Solar pv is a young, fast growing, global industry. The nature of the technology itself makes solar pv projects relatively easy and fast to build. What seems to be challenging for solar companies during the construction phase is material deliveries. On larger projects there is a need to deliver material worth tens of millions to a construction site within 6 – 10 weeks.
At the same time, the list of procured items can include hundreds of items from tens of suppliers. Items include anything from nuts and bolts to prefabricated transformers, not to mention thousands of panels and kilometres of cable. This can be even more complicated when there are many projects starting and ending at different dates, in different geographical locations.
Currently, many companies use excel documents and emails as procurement systems. This results in ordering wrong quantities, wrong items, ordering too early or too late, or not ordering something at all. And even one, tiny, trivial element missing (say lugs that cost $3 each) can make a multi-million project fail to connect on time.
The solution: Constant Flow
The solution is Constant Flow: a dedicated project management system that keeps track of what needs to be ordered, in what order (based on sequence of works on site). It is a scalable solution that can be used for any solar project, from domestic installs to large ground mount systems. It is one consistent database that serves many projects and many users with different access right.
The complete procurement list for each project gives information about material that needs to be ordered, quantities, timeline of the procurement process, budget, delivery times, payment schedule etc. Thanks to its dynamic nature, it shows the bottom line effect of every change made to any single item or parameter.
Constant Flow Benefits
- Smoother project execution process. The right components are delivered to sites in time.
- Lower costs of delivering solar pv projects: less delays, just the right amount of material ordered, better prices when ordering in advance, not at the last minute.
- Learning on previous projects.
Improved control and reporting
- Increased transparency: History of changes, approval procedures, predefined list of suppliers.
- Better communication: all team members are in the loop, site team has up to date information on deliveries, top management has real time feedback on site activities.
- Better control: all purchases go through the system. Those made by an office team and by site teams.
- Constant Flow is available anywhere in the world, in a cloud, from any device, via a web application and email.
- Fast and Intuitive user interface similar to software team members already use daily like spreadsheets, gmail or facebook.
- Data consistency. All users have access to a single set of data with different access rights. All changes are made on-line, history of updates is registered.
- Pre-defined sets of components and complimentary items (panels + clamps + cable + labour) make creating new projects fast and accurate.
- Real time, instant feedback on project timeline and budget.
- Integration with existing cloud storage services (Dropbox, Box, Sharepoint etc.)
- One click data export to csv/xls