Value 2D: Eliminate Unnecessary Costs
By Ben Peterson, Former CEO
At Blue Raven Solar, we have three values we keep at the front of our minds. It is present in each of our process steps so we can achieve our mission statement with each project. Those values are:
- Develop a High-Trust Culture
- Be Efficient
- Continuously Improve
Each value is accompanied by four statements capturing what living this value means for us.
Our second value, “Be Efficient,” can be more directly applied to our work based on:
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)
Details on What Value 2D: Stay Lean – Eliminate Unnecessary Costs Looks Like at Blue Raven Solar
Growing with an industry that has skyrocketed presents constant changes and developments we must stay on top of to avoid falling behind. While discussing Value 2C, we touched on needing to adapt quickly and in ways not too difficult for specific members of our team(s). Value 2D brings this one step further — asking us to reevaluate our processes at any chance we get and evaluate the steps we could do without.
When the COVID-19 outbreak picked up steam in the United States, I was asked many times whether we would be introducing massive layoffs. Surely a value about efficiency would dictate that we eliminate jobs as soon as possible, right? Absolutely not!
Human Capital and It’s Importance
Value 2D is about unnecessary costs. Our human capital is not only a necessary cost – it is our most important asset. We are going to do everything in our power to preserve jobs while ensuring health. Our people will never be expendable. We could not continue our success without each member of our team putting their best foot forward in every aspect of their work, especially when we need to rely on trusting, uplifting, and working in sync with each other. No member of our team is unnecessary, and that has not changed.
This part of Value 2 expresses the idea we should always be looking for ways to eliminate waste from our processes. When disrupting the multi-hundred-year-old industry of traditional energy and electricity, every penny matters. Everything we do must be more efficient and more cost-effective so we can continue to provide accessible and affordable solar energy to homeowners.
At Blue Raven Solar, we are heavily focused on discovering better ways of working and more ways of improving our efficiency so we can deliver the maximum value as homeowners across the country make the switch to clean, renewable energy.
Here’s What Our Employees Said About Experiencing and Living Value 2D
We asked employees how they have experienced Value 2D. The way our employees see and live our mission and values is extremely important to understanding how close we are to keeping them as a top priority throughout the company, and we value their input in all forms!
We stay lean through discovering better ways of working. The leadership team is always working to eliminate excess work and refine it down to only the most important aspects of the work.
It often takes more time, but by digging into the root cause of a problem, we’ve been able to eliminate unnecessary, recurring costs.
We are always looking for more cost-effective platforms to help us literally eliminate unnecessary costs.
People are constantly thinking of ideas and presenting them to leaders as a way to find solutions to unnecessary costs.
We are really disciplined with our staffing numbers. It could be easy to just hire up a storm to solve our problems, but our disciplined hiring strategy forces us to stay lean and find other solutions.
Blue Raven Solar is great at staying lean. As a business I think it can be easy to incur unnecessary costs, but it is important to prioritize and see what is needed and what is extraneous.
We have been increasing our speed and productivity through the last two weeks by helping each other to reduce downtimes and therefore unnecessary costs.
I really like that we are implementing automated processes to keep our cycle times quick and eliminate the need for additional coordinators, plus the coordinators we do have can be allocated to different tasks.
Being able to pass the task to the right department to handle, so that it does not take extra time and resources to solve.
Scheduling – I have noticed that after changing some of the Field Operations Technicians (FOTs) to site surveyors, I have been scheduled for appointments that are closer together and in a more specified area. That lets me get to my surveys quicker and potentially lets me get more appointments done per day. Good job schedulers! We always try and see the most economical, speedy, and most reliable solution to proceed with during upgrades of any sort.
Engineering streamlines the design tool so much in order to make our job go faster so we can be more efficient and productive. By cutting out the unnecessary time that it took to do some calculations and other things. Thanks engineering!
Currently, the marketing team has been looking to cut down on costs from third party providers by bringing many aspects in-house. I personally have seen the BRS team stay lean by picking and choosing the most effective methods to produce organic and paid leads.
When we follow up with our crews on progress, it makes them feel more accountable and they have more of a desire to finish things on the day they start a project, rather than splitting it into multiple days that they could be doing other things.
I have seen some installers keep new parts from jobs they do not end up using and then use them on a different job to save costs and materials.
Every coordinator on the installation scheduling team has stepped up their game in a time where the number of installation crews has grown by 20% in a relatively short amount of time. This has allowed for growth in the installation machine without having to increase corporate staffing.
The utilities team has not added any new people since the beginning of the year even when sales have picked up. We have instead been finding new ways to cut cycle times and get more work done with less time.
We have done this in proposals, with costs being related to time. We have consistently gotten better with the speed of our proposals by cutting away unnecessary processes that would have slowed us down.
While staying lean can be tricky, we do everything we can to ensure it does not affect the sales and field processes. Like Value 2C says, we want to keep those experiences simple. We do not want our customers to get swept up in overly complex situations, so our sales and field teams do not have to deal with more difficult circumstances than they already have! Sales and Field jobs are already difficult, and it is in all our best interests if we do not make it worse.
What’s Next and How Our Mission Helps Drives Decisions
Closing out Value 2 with this last statement sets us up for our third value, Continuously Improve.
We believe our mission and values set us apart in the solar industry. Our customers get to experience our difference when they decide to go solar, and we are so grateful for their dedication to making the world a better place through renewable energy production. Each of our customers is a vital part of Blue Raven Solar’s history, growth, and continued success. We know we deliver a top-tier solar experience because we have received thousands of five-star reviews that prove our mission and values are worth keeping a priority.
Our mission is to make homeowners’ lives better by reducing their energy bills, by increasing their reliance on clean and abundant renewable energy, and by providing a world-class customer experience through a reliable sales process and a speedy, high-quality installation.
This mission statement has been with us since the beginning, and we know it has been achieved each time we bring solar to another homeowner.
Are you ready to experience the Blue Raven Solar mission and values?
Request a free quote from one of our solar experts and power your home with the future of energy today!
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