Value 2a: Produce results that are worth more than they cost to deliver
At Blue Raven Solar, we have three values:
1. Develop a High-Trust Culture
2. Be Efficient
3. Continuously Improve.
Each value is accompanied by four statements that try to capture what living this value means for us.
Our second value, “Be efficient,” means four things for us:
2a: Produce results that are worth more than they cost to deliver
2b: Obsessively reduce cycle times in every area
2c: Keep the sales and field experience simple (even if it means adding complexity elsewhere)
2d: Stay lean – eliminate unnecessary costs (even through periods of rapid growth)
Value 2a is our topic today: Produce results that are worth more than they cost to deliver.
Value 2a is another way of defining a sustainable business model. Traditionally, if a company produces a product at a cost that is less than consumers’ willingness to pay, the difference between cost and revenue is value created, or profit. In our case, we are disrupting an industry that has been around for over 100 years. If we are to succeed, we must reduce our costs and provide solar at a price point that is more attractive than the status quo. (In fact, we need to offer significant savings to overcome both the real and perceived switching costs of making the switch to renewable energy.) At Blue Raven Solar, we are hyper focused on reducing cost; cost is measured in cents per watt in our industry. A reduction of a tenth of a cent per watt is cause for celebration.
More personally, we talk here about how each of us must put more value “on the table” than the value we take “off the table.” At the end of every week, I have a ritual I follow that helps keep me engaged and honest with respect to value 2a. I review what I’ve accomplished during the week and ask myself if I added more value to Blue Raven than the company paid me. Candidly, there are weeks where I can only conclude that my work product didn’t measure up. In these cases, I explore why I was unproductive and write down what happened. I then plan the following week by writing down my priorities and blocking off time on my calendar to focus on what matters most. By repeating this process every Friday afternoon, I set myself up for success to produce results that are worth more than they cost to deliver.
We asked employees how they experience value 2a at Blue Raven Solar. Here is what a few of them said:
I see Blue Raven constantly working with customers to make sure the experience is better than the cost. Solar is an expensive investment but the amount of work and customer service that goes into each customer is greater.
Processes are looked at and tweaked to provide quality services, keeping the price low, but ultimately keeping the same quality.
I see this a lot in permitting. We are always trying to reduce cycle times and make sure we look for the most effective way to permit without cutting any corners.
All of our company values, when applied together, contribute to us giving the customers a great experience… This makes our product worth more.
The engineering team has developed methods to automate many of our design process at Blue Raven Solar. This creates accurate deliverable which are install-able and avoid rework!
Here in supply chain this seems to be a big part of what we focus on. We are constantly trying to reduce cycle times and build a relationship with our suppliers to get the best bang for our buck.
I think setting goals is a great example of this value. When we set goals, we are on track to producing results that are worth more than they cost to deliver.
The way we work to reach our specific goals as a company (work queue throwdowns, huddles, period check-ins, etc.) is proof that we are working every day to produce results that help us come out on top.
I feel a lot of Blue Raven Solar is working to help the customers have an easy time and maximize the benefit they receive. A lot of what I do in Customer Ops is helping them with this, and I feel the department as a whole exemplifies this value.
Blue Raven espouses an attitude of getting the most out of each employee. Given this attitude, problem solving comes from every level. By solving problems as the rise future problems are adverted. The whole process is built around getting the most value for the lowest cost.
Being a pleasant human being doesn’t cost anything. Yet it does wonders for creating a great work environment as well as customer experience. Blue Raven has done a good job in creating and maintaining a positive, fun, and sincere environment which is transmitted through team work and our communication with our customers. This translates to a higher quality of work and a better customer relationship which in turn results in higher sales and customer satisfaction. I’m sure there are costs involved in maintaining this environment that I don’t understand yet, but they can’t be higher than the results.
I have seen how data driven the sales development side is and I’m impressed with the scrutiny of cost to operate and what we are producing from every investment.