All panels are on the roof, but the inverter is not the right one. Or: only 12 panels have been installed, while the customer expects 14. These situations happen frequently, which means you can’t complete your job and have to come around for a second time to solve the rework before you can fully deliver the project. In this article, you will read how to deal with these efficiency killers in the future.
Installation rework slows down growth of any solar company. The time you spend on solving rework, you could have also spent on installing a new PV system for another customer. If you’re not careful, pending rework will take the wind out of your operation’s sails. Therefore it is one of the biggest process issues we see at solar companies.
Rework swallows your resources
From work preparation to planning and from installation teams to invoicing: all departments must re-evaluate the lead. Your planners have to squeeze in the open jobs into the schedule. Materials have to be ordered and the installers are not happy either; because they have to go back during their already busy schedules to solve problems.
The turnaround time from notification to resolution takes a long time. During this time, the overdue work piles up and the customer can’t use the solar panel system. Just imagine what a negative impact this has on the customer’s experience.
Although the above-mentioned consequences are annoying enough, this extra work also has a negative effect on your cash flow. Pending project cost money in the total process and with a lot of bad luck you can have as much rework and services in your planning as new installations, so you can run into losses. After all, you have already invested in materials and labor, yet you cannot invoice the customer.
Solving and preventing rework:
- Gain insight into which leads have not been delivered yet;
- Record the cause of undelivered projects with delivery documents. To gain a good insight, we recommend using standardized options such as: no material, missing material, too little time, damage, asbestos, etc.
- Reschedule rework using a special planning event to keep track of how often rework occurs;
- This also provides a clearer understanding of the lead times, so that you can aim for a maximum lead time of 1 to 2 weeks;
- Provide operational focus by allocating rework responsibilities to a dedicated department or person(s) (within one or several departments), to prevent open projects do not get lost in between the regular installation jobs.
Therefore, the message is: knowledge is power. By capturing causes, you will discover structural errors in your operation you can tackle to prevent future residual points. The consequences: happy customers, motivated technicians and planners, and fast invoicing. Win, win, win.