Verde Solutions is a national full-service energy efficiency and renewable energy firm that designs and installs LED lighting and renewable energy projects. The Verde Solutions team began conducting lighting retrofit projects after acquiring a lighting company that had created an internal platform to conduct audits and create LED lighting proposals unique to their needs. Operating then, at a smaller scale,this homegrown platform met all of Verde Solutions’ basic needs, but as the company grew and clients’ needs became more complex, it was apparent that Verde was becoming inhibited by the internal platform.
The Homegrown Audit Platform
The internally built system used by the Verde Solutions team consisted of auditors collecting information on pencil and paper, and then sending the information back to the office in either Excel or PDF format. The individual responsible for generating the proposal would then parse the document line by line and input the solution into the internal software. “The biggest time suck was adding all of the audit data into the platform in order to create a proposal, this could take a day or two, slowing down the whole process” said Hanna Winter, Project Specialist at Verde Solutions.
Taking aim at larger sized projects, Verde Solutions began to analyze the shortcomings of their internally built software including:
- Messy, hand-written audits and photos taken on cell phones in the field
- Time consuming data transcription from paper to Excel or PDF
- Wasted time and resources sifting through the Excel or PDF document to load into their software
- Delayed proposal generation times of 1+ days
- Lack of proposal and document customization (i.e. purchase orders and work orders)
- Communication issues from team member to team member
- Inability to consistently stick to a project timeline, inhibiting the sales cycle
- No project management functionality from the internal software
“As our project size grew it became very apparent that our internal software was restricting. We were using our resources and people to input data into the software, wasting too much time. We did not want our growth and ability to scale to be hindered due to a slow audit to proposal timeline. Our system did not allow us to pass audit information quickly between team members causing delays in proposal presentation times.” said Winter.
Making the Switch to a Digital Software
Seeking to remedy their struggles with their internal software, Verde Solutions began to evaluate their options for retrofit software. Searching for a user-friendly solution that could truly help them grow, Verde Solutions chose SnapCount to replace their homegrown system. “We wanted to find a platform that could do everything our in-house platform could not. I requested a demo from SnapCount and they got back to me within an hour and we haven’t looked back since” said Winter.
In selecting a digital platform to replace their internal system, Verde Solutions had a goal of bringing their entire process from audit to quote to project management all into one system. Verde Solutions sought to track vendors for projects, track project installation status, and create project purchase orders without ever leaving the software platform. “We wanted to bring all of our processes together in one system, and looking at SnapCount’s competition, most of them had an audit app but no project management offering. With SnapCount we can manage all of our operations in one platform from start to finish and achieve a true ‘win’” said Winter.
A True Win
With their prior use of an internal platform, Verde Solutions experienced pitfalls in each department involved in a retrofit project. With time and resources being used inefficiently, a ripple effect was created throughout each department involved in a project, inhibiting Verde Solutions from achieving what they define as a true “win”.
“Each department has their own type of win. For sales it’s being able to get a proposal in front of a client in a timely manner. For our installation team it’s having the right material on site and installing a project with no issues. When the client is happy, it’s a win for every department. SnapCount addresses all of our needs to align every department involved from start to finish and helps us achieve the ultimate win for the client”said Natalie Bartolozzi, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Verde Solutions.
By using SnapCount to replace their in-house platform, Verde Solutions eliminated a manual process and can create custom, detailed proposals twice as fast.
Eliminating pencil and paper audits through the use of the SnapCount application has led Verde Solutions to become twice as accurate from audit through proposal.
After implementing SnapCount, Verde Solutions has consistently closed more retrofit deals and presented a more concise proposal to the customer, improving their win rate by double digits.
Verde Solutions Reaction
“The decision to switch from our own internal system to SnapCount was a lot like decisions to do something in house versus outsourcing. I wouldn’t renovate my house myself – I would find somebody with the experience and knowledge to do it. The same can be said with our decision to switch to SnapCount. We ran into problems when we tried to tweak our own software and realized we aren’t software developers or programmers. We were sucking time, energy, and resources away from efforts to win more business.” stated Bartolozzi.
“When you’re a small business you might be able to get away with a semi-automated or home-grown approach for a while, but it will eventually limit your ability to execute and hinder the speed and sophistication needed to win both large and small company projects. Our goal was to grow our business and a homegrown software was no longer helping us achieve that goal. The switch to SnapCount has freed up time that we now spend on key growth areas of the business. While it may seem scary to change such an important part of your business process, moving to an automated system is definitely worth it. Issues with your current system continue to compound until you make a switch, why not do it sooner rather than later” stated Bartolozzi.