The benefits of project templates in the solar industry

The benefits of project templates in the solar industry blog

The growth of the Australian solar industry is rapidly gaining traction, with over 378,000 solar roof installations in 2020 alone. Companies in the industry are taking on many of these solar installation and maintenance projects, but it’s become increasingly difficult to stay organised. Coordinating the many moving parts that go into solar projects requires standardised and intuitive workflows. Project templates are designed to do just that, introducing new efficiencies to your business. 

Here are several ways project templates benefit businesses in the solar industry:  

Simplify job management

Not having a fully formed project plan usually leads to non-stop arguments about what a specific project entails and how it’s supposed to be done. This can result in endless meetings and major headaches that prevent your on-site team from starting a project. 

Project templates in WorkBuddy make it easy to clarify all the details of projects you do regularly down to their specific stages. For example, project templates for Stage 1 of a project might contain work orders for the delivery of solar panel components to the jobsite. Stage 2 project templates may cover work orders related to inspecting the structural integrity of the installation site and assessing environmental conditions. Finally, Stage 3 project templates could elaborate on the installation steps, from setting up the mounting bracket to wiring the inverter and solar PV modules. By applying these predefined templates and work orders, you can dramatically decrease the time you spend on the planning phase so your technicians can get straight to work. 

Ensure consistent high-quality standards

With project templates, you can guide your team through complex processes so they don’t have to rely on memory and make mistakes. Templates detail agreed-upon materials, timelines, contractual obligations, and workplace safety protocols to ensure teams complete projects according to your standards. 

WorkBuddy, in particular, lets you set up templates with checklists that provide step-by-step instructions to your on-site technicians. These checklists can walk technicians through the initial site assessment process required when installing new solar panels. Checklists can even break down safety requirements specifically for solar installations and maintenance, such as applying sunscreen and wearing appropriate personal protective gear. The best thing about WorkBuddy 

Eliminate unnecessary repetition

Solar companies often have repetitive prep work like reassigning technicians, setting project timelines, and creating checklists for similar projects. While these tasks may seem fairly straightforward, they can hinder your company’s efficiency as you take on more projects. Back-office staff can often lose track of schedules, technician availability, and project requirements, so they end up manually creating plans from scratch. This easily wastes hours of your company’s time and slows down your on-site technicians.

Project templates eliminate these issues by essentially giving you a ready-made plan for similar projects. For instance, if you usually take on dozens of solar installation projects, having premade project templates will allow you to set up jobs quickly. You can simply load the appropriate template, fill out work order information, and mobilise your team in a matter of minutes instead of hours. 

Keep teams in sync

Well-crafted project templates provide an effective way to coordinate and communicate with your team. When you have project templates prepared in an easy-to-read format, you can share them among project stakeholders to get their feedback and approval. Leveraging technician portals in WorkBuddy even makes it easier to distribute updates and work orders to field workers, eliminating any confusion about a project. 

Gain valuable insights for future project planning

Detailed archives of project templates provide an important source of information during the planning phase. These past templates can be measured against your team’s actual performance in the project and allow you to spot issues. For instance, you may find that certain key solar panel configuration processes or components weren’t outlined in your old templates, which resulted in mistakes. Project documents like risk and issue logs may also help you identify the processes in your project templates that need to be improved.  

Additionally, historical data from previous project templates is particularly useful for cost estimation and job scheduling. You can use data from previous templates to estimate the costs of a project when quoting clients and producing detailed budgets. Meanwhile, by comparing past project schedules against actual performance metrics, you can estimate how long each task takes and better plan your team’s weekly roster of similar projects. Of course, schedules don’t have to be a one-for-one copy. Previous templates serve as a rough guide that you can flexibly customise according to your needs.  

Improve customer satisfaction

Beyond directing your team, project templates can also help you leave a good impression on clients. If clients have questions on certain aspects about a project, project templates allow you to answer queries in a quick and professional manner. This is because details like project schedules, material requirements, budget, estimated time of completion, and other important forms are fully laid out in a template. 

Plus, projects completed on time based on well-designed templates speaks volumes about your company’s efficiency and industry expertise. Great performance, in turn, is usually rewarded with glowing testimonials that help you win more jobs and establish your authority in the field. 

Overseeing a strong project from start to finish begins with comprehensive project templates. If you want to simplify job management and increase your solar company’s efficiency, WorkBuddy can help. Request a free demo today to learn more about our intuitive project template features.

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