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In today’s date, every industry leader is looking at how to digitally transform their business. The solar industry is no different. Let’s learn how Digital Transformation in Solar industry and make it shine.

Worldwide, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity and countries across the world have set themselves aggressive targets especially in the solar energy sector. In India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set an ambitious target to set up renewable energy capacities to the tune of 175 GW by 2022 of which about 100 GW is planned for solar, 60 for wind and other for hydro, bio among other.

There has been a multifold increase in the number of vendors providing solar installations for both commercial and residential purposes. These vendors are looking for digital solutions that can help improve efficiency; transparency and productivity in their business processes related to Customer Experience, Site Survey, Inspection Management, Project Planning and Monitoring; and Maintenance and Repairs.

Given the extensive fieldwork involved, the industry requires that most digital solutions be available through smart phones and tablets. Some of the key digital solutions that can be leveraged in various areas are discussed below.

Also read: Business process management – The what, why, and how

User-friendly CRM solution

A CRM solution helps the sales team capture lead details, create follow up actions and log updates in the system. Once orders are placed, their status can also be tracked in real time using the CRM. All interactions with the customer throughout the lifecycle can be logged, tracked and updated through this application.

Accurate requirement gathering tool

With this tool the site inspection team can gather information regarding requirements for the project. Details of size of the building, number of units, electrical and electronic goods in use and past billing history can be captured with precision.

Detailed proposal generation and estimation tools

Estimation tools help to decide the capacity needed to meet the energy requirements as captured by the survey team. Based on the estimation, the tool generates a detailed techno commercial proposal that can be shared with the customer and the internal design and implementation teams.

Effective inventory and material management

Through this, overall assets can be managed effectively. Features like alerts can be set up to warn about low stock.

Timely quotations and invoice management

This enables the internal procurement team to manage quotations and invoices related to the requirements of the project in a timely manner.

End-to-end project management

This helps track all the tasks related to the project starting from requirement capture to project implementation and on-going support.

Real-time energy monitoring

This module integrates with the meters installed on site. With this, the vendor can track the energy production and other maintenance parameters across all their installations while customer can access the same information for their unit in real time. Maintenance tasks can be automatically created in the support system for any issues reported by the monitoring system.

Online support and maintenance

This tool helps customers log any issues and keep track of them through a mobile application. These tickets are automatically issued to the team based on the nature of complaint. SMS and e-mail notifications, reminders and escalations are built in.

Limitations of COTS products

There are multiple COTS available for each application, however, they have limited customization capability, create clutter and most often don’t seamlessly integrate with each other. In the absence of integration, it becomes difficult to manage and get value out of these individual solutions.

Traditional development, on the other hand, is time-consuming and expensive and it doesn’t often yield expected results, as business requirements are most often lost in translation.

How no-code or low-code platforms can help with Digital Transformation in Solar

No-code and low-code platforms allow business users with no coding skills to automate their processes and develop applications as per their requirements significantly faster than the traditional approach. This alternative allows all applications discussed in this article to be developed on the same platform that seamlessly integrate with each other using a single centralized database. In addition to the core applications, support team can automate their processes e.g. HR can build an HRMS system, Administration can build a Travel and Expense Management system etc. on the same platform. Reports and dashboards can be configured to access data across all these applications. Cloud based installations ensure that businesses don’t have to worry about the security, scalability and performance of these digital solutions.

Also read: Everything you should know about no-code development

Quixy for Digital Transformation in Solar Industry

Quixy is one such platform that is helping businesses across verticals in their digital transformation journeys. Businesses are using Quixy to automate their manual processes and drive efficiency, productivity, and transparency.

Sunworks, a solar EPC company, approached Quixy to develop a comprehensive solution that catered to various requirements of its departments. Quixy studied the complexities and began the automation of all processes starting from lead details capture through requirements gathering, estimation, automated proposal generation, identifying the bill of material up to procurement, planning and installation. Thanks to Quixy, Sunworks achieved 20% improvement in their sales conversion rate.

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