Makeover of a renewable energy system manufacturer

June 6th, 2011 by Greg Boutin
Passivhaus cross-section, English annotation

Image via Wikipedia

This American manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic heat recovery solutions contacted me after reading my article Consolidation and Integration in the Solar PV Business, in order to create a financial and product specification model for a new product.

Work completed

The successful completion of the financial modeling assignment led to many others over the subsequent couple of years, in order to make the company more attractive to customers, partners and investors:

  • Product marketing: full automation of sales proposal tool, multichannel marketing campaign planning, range of marketing materials including brochures, thought leadership material e.g. articles, tradeshow material and booth, social media strategy and training, recommendations on website and CRM system, market validation through tradeshow participation and sales follow-up, funding proposals, branding & visual identity guide
  • Product management: market selection (including the Market Reach workshop), comparative financial comparisons, distribution strategy, market research, recommendations on new product commercial plan, financing partnership support, review of public incentives for new product
  • Investment preparation: fundraising roadmap recommendations, valuation, business plan, introduction and consultation with respected investors
  • Strategic partnership: management of key strategic partnership with multinational telecom company, leading to multiple sales opportunities
  • Corporate development: sales job descriptions, assistance with recruiting of several technical sales manager, performance management and turnaround recommendations, leadership coaching

Key contributions

  • One of the key challenges the company faced was to reduce the time it took to complete sales proposals. The company traditionally relied on a set of paper tools that made the system sizing process slow and incomplete (the tools excluded any financial optimization). GrowthRoute automated it entirely in Excel, creating modules for over 15 different applications and training the new sales team on it.
    The tool now optimizes systems based both on energy needs and financial return, a first in the renewable energy system space. It also produces full-text proposals automatically that require less than an hour to create with client data.
  • The extensive market validation effort highlighted the importance of narrowing the effort to a more specific geographical area and range of industries. It also surfaced promising areas for improvements with the existing line of product. For new product plans, it outlined the core benefits of the technology, altering the original assumptions in the process.
  • Discussions with investors pinpointed the changes required for an external investment, and helped narrow down the focus of the company further. GrowthRoute also computed a realistic valuation for the company based on multiple methodologies.
  • A casual contact from a multinational executive, managed by GrowthRoute into joint sales proposals, pointed to the vast commercial potential of the product, subject to some performance improvements.


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