How NEC Solar Manages Complex Installs & Stays Competitive by Centralizing Operations

Founded in 2008, NEC Solar has rapidly evolved from a small electrical contracting business into a comprehensive provider of solar, EV charging, battery storage, and operations and maintenance (O&M) services. Based in Bristol, Rhode Island, NEC Solar operates under the umbrella of Newport Electric Construction, proudly featuring the iconic Newport bridge in its logo, symbolizing its strong local roots.

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NEC Solar manages over 800 physical job sites with a dedicated team of 55 people. The company has successfully executed nearly 300 projects, maintaining seamless operations through Scoop’s Central Operations Hub with 1,300 workflows and 150,000 checklist items, documents, and photos. Despite its growth, NEC Solar retains its small business, family-oriented philosophy while making significant strides in the solar industry.

In this case study, we will discuss:

  • The challenges they were facing prior to Scoop
  • Why they chose Scoop
  • Their experience implementing the Scoop platform
  • How the Scoop Central Operations Hub™ (COH) impacted their business and their team

Challenges NEC Solar Was Facing Before Scoop

When NEC Solar began expanding, they heavily relied on traditional tools like spreadsheets, emails, Google Drive folders, and “plenty of sticky notes”. These methods, while sufficient in the early stages, quickly became inadequate as the company grew. The manual entry of customer information across various platforms led to inefficiencies and redundant work, straining the sales and project management teams.

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Redundant Data Entry

One of the major challenges was the repetitive entry of customer, site and project information, such as names and addresses, system size and other specifications across different IT tools and spreadsheets and emails. This redundancy not only wasted valuable time but also increased the risk of errors. Reducing redundant data entry and increasing data hygiene became a significant initial reason for NEC Solar to explore alternative solutions.

Lack of Streamlined Workflows

The absence of streamlined processes made it difficult to manage tasks efficiently. Without the benefit of a unified and automated system, it became increasingly challenging to ensure that tasks were closed out promptly and customers were followed up with regularly. The manual methods created bottlenecks, slowing down project completion and affecting overall productivity.

Difficulty in Maintaining Accountability

Accountability was another significant issue. Without a centralized system, tracking the progress of team members and ensuring that tasks were completed on time was cumbersome. This lack of visibility into team activities hindered NEC Solar’s ability to maintain high standards of customer service and project management.

Inadequate High-Level Overview

The fragmented approach to managing operations prevented NEC Solar from achieving a reliable repository of data to support a comprehensive, high-level view of ongoing projects. This limitation made it difficult to make informed decisions, track project statuses, and ensure that all tasks were aligned with the company’s objectives.

These challenges highlighted the need for a more sophisticated solution, driving NEC Solar to identify the critical need for a centralized, automated platform for running operations.. So why exactly did they choose Scoop over every other solution out there?

Why NEC Solar Chose Scoop

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Flexibility and Adaptability

In the search for a platform to centralize operations, NEC Solar needed a solution that could adapt to the dynamic nature of their business. As a small but rapidly growing business, the ability to wear multiple hats and manage various tasks efficiently is crucial. The company required a project & operations management tool that could easily accommodate changes and adjustments as needed. Whether it’s modifications for current projects or addition of new requirements for future projects, Scoop’s flexibility to make small tweaks on the fly was a significant factor in their decision.

User-Friendly Interface

For NEC Solar, it was essential to find a platform that did not require extensive technical expertise to operate. Scoop provided an intuitive and user-friendly interface, allowing NEC Solar to customize and control their processes through a familiar point-and-click and drag-and-drop interface, without needing to write code or scripts. This ease of use made Scoop an ideal choice for the company.

Accessibility for Field Teams

Another critical aspect for NEC Solar was ensuring that their field teams had easy access to necessary information onsite. Many of the team members do not have laptops and rely on their cell phones to stay connected. Scoop’s native mobile accessibility allowed field workers to access plan sets, photos, checklists and other essential documents quickly and efficiently. 

Additionally Scoop’s fully integrated commenting and @mentioning feature provided field teams with the ability to communicate efficiently and in context to specific work items with each other and the office. This feature ensured that both office staff and field teams could stay synchronized and operate smoothly, regardless of their location or device.

NEC Solar’s Experience Implementing Scoop

As with any other customer, when NEC Solar began onboarding with Scoop, they were provided access to a library of preset best practice templates. These templates are created based on our experience onboarding 100’s of other solar and renewable energy customers. The challenge as always is to avoid the temptation of diving in headlong and attempting to use all the capabilities and possibilities, but in fact do the somewhat counterintuitive thing: start simple and add layers of sophistication over time.

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Tips and Tricks for Implementing Scoop

  1. Get oriented with Industry Best Practice Templates
    • Before diving into implementation work with your Customer Success manager to learn about the best practice work and project templates accessible to you in Scoop
    • Run through a few key workflows such as Site Survey, Design, Permitting, Installation and Closeout templates.
    • This knowledge will help you think through your processed in the next step through the proper lens of best practices.
  2. Start with a Clear Process Map
    • Focus on your 80% Plus Scenarios: these are the workflows that you encounter in more than 80% of your installation or service work. Avoid the temptation to document and address every edge case, adder or exception at the outset. Don’t worry, you’ll have time for that later once you master the basics.
    • In light of the best practice templates form step 1, document these essential workflows, including key steps, questions, and required documents that are associated with these.
    • Break down the process into phases and organize tasks accordingly.
    • Ask yourself, which essential needs are met already in the best practice templates and which need to be addressed?
    • This foundational map will guide the setup of your Scoop platform.
  3. Design with Empathy
    • Put yourself in the shoes of your team members who will use the platform daily.
    • Focus on creating a user-friendly and practical system that address their top challenges first before diving into edge cases and less frequently encountered cases – again there is always time to add more sophistication to your workspace later.
    • Regularly solicit feedback and make iterative improvements based on their experiences.
  4. Continuous Improvements
    • Treat the implementation as an ongoing process rather than a one-time setup.
    • Take advantage of Scoop’s flexibility to make continuous adjustments.
    • Don’t hesitate to add, remove, or tweak fields and processes as needed and on the fly.
    • This ongoing refinement ensures the platform evolves with your company’s changing needs.
  5. Avoid Over-Engineering
    • Start with the basics and focus on essential functions.
    • Addressing these first will let you build momentum with the team as they start to see value right away without unnecessary complexity
    • Gradually build sophistication into your Scoop workspace setup as required, keeping the system manageable.
    • Ensure the platform remains user-friendly and doesn’t overwhelm your team.

By starting with a clear understanding of their processes, focusing on user experience, and leveraging Scoop’s flexible features, NEC Solar has created an efficient and adaptable system that supports their growth and operational excellence. These tips and tricks can help other businesses implement Scoop successfully, ensuring they maximize the platform’s potential.

Scoop’s Impact on Operations & NEC Solar’s Team

Implementing Scoop had a transformative effect on NEC Solar’s operations and team dynamics. This section explores how Scoop helped solve the main challenges previously discussed, leading to improved communication, enhanced task management, streamlined data entry, and a culture of continuous improvement.

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Improved Communication and Access to Information

One of the most significant benefits NEC Solar experienced with Scoop was the improvement in communication and access to information. Before Scoop, information was scattered across emails, texts, and phone calls, leading to inefficiencies and delays when team members were not informed about ongoing issues. By centralizing all customer, site and project data and communications within Scoop (including data from other software such as CRM, design and proposal tool, accounting and others), NEC Solar could provide real-time updates to the entire team, ensuring everyone had access to the same information. This unified approach reduced misunderstandings and improved overall coordination, making it easier for team members to stay informed and collaborate effectively.

Scoop’s mobile accessibility further enhanced communication and efficiency by allowing field workers to quickly access plan sets, photos, work-specific checklists and other essential documents. Scoop’s Mobile App ensured that both office staff and field teams could stay synchronized and operate smoothly, regardless of their location or device. By providing real-time access to critical information, Scoop enabled field teams to respond to issues promptly, reducing downtime and improving project execution.

Enhanced Project Management and Accountability

Scoop also addressed the challenge of maintaining accountability and ensuring that tasks were completed in a timely manner. With the old system, tracking the progress of tasks and ensuring follow-ups with customers was cumbersome and inefficient. Scoop’s Project Management Board along with its fully integrated task tracking and communication system allowed for better task management by clearly assigning responsibilities, enabling communication and tracking progress.

The platform’s real-time updates and notifications ensured that all team members were aware of their duties and deadlines. This enhanced visibility into each person’s workload and progress helped NEC Solar maintain high standards of customer service and project management. Tasks were closed out more promptly, and follow-ups with customers became more streamlined.

Streamlined Data Entry and Reduced Redundancy

Another major challenge NEC Solar faced was the redundant entry of customer information across different platforms. Through Scoop’s GLOO Integration Services, they were able to streamline data entry by consolidating all information into a single system. This significantly reduced the time spent on repetitive tasks and minimized the risk of errors.

By having a centralized database, NEC Solar could enter customer information once and access it across various functions, from sales to project management. It meant that team members could avoid the need to continuously access multiple systems to piece together information. Instead they could operate inside their Scoop app and see only the data required for the task at hand curated for them behind the scenes from any necessary sources – including other software tools. This efficiency – enabled by having Scoop fulfill its mission as a Central Operations Hub™ (COH) freed up time for team members to focus on more critical tasks, ultimately improving productivity and operational efficiency.


Implementing Scoop has been a game-changer for NEC Solar. By addressing challenges such as redundant data entry, lack of streamlined workflows, difficulty in maintaining accountability, and an inadequate high-level overview, Scoop has transformed NEC Solar’s operations. The platform has improved communication and collaboration, enhanced task management, streamlined data entry, and provided continuous improvement, allowing NEC Solar to maintain its small business mentality while making significant strides in the solar industry.

Scoop’s flexibility and user-friendly interface have empowered NEC Solar to adapt and grow, ensuring their operations remain efficient and effective. The ability to continuously tweak and refine their workflows has helped NEC Solar stay competitive in an ever-evolving market.

If you’re looking to enhance your operations and streamline your project management processes, book a demo with one of our experts to see how Scoop can transform your business.

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