Supporting multiple PV customers simultaneously can often become a huge challenge
In the expert interview, we look at the biggest ones
Not only private households, but also businesses and companies, are relying increasingly on generating their own solar energy. The presently escalating energy prices will hasten this trend even further.
For solar system installers, this creates enormous potential for winning new orders. It can then very easily happen that multiple projects or construction sites have to be managed simultaneously. And that creates a number of challenges.
INNOTECH customer Liechtensteinische Kraftwerke (LKW), a public-sector company in the Principality of Liechtenstein, recently experienced this.
Martin Beck, who has led the Renewable Energy department in the Electrical Installation section at LKW for 15 years, describes in the interview, how he managed this complex situation, and how INNOTECH helped him to do so.
Ever since 1923, as a producer and supplier, his employer has been a primary supplier of electricity and telecommunications. In addition, LKW also operates a salesroom for electrical items, and an electrical installation service.
Everything is included – from apartment buildings up to large-scale projects. The Werkhof reference project demonstrates how a PV project is implemented in practice. There is more information about this here.
INNOTECH: Mr Beck, how come you and LKW needed to coordinate and manage a large number of projects simultaneously?
Martin Beck: Renewable energy sources have been a long-term trend for some time. The country’s Energy Strategy 2030 had always kept us very busy, and the enterprise enjoyed healthy growth.
Because of Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the resulting electricity supply shortage, we were completely swamped with demand for the installation of photovoltaic systems. The market for PV systems with battery storage exploded almost overnight. The established team was no longer even able to process the enquiries.
On the one hand, the office team was fully occupied with processing the enquiries and material procurement, and on the other hand the installation team had to be ramped up. No easy task, with a chronic lack of specialists.
INNOTECH: What was the concrete objective of this phase?
Martin Beck: Despite the complexity of this task, our aim was to maintain customer satisfaction through effective communication, by making clear to our prospects that extended waiting times would arise because of the circumstances.
At the same time, I was concerned that, somehow or another, a work-life balance needed to be maintained for my colleagues and myself. All the same, the only way to overcome the worst of the situation was by means of overtime and good organisation.
INNOTECH: What was the effect of this situation on the planning and implementation of the various projects?
Martin Beck: On occasions we had to make decisions very quickly.
Challenges which arose during implementation
INNOTECH: What challenges confronted you overall when managing so many contracts?
Martin Beck: For this, the consistent entry of customer data into a management system was important, in order that no customer went astray. That also allowed us to coordinate the procurement and installation of the systems.
The project manager is in great demand, particularly when several construction sites are running concurrently.
INNOTECH: How did you approach this task back then, and in the end what was the key to your success?
Martin Beck: I have always made sure to stay calm and to work with consistency, despite the hectic pace. Another key to success was certainly our communication with each other and the basis of trust, built up over the years amongst ourselves and with our suppliers.
INNOTECH: What was INNOTECH’s overall role in coordinating the numerous projects?
Martin Beck: INNOTECH has been our partner over many years, and they support us in the complex consultancy and implementation of fall arrest systems. Especially in these hectic times, it means a great deal to be supported by a reliable, expert partner.
Tips for the successful implementation of multiple projects simultaneously
INNOTECH: How did things progress, and what was decisive for the successful implementation of so many orders at the same time?
Martin Beck: For this, we are and were in permanent contact with the INNOTECH specialists responsible for the Swiss region, and we were and are supported very well. It is certainly also one of the keys to success that, thanks to INNOTECH, we are able to provide all-inclusive solutions.
Furthermore, our installation team frequently attends one or other of INNOTECH’s numerous training courses.
INNOTECH: Finally, what tips would you give to anyone currently facing a similar challenge?
Martin Beck: Keep calm and believe in yourself. Maintain a work-life balance, so that you don’t suffer long-term detriment.
Thank you for talking to us.
Contact us immediately for further information! Our experts are happy to support you in implementing your PV projects, so that you maintain an overview at all times, and that your customers are completely satisfied.
And: download our checklist/tips on this topic now!
Über den Autor
Curdin Erne, who started his professional career in timber construction, joined INNOTECH in 2017 in sales, focussed on eastern Switzerland. In 2021 he took over the management of the sales team and in 2022 even the overall management of the INNOTECH branch in Switzerland together with Ive Appel. Not only does he support all retailers there, but also key accounts, potential sales partners, and private customers. His focus lies in special solutions related to the TAURUS rail system.
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Founded in 2001, INNOTECH Arbeitsschutz is a family-owned company with headquarters in Kirchham and branch offices in Germany and Switzerland. With a dedicated research and development team, INNOTECH soon set international standards in the area of occupational safety. Ever since, it has driven forward the further development of innovative products. Today INNOTECH is one of the largest manufacturers in Europe which has specialised exclusively in the production of safety systems, with 88% from its own manufacture, in order to guarantee maximum quality.
According to various statistics, several hundred people have an accident on roofs every year. Accidents that could have been prevented with appropriate safety equipment and the diligent installation of high-quality fall protection systems.
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