In this special edition of Contractors Corner, solar inverter manufacturer FIMER talks about the status of the solar market in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a portion of the company’s Solar Spotlight podcast with Solar Power World, but be sure to listen to the full episode here or on your favorite podcast app to learn more about how FIMER has adjusted to serve customers and protect employees during this difficult time.
How is FIMER helping its customers during the pandemic since there are now fewer face-to-face interactions, less travel, fewer trade shows and some project delays?
We are maintaining our manufacturing really at almost 100% capacity in our regions like Italy and India, and we also have integration in the U.S.
We do a lot of FaceTimes with our customers. This is, I think, the new future, with a lot of calls and virtual meetings. Since we don’t have any trade shows currently on our books, we do try to do some webinars with our customers where we introduce our new products or we give them training on old products for installations or for designing, whatever the customer needs.
What are some things you’re doing to keep your workforce engaged and safe?
From the beginning, we had our headquarters give us a great support in the situation since they were ahead of us in the U.S., out of Italy. We closed the office, we transferred all the technology to the homes of each individual so that they could work from home.
We’re having daily FaceTimes with our employees so that we keep really in touch and maintain the workload we had before and give the right support to the customers. We have strict travel restrictions besides our service technicians —from Day 1 of the pandemic, they were going outside to the customers with all the measures we have in place like face masks and social distancing. But we were still supporting 100% of our customers on the service side and we were trying to travel everywhere by car.
What do you think will be the overall effect of the pandemic on the solar industry in the years to come?
We think it’s not going to stop the wave — solar is a really good investment for a lot of funds even outside the U.S. The only thing it will impact is more on the residential and commercial side right now because there’s much more face time you need to have with the customer one-to-one.
But I foresee that next year, once we get over of this pandemic, we will catch up again and have a beautiful and great year in front of us for solar.
This year, it’s more difficult. We see some delays, some postponed projects, smaller ones are cancelled. It’s still moving slowly, but constantly.
We foresee a bright future in general for new technologies coming in that will make it much easier for solar. We brought one of the biggest string inverters into the market and we’re seeing a lot of requests for storage.
I think the solar market has a bright future for the next years after this pandemic is hopefully soon over, but until then we are going to keep our focus on the customer and keep focusing on our employees staying safe.
This podcast is sponsored by FIMER