more than their capacity without access to the proper tools to be effective. Despite their commitment, this workload resulted in dropped tasks and a growing sense of frustration.
- Project Visibility: The absence of a single source of truth showing the status of each installation project along its lifecycle, made it difficult to monitor progress, identify bottlenecks, address issues promptly and forecast financials. This lack of visibility also contributed to negative customer interactions. The company realized the importance of proactively preventing such situations by reshaping its day-to-day operations. The urgency became apparent after a post-mortem following a negative customer experience, however the idea of improving processes to avoid a similar situation in the future was, at the time, quickly dismissed, justified by a “lack of time.”
Why Scoop: Turning to the Solar Community
When ARP Solar found itself at a crossroads, seeking a robust solution to streamline its operations, they turned to the solar community for answers. Scoop emerged as a recurring recommendation after asking for the best solution from peers. The pivotal moment occurred when John attended the Conveyor Belt of Renewable Operations webinar series, where he saw a lot of potential in Scoop.
“I attended the Scoop Conveyor Belt of Renewable Operation Webinar Series, where you really go through this concept of conveyor belt of operations of process management. In these presentations, I found answers to the challenges we were facing.”
– John McNamara, COO
One key factor that drew ARP Solar to Scoop was its unwavering focus on the field & frontline workers. Recognizing that a tool’s effectiveness in the hands of these folks directly influences the success of backend reporting, ARP Solar appreciated Scoop’s commitment to providing user-friendly tools for seamless field operations. Scalability was another standout feature; Scoop presented an unlimited user capacity, allowing external partners of the organization to access and contribute to the platform. This addressed immediate challenges and laid the groundwork for future scalability.
Implementation: Getting Company Buy-In at ARP Solar
ARP Solar embraced an adaptive and feedback-driven strategy to navigate change management and potential barriers to technology adoption—their focus on gradual improvement rather than immediate perfection allowed for a smoother transition. The organization adopted a phased rollout, starting with a ‘good for now’ approach and recognizing the importance of learning, adjusting & evolving over time.
“At first, I wanted to implement as many Scoop features as we could. However, we quickly realized that, in the beginning, simpler is better. Then, once you get buy-in, progressively add the other functionalities based on employee feedback. The goal is to put the right information in front of the right person at the right time.”
– John McNamara, COO
The crawl, walk, run philosophy ensured a measured implementation, avoiding information overload for the team. To garner buy-in, ARP Solar actively encouraged team feedback, using a dedicated ‘Scoop change log’ Slack channel as a collaborative space for proposing and implementing real-time improvements. This proactive engagement not only facilitated a more seamless integration but also empowered the team to shape the evolution of Scoop within the organization.
Results: Equipped to Weather Any Storm
Scoop’s Operation Hub does not have a user limit and allows external partners to access the platform seamlessly. This facilitated tracking project progress and allowed partners to share crucial information, promoting collaborative workflows. The scalability aspect addressed immediate challenges and positioned ARP Solar for a future-proof, scalable process.
“I also saw the scalability of Scoop. There is no limit to the number of users and access can be provided to external stakeholders. We have partners using our Scoop so they can track their projects and submit information to us.”
– John McNamara, COO
Leveraging Scoop’s GLOO integration service also helped ARP Solar resolve the challenges of managing scattered documents from various sources. They could consolidate all relevant documentation into one accessible location by integrating Scoop with their other systems, such as Google Calendar, Quickbooks and Opensolar. This shift from a fragmented document management approach to a centralized repository streamlined operations significantly.
Empowering the Field Team
Scoop was pivotal in transforming ARP Solar’s field operations, empowering their team with streamlined and accessible processes. By representing work order items, such as site surveys, design, permitting, installation, and job closeout, as manageable tasks within Scoop, ARP Solar efficiently organized project phases. Each step becomes an executable entity, comprehensively detailing customer information, job site details, and required tasks. Now, rather than sending panicked text messages to management, the field team can autonomously find what they’re looking for, directly in Scoop.
“The reliance on text messages brought a very negative atmosphere. They were 90% panic and disorganization. It was nonstop and it really affected our culture. Now, with a centralized place where people can autonomously find what they’re looking for—it eliminates that energy almost completely.”
– John McNamara, COO
Scoop’s Mobile App allows field technicians to access the platform in the field, even offline, ensuring continuous productivity. For instance, during a site survey, a technician could open the app and see all pertinent information and workflow notifications for seamless handoffs. The flexibility of configuring each project phase through Work App templates further tailored the solution to ARP Solar’s specific field needs, creating a dynamic and efficient tool that significantly enhanced the capabilities of their field team.
Improving Visibility and Forecasting
ARP Solar significantly improved visibility and customer interactions by implementing LOOXY™, Scoop’s advanced analytics and reporting platform. The platform provides a comprehensive and visually intuitive dashboarding environment, transforming the wealth of daily and weekly data generated within ARP Solar into actionable insights.
The platform also enables precise timing analysis, allowing ARP Solar to measure workflow durations across various work sections and enhance overall efficiency. Most notably, LOOXY™ allows ARP Solar to forecast their work, offering a strategic advantage in planning and decision-making. In essence, LOOXY™ has become an instrumental tool in ARP Solar’s journey toward improving operation speed and delivering great installations with an elevated customer experience.
Adopting Scoop as a central operation hub has been a transformative step, streamlining processes, empowering the field team, and enhancing visibility. The organization’s meticulous approach to change management, phased implementation, and proactive feedback integration have ensured a smooth transition and empowered the team to shape the evolution of Scoop.
As ARP Solar looks to the future, the results speak for themselves: improved efficiency, a centralized document repository, and empowered field operations. Incorporating LOOXY™ further enhances visibility and forecasting, positioning ARP Solar for continued success in a rapidly evolving solar landscape.
To learn more about how Scoop can improve your operations and future-proof your business, reach out to one of our dedicated experts today!