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  • Situation: Sungevity is a leading residential solar company doing business in the US & Europe.
  • Complication: Increased pressure from financial markets on the company to reach profitability combined with pricing pressure driven by the low cost of fossil fuel called for aggressive internal cost reductions.
  • Challenge Statement: How might we optimize field operations to increase velocity and reduce rework and cancellations?
  • Solution: Deliver a digital tablet with user-friendly mobile applications to field operations to collect reliable information from the field, and deliver the right information to the right crew member at the right time to increase productivity and reduce rework.
  • Approach: Assembled a cross-functional team from inside the organization, and invited key partners from the Sungevity ecosystem for a Design Thinking process. Ran a 2-day ideation and prioritization workshop. Identified and force ranked over a dozen creative use cases. Launched a 6-month incubation effort under the Design Thinking umbrella to validate the desirability, feasibility, and viability of the proposed solution. This included hundreds of field tests.
  • Results: Portfolio of new applications delivered a 40% reduction in the installation cycle and a 30% reduction in cancellations. It redefined the economics of residential solar.

Breakthrough Insight: Operations for a residential solar company is, in essence, a construction business. Empowering the installation crew with up-to-date information and ensuring frictionless coordination with the design engineer is paramount to operating efficiency. A tablet-based portfolio of dedicated applications designed for a demanding environment and a set of critical user constraints was the key to success.

Read more about the author, Hervé Pluche.


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