One of the most well-known maxims in any business, no matter the industry, is "The customer's always right."
At Trina Solar, we know the importance of ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction. That means doing everything in our power to confirm for our customers that they are always right, no matter what it takes on our end.
However, unlike commodities that only involve the retailer and the consumer, the solar panel sales chain flows through several different stakeholders at various points, including manufacturers, distributors, installers and often homebuilders too. In addition, local governments must inspect, permit and ensure compliance for solar PV systems. All of these actors playing their individual parts requires careful orchestration to guarantee every step happens according to schedule. For, if one company is late, it will disrupt the installation process up and down the chain.
Recently, Trina Solar had the opportunity to assist in overcoming a major obstacle prior to installation and demonstrate our commitment to delivering unparalleled customer service during a solar PV installation. The stakeholders included:
- KB Homes - The homebuilding company constructing a home for owners who wanted a solar module installed.
- Leonard Roofing - The roofing subcontractors responsible for installing the solar module.
- CED Riverside - The wholesale electrical distributors providing the solar module for the project.
- Trina Solar - The solar panel manufacturers and logistics organizer overseeing the successful delivery of the panel.
- Fast Exact - The hotshot trucking company responsible for shipping the solar modules.
As you can see, organizing six different stakeholders to act in sync over the course of a weekend can be tricky business regardless of the goal. But dutiful help from all parties, as well as the leadership from Trina Solar, the project easily surpassed this hurdle and guaranteed customer satisfaction. Let's take a look at what happened and how this problem was quickly solved.
The potential for a problem
As everyone knows, late Friday afternoons are the perfect time for plans to run away from us - it never fails. In this case, shortly before 4:00 PM on a Friday, Jacob Atalla from KB Homes informed Scott Beecham at Leonard Roofing that CED Riverside will be able to supply the project with a Trina Solar ALLMAX 280W module. This change necessitated some modifications to the Bill of Material and Purchase Order.
After some back and forth emails over the weekend regarding these modifications, the parties got the ball rolling on panel delivery.
But the clock was already ticking. An inspection of the solar PV installation was scheduled for early the next week and the panel needed to be in place and online by then. This gave the team a tiny window to get the solar panel delivered and installed. If this didn't happen on time, the team would have to delay the inspection, which could have thrown the project off schedule and over budget.
Bright and early Monday morning, a technician of Leonard Roofing arrived at CED Riverside to pick up the module, but the distributors couldn't immediately find the order in their system. Thankfully, this issue was quickly resolved. As noted above, the number of different companies involved in the solar PV installation process can cause a bit of confusion. In this case, CED had the order listed under KB Homes, not Leonard Roofing. The company quickly resolved the problem and got the modules on the truck for delivery.
Once the companies straightened everything, the solar panel was ready for delivery.
Trina Solar to the rescue
The ALLMAX black-on-black module needed to travel from Riverside, California, to the building site in Los Angeles. While Trina wanted to send the pallet air freight, it was too large for domestic air carriers, which means they needed to pivot. Instead we worked with a hotshot trucking company for expedited delivery. This meant the delivery driver had to deal with the LA traffic, which slowed down truck's progress across Southern California.
The team here at Trina took the lead in keeping all parties apprised of the situation with frequent package-tracking updates. This allowed the stakeholders to plan their work crews accordingly. Throughout the day, we continued providing real-time delivery status, until we could report on a confirmed delivery later that day.
Despite some last minute changes to the BOM, Trina was able to work with all the stakeholders and ensure an expedited delivery on time to meet the inspection deadline.
In an email to Trina rep, Georg Bettenhauser, Jacob Atalla wrote that Trina's efforts were the very essence of leadership, noting that this is how you skyrocket the value of partnership and turn a commodity into a differentiated product that is second to none. And we couldn't agree more.
At Trina Solar, we understand we're a world leader of solar panels because we do more than simply build high-quality equipment - we go above and beyond to deliver the best customer experience possible.
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