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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