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Streamlining Your Solar Business Paperwork with Field Service Management

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Many of your customers perceive solar as something distinct from other technologies, but you know the truth: it is a construction project. And like many construction projects, paperwork is the lifeblood of the process.

From initial sales to commissioning and beyond, there is a lot of detailed paperwork and data to manipulate with a solar or storage project. And your customers trust you and your team to handle everything – to have all the details covered and anticipate all the issues that might pop up. You want your employees, particularly those representing the face of your business in the field, to interact with customers best.

Leveraging technology like field service management allows the entire organization around project paperwork and data: real-time access, detailed accuracy, and full accountability.

Field service management for streamlining operations

A field service management app is a platform that digitizes and automates operations and customer interactions for a field service business. It allows field staff remote access to the office, customer communication, and real-time updates. Back office and onsite teams coordinate scheduling, fleet tracking, administrative tasks, and asset management. At the same time, the mobile component allows field crews to have the most up-to-date information about projects.

Critical features of field service management software include having prospect and customer data in one place with elated documentation like project data, proposals, contracts, applications, images, and financing paperwork. Team members also create manual and automated notifications and alerts for field and office staff and customers so that all stakeholders have the latest information on work order status.

Upping your data management game over the lifetime of the project

Given the high cost of solar leads, you want to present your team to customers in the best possible light to bring the best experience and make solid referrals and reviews a sure thing. Highly organized paperwork and shared access to the best data prevent miscommunication, workflow disruptions, and timeline extensions.

Your paperwork for a project is often extensive and can come in many forms: PDFs, spreadsheets, jpg or png, word docs, fillable e-forms, and more. With a field services app, all team members, on-site and in the office, have full access, allowing for shared visibility and error handling. Additionally, you can build custom templates for every aspect of project data management, which engenders clear accountability for each step and personalized customer experiences.

A field service management solution manages every contact, related document, work order detail, and conversation about and with your customers. Your team has ready access to what they need for each work order, making them better respond to customer needs quickly.

The superior proposal, contract, and installation management

You want your sales personnel to have the best data from the initial contact with a prospect to the contract signing. A field service management solution gives them all the data in one place, updated simultaneously by office and field staff. This reduces design errors and other issues that bring inaccuracies in proposals or contracts.

Proposals are a vital step in the sales process and often come with many back and forth and adjustments. When the data is managed on an app, your onsite sales reps have the latest regarding initial design, qualification status, and more. Turnaround time is minimized since they can more easily create a design on-site for the customer that fits their needs, addressing questions and concerns as they go.

When customers reach the contract phase, this brings error-prone, intensive work around term adjustments. Field service management allows your team members to convert proposals to contracts without manually copying work quickly. In all other phases of the project planning and design, your sales team and field crew have access to the most accurate, shared information about the site assessment, permitting paperwork, and any other data necessary to complete a change order quickly.

When your team launches the installation itself, the last thing they want is measurement or equipment inaccuracies. A field service management app provides complete visibility around design data and asset and inventory tracking. Your team has a comprehensive overview of company inventory using any device, so they can easily manage inventory on project sites.

Your company’s commissioning protocol requires detail, accuracy, and accountability. A field services management app allows you to custom design checklists for every step, bringing the kind of oversight you need to deliver on the best system each time. The data may also include multiple photos of system components over all stages of the installation, something that can be baked into your internal processes. Of course, all this can apply to additional protocols your partners require in the installation process.

A simplified permitting and incentives application process

System permitting and applications for financial incentives require quite a bit of data, and your team often manages them. Both processes must be handled as smoothly as possible as your field staff relates to customers and inspectors. All the data involved in the permitting process, such as customer information, project design details, and local and state requirements, can be organized, updatable and trackable with field service management. This minimizes the lag time on your end, a boon given how involved and lengthy the process can be once you submit.

Accounting and financing processes that work

With field service management, your overall accounting process is streamlined. This includes integrated and automated quoting, invoicing, payment collection, and the ability to link workflow to your calendar and sync paid invoices to accounting software. As a result, your ability to upsell O&M services or additional offerings like monitoring and storage is more accessible.

High installation costs remain a significant challenge in the industry. The initial price can be prohibitive for prospects and deter them from leaping. Customer financing is a solution to this challenge: you offer a simple financing option that keeps them from having to pay the total installation price upfront, lessening the chance of losing customers to sticker shock.

Additionally, managing all the data through a field services management app allows you to walk your customer through the financing process with complete and accurate information. Data regarding the latest on PPAs, leasing, and loans can all be presented and updated in customizable form by both office and field staff, offering an experience tailored to your customer’s region.

What Zuper brings

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Zuper’s field service management software includes full document and image management and automation, customizable checklists and forms, and the ability to update and communicate all paperwork and data. All information is managed in one place regarding customers, project details, and work order status. These capabilities, coupled with a complete productivity suite that includes easy booking, intelligent dispatching, work order management, and analytics, guarantee total operational efficiency and oversight.

The top issue for many solar and renewable energy businesses remains high soft costs, some of which are beyond your control. Tap the power of the field services management solution to impact something you can control: your paperwork and data.

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