Category: Software

Residential Solar Software Reviews Roundup

Industry IssuesSoftware

In their software solar contractors want things like accessibility, simple but customizable formatting, affordability and the option to opt out per month. Owners I talked to shared quite a bit about these criteria for the ideal apps for their day-to-day operations.

They also had some opinions about existing software that is specific to the solar industry. Here’s some info and feedback about some of the major players out there:

Aurora

  • 3D design system, shading analysis, financial analysis and sales proposal generation
  • Feedback from business owners: “Doesn’t have customized quotes yet but does have versatility to customize” while another owner “found the remote evaluation valuable.”

Bright Harvest

  • Remote shading analysis and design
  • Review from one site of their service

HelioScope

  • DEMO
  • PV system design and evaluation
  • Business owner feedback: “High learning curve with a lot of steps, you need a draftsman to figure it out because a layperson would never be able to use it.”

EasySolar App

  • Design Platform and Mobile App

Clean Power Finance/Spruce

  • Bid building program
  • Business owner feedback: “Pretty much Excel with data mining features. Love it because it is simple to use and any employee can learn to use it easily. I’m able to manipulate it to meet the specific needs of my company.”

Periscope Keep reading

5 Reasons Solar Software is Painful for Contractors

Industry IssuesSoftware

Software can help streamline operations, lower acquisition costs and impact the bottom line. Or it can be something of a pain in the neck.

In my discussions with about forty U.S. rooftop solar contractors they shared how existing solar industry software was or wasn’t working for them.

Five insights about why it’s a pain:

  1. “We have software that does most things fairly well, but in islands (Salesforce, proposal, engineering, Quickbooks, utility). We have to enter the customer information at least 4 times.”
  2. “Top perceived problem in the industry is the need to take the entire process from raw lead to custom quote to building the system and streamline it. However, there are too many factors to do that and too many different platforms used by vendors you need to interact with.”
  3. “Creating design and survey software is hard because you really need to be on site to be sufficiently accurate and detailed regarding all the factors – assessing electrical info and the roof.”
  4. A lot of software out there is just too expensive for the smaller shops. Small installers can’t afford the cost of good software, so they end up doing things manually. One owner said, “If I have to have an extra installation each month just to cover software costs it is not worth it.”
  5. “We have a series of software products that meets our needs well. The real issue is not the nature of the software itself – like a CRM – it’s getting the employees to update the info regularly and when needed. This need to stay on top of software updating is a constant conversation in meetings.”

 

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