By Marcy Bradshaw-Angier, marketing manager at Fortune Energy
Solar distributors can be a great friend of the solar contractor by helping them reduce product cost, save time, design projects and obtain financing. When distributor relationships are strong, it can make even a small solar installation business feel it has the resources and support of a much larger company. Distributors are all about making connections, signing deals and reducing the bottom line for installers.
Through contacts made at tradeshows, industry associations and news sources, distributors talk to a wide range of people involved in solar. For example, we at Fortune Energy speak directly with our installer customers to understand which products they like to use and which their customers prefer. This abundance of information, in addition to hours of research into various brands, allows distributors to recommend the best products for each project.
The distributor’s goal is to offer top tier brands with quality warranties and provide free manufacturer training opportunities. To do this, distributors work with manufacturers to set up meetings, take factory tours, gather technical details and research warranties before negotiations even begin. Once contracts with manufacturers are signed, solar contractors see the benefits in reduced component rates, which they can pass on to their customers.
Contractors can view distributors as part of their business plans to help them reduce their bottom line. Distributors can help contractors save time, offering all of the project supplies and services they’re looking for at one stop. Many distributors even offer order pick-up at a local warehouse to save money on shipping. We have warehouses at multiple locations and offer short-term storage to contractors if they may need to delay their pickup or delivery.
Distributors also have great resources to help with special orders and additional services. These can include a staff of professional design engineers to help with project design and relationships with solar finance companies with resources for contractors to share with their customers.
Solar distributors can be a great partner for contractors. With volume discounts, project design services, financing connections, warehouse storage and personal account managers, distributors can assist contractors through the entire project. A wholesale solar distributor can increase the bottom line of a solar install business, and all contractors—large and small—should take advantage. SPW