Searching for a pre-qualified network
The solar industry is relationship-oriented. A company’s success relies on networking and forming meaningful relationships. Such a task is challenging to do in an ever-changing industry where companies come and go.
Alexandra Harrison, Executive Vice President and General Manager at Ontility, knows all too well the importance and challenge of networking.
Ontility was formed in 2009 as a nimble PV product sourcing entity. Within ten years, Ontility had established relationships with vendors and enhanced its service offerings to include design and engineering as well as solar lifecycle solutions. The evolving focus supported Ontility’s ability to expand their reach, applicable service offering, and increase sales.
“There were perceived challenges in networking and reaching appropriate solar product buyers and influencers in a rather narrow segment of the energy market.”
Alexandra and her team set three key goals in response to their challenges: (1) to observe pricing trends of products and components, (2) to broaden Ontility’s brand awareness, and (3) to expand the company’s selling as well as purchasing of PV modules and components.
An opportunity to expand reach
When Ontility joined EnergyBin in 2017, Alexandra and her team were pleased to discover that the platform aligned with company goals. She immediately recognized the opportunity to expand Ontility’s reach by using EnergyBin.
EnergyBin is a community of verified solar professionals who buy and sell PV equipment at wholesale levels. Ontility is able to connect with contacts across the supply chain in a safe trading environment. Ontility gains peace of mind from interactions with other members, who have been vetted by EnergyBin.
On a daily basis, Ontility uses EnergyBin as a research tool. The platform is useful for keeping tabs on prices, supply and demand. Having such knowledge at the tips of their fingers is central for Alexandra’s team, as they buy and sell equipment.
Beyond market intelligence, Ontility uses the platform to actively network with other members and list inventory for sale.
“We receive a lot of outreach from customers by posting product inventory, and as a result, we’ve seen an increase in sales.”
The broadcast email feature also serves to communicate members’ buy-sell requests, which allows Ontility to reach out to specific members with solutions that meet their individual needs.
Ontility’s expertise in product resale as well as remanufacturing and recycling helps EnergyBin members to access viable secondary market solutions. Getting the word out about Ontility’s Solar Lifecycle Solutions takes a dedicated approach to networking.
“Building relationships is crucial to our business strategy because whether EnergyBin members need these specialized services today or down the road, we want them to think of Ontility as their solutions provider.”
EnergyBin connects Ontility to key audiences
Five years after joining EnergyBin, Ontility has found the platform to be invaluable to the company’s business growth. The company has experienced a near instant return on investment over annual membership dues paid.
“EnergyBin provides an exceptional cost-effective investment. It truly is a unique platform to add to our overall marketing mix.”
Networking on EnergyBin has successfully connected Ontility to pre-qualified buyers, specifically key audiences of developers, EPCs, installers, and O&M professionals within the residential, commercial, utility, and nonprofit markets. Ontility has been able to expand its reach and expose buyers to products and solutions the company has to offer.
As Ontility continues to grow as a reputable solar lifecycle solutions provider, EnergyBin is here to connect Ontility to solar companies across the industry. Plus, Ontility has a firm grasp on equipment pricing and availability in the market.
“EnergyBin provides the solar community with insight into the market and competitive pricing. It’s also a way to connect with new contacts and readily review product availability.”