Scoop Solar is working with Smart Energy Today to streamline and mobilize their solar operations through our comprehensive mobile workflow automation and engagement platform. We are also a technology partner for their new “Uber for Solar” network.
This case study has been reposted from the original LinkedIn publication by Smart Energy Today’s Founder and CEO, Rex Schade.
An Uber for Solar Platform
Anybody who has tried starting or scaling up a business would agree that there are multiple challenges to be faced, such as a shortage of resources, low buying power and insufficient knowledge on how to market, sell and execute projects efficiently.
This is no foreign territory to Smart Energy Today (SET), which was once itself a small solar company. Today, they are recognized in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies and run multi-state residential PV installation operations with the goal of helping their customers become energy independent.
In 2017, as reports of layoffs rolled in, SET decided to be a force for positive change by using their accumulated experience to support solar entrepreneurs. The result is a new platform and program that enables both new and growing solar companies to access the tools, expertise and resources they need to drive their businesses forward—quickly. The model is similar to that of Uber, the ubiquitous transportation company that provides self-employed drivers the opportunity to earn money on their own terms using an established common platform.
“We know what a difference it can make to the customer’s experience if they go through a local contractor directly. By providing this platform, we are easing the journey of these budding solar contractors by taking their minds off of things like operational efficiency so they can focus more on customer satisfaction,” said Yumi Schade, Chief Operating Officer of Smart Energy Today.
“We are easing the journey of these budding solar contractors by taking their minds off of things like operational efficiency so they can focus more on customer satisfaction.”
Small California solar providers that join SET’s program can access a whole set of resources, including back-office functions like financing, access to state-of-the-art tools and training to arm themselves with the power of bigger players. By pairing up each participating company with their own dedicated project manager, SET ensures these solar providers have the support they need to operate effectively.
“Small, localized solar contractors often don’t have the purchasing power to buy components or get access to industry leading tools at volume rates, nor do they have the resources to attract customers that large solar providers do,” explained Schade. “Our dream is to make clean solar energy mainstream by empowering small solar providers to strike strong relationships with their clientbase, while having the network and power of large providers.”
Over the past year, SET has researched and selected a powerful set of technologies that are now helping them deliver this unique platform for growing solar providers. One such strategic partnership has been with Scoop® Solar, a technology leader in the solar space that provides an advanced mobile cloud-based software platform focused on automating field and office processes.
In this partnership, SET combined its deep expertise in the solar space with Scoop’s app builder technology to create a set of highly efficient solar work apps. These apps are utilized by the participating companies to increase efficiency and reduce costs, delays and risk of errors for new employees through standardized mobile procedures. SET is also using the apps to provide effective continuous on-the-job training with access to industry best practices. By taking out the guesswork in performing pre-sales, installation or maintenance services, participating solar contractors can easily minimize their operational inefficiencies.
“Scoop Solar has been a great technology partner and we foresee working closely together with them to bring increasingly more value to the scaling efforts of solar companies,” said Schade.
“Scoop Solar has been a great technology partner and we foresee working closely together with them to bring increasingly more value to the scaling efforts of solar companies.”
Through this initiative, SET aims to create more employment opportunities for Americans, especially in light of the recent rounds of layoffs from large-scale solar providers. Positive findings from the Environmental Defense Fund show that 70% of Americans who work in energy efficiency belong to small businesses, which demonstrates that the time is ripe for local solar providers to flourish.
If you’re a small solar contractor based in California that is looking for resources and support to grow your business efficiently, get in touch with SET today!