PRTM Perspective: Solar Industry


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Perspective on Enterprise Co-Creation: A New Value Lever for the Solar Market

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PRTM Perspective: Solar Industry

  1. 1. After a harrowing recession, the business environment has improved tremendously for solar companies. But they are not out of the woods yet. As government incentives disappear and competition grows, solar companies will face ever-declining selling prices and margin pressures. To avoid commoditization and price competition, they must find new ways to create value, tear down barriers to growth, and differentiate products and services. Enterprise Co-Creation offers a framework for accomplishing these objectives.Enterprise Co-Creation: A New Value Lever for Solar Market GrowthP ER S P EC T I V E S
  2. 2. P ER S P EC T I V E S Enterprise Co-Creation: A New Value Lever for Solar Market Growth Enterprise Co-Creation is a powerful new Expand Channel Relationships approach to creating value. Traditionally, value PV module and inverter companies can has been defined and driven by companies, with transform current partnership models with customers being passive recipients of that value. distributors and system integrators to expand Recent social media and connectivity develop- channel relationships. They can also engage with ments, however, are significantly changing the customers in new ways to build brand recogni- way individuals interact with one another and tion and loyalty. with organizations. Across industries, consumers are now involved in customer co-creation initia- Streamline Workflow tives, where they actively participate in business- Project developers and independent power idea generation and in the development and producers can work with utilities and regulators delivery of new products and services. In the to streamline the permitting review and approval energy industry, for instance, utility energy effi- process to get shovels in the ground sooner and ciency and demand-side management programs bring utility-scale renewable generation online have been created to allow customers to track faster at a lower total cost. energy usage, calculate their carbon footprint, and take immediate steps to reduce their bill. Identify New Sources of Growth But customer co-creation is only one piece Solar companies can openly collaborate of co-creation. Companies can reap tremendous with consumers and community organizations value by redefining their interactions with other to develop new business models for distributed stakeholders as well. Customers, especially in generation. Co-creative dialogues may present consumer businesses, have led the way, but companies with opportunities to expand markets employees, suppliers, and partners in B2B and and to identify new sources of growth, such as B2C are demanding new forms of engagement integration into future home-energy manage- from the organization. Extending co-creation ment solutions. to create new value from interactions across the We believe Enterprise Co-Creation provides organization is the essence of what we call Enter- a new way of looking at value creation that is as prise Co-Creation. important and fundamental as the advent of stra- In the solar market specifically, Enterprise tegic planning, quality system management, and Co-Creation could prove instrumental in business process improvement. The challenge reshaping business practices and in breaking for solar executives is to go beyond the traditional down barriers to growth. Solar companies definitions of value and collaboration and open can use this new approach to build value in a up their companies’ internal processes to interact number of ways. and engage in novel ways. Solar companies that do so will strengthen their competitive advantage Improve Supply Chain Interactions and better position themselves to take advantage Materials and component manufacturers of the massive shifts occurring in today’s volatile can enhance their engagement with suppliers business climate. and customers to improve supply and demand To find out more about Enterprise Co-Creation, planning, minimize material and capacity how it works, and how to get started, visit www. constraints, and reduce total supply chain inven- or tory. These interactions will greatly improve a company’s ability to adjust output to align with installation schedules.50126 ©2010 PRTM