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Case study: Evergen Installer Portal

How Green Tech Evergen Made Its Installation Process 5x Faster

  • Node.JS

  • Express

  • React.JS

  • Tailwind CSS

  • MongoDB

  • Bitbucket Pipelines

  • Docker

In the quest for sustainable, clean energy solutions, Australia is emerging as a global leader. In 2022, for instance, 32% of the nation’s electrical generation came from clean sources.

Australia’s climate change research base and its willingness to embrace innovative technologies mean opportunities for start-ups working in green energy.

Our client Evergen, an Australian company transforming how we harness and use renewables, is a leading example.

Evergen’s commitment to environmental stewardship and cutting-edge technology is helping pave the way to a greener, more sustainable future. The company’s main goals are providing free, green energy through home solar panels, and minimising fossil fuel electricity production in Australia and globally.

We’re proud to have provided development services to help Evergen meet its goals. Read on to find out how MadAppGang helped Evergen foster a cleaner future.

We'll go through a complete design cycle using various KPIs.

Taking the process from 3-6 months to 2-6 weeks

We built a bespoke Installer Portal for Evergen that took the solar panel installation process from 3 to 6 months to just 2 to 6 weeks.

The portal and process underwent significant improvements resulting in:

Evergen tripled its number of installations, while working with the same number of contractors. Customers now have greater engagement and visibility into the process. On the end-customer side, the Portal functions as a user-friendly tool they can use to see and monitor all the stages of the installation process.

Additionally, these customers are now onboarded and engaged immediately after their bond payments, rather than waiting for months when they were motivated and interested.

After their system is installed, customers are already onboarded and ready to go.

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Read what Evergen said about these results

Curious to know how we achieved such impressive results? Let us show you.

Not an easy way towards a green future

From 2015 to 2019, the beginning of Evergen’s journey, the company focused on residential and commercial solar panel installations.

The installation process was long and challenging, requiring certified installers and myriad legal regulations. Evergen, at the time a small green-energy and software startup, needed an opportunity to create and manage a fleet of installers. To achieve this, Evergen engaged with various installation companies and contractors.

With many moving parts and people involved, the process was not for the faint of heart and could last several months. Just take a look:

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  1. The client decides to install the Evergen system and calls the company
  2. Evergen records the client in the system and assigns it to the installer company
  3. The installer company creates an internal lead and assigns a contractor to the job
  4. The contractor contacts the client and arranges a property inspection
  5. The contractor visits the client, and fills out Evergen’s requirements form, and emails it to Evergen
  6. Evergen receives the email and assigns it to an engineer to design a system that meets requirements and uses available materials
  7. The engineer prepares a proposal for the client and sends it to the sales team
  8. The sales team sends the proposal to the client

After all these steps, the real journey began when clients decided to make a purchase:

  1. The client contacts the sales team
  2. The sales team creates an invoice and a deposit payment request for a deposit
  3. The client pays the deposit and the process begins
  4. Evergen orders the equipment from the supplier
  5. The homeowners must install a smart meter that supports two-way electricity flow, which is arranged with the electricity distributor, adding additional communication and interaction with another company and an electrician contractor
  6. The installer contractor arranges a new meeting with the client to gather measurements and plan the installation
  7. When Evergen receives materials from the supplier, the company contacts the installation team to arrange the installation
  8. The installer contacts their contractor
  9. The contractor contacts the client to arrange an installation date
  10. Evergen ensures the new smart meter is installed for a client by their electricity provider.
  11. After the installation, Evergen calls the client and helps to create an Evergen account, connect the client’s panels, and activate the system.

The entire process — from the client's very first call to creating an Evergen account — could last from 3 to 6 months.

Why so long? Many things could slow the process: someone may forget to make a call, a contractor could fall ill, there might be no available contractors, or the client may misunderstand and forget to contact a retailer or a contractor.

Because of these reasons, the Evergen sales team has to monitor every contract and intervene if any obstacles arise.

This approach was unproductive and slow.

Innovation for energy management and system installation

Just imagine: a forward-thinking Australian decides to go green, pays for the service and installation, then waits 3 to 6 months before the transaction is complete...

Faced with these delivery times, Evergen decided to overhaul its processes. Everything should be automated; this is Evergen’s way. But they needed an experienced IT crew to make that level of automation a reality.

That’s where we come in, teaming with Evergen for the Installers Portal project.

We combined our killer software development skills with Evergen's expertise in renewable energy solutions to create a game-changing platform for installers. The Installers Portal system for Evergen and contactors is now live.

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We wanted to make the solar panel installation process fast, easy, and convenient for all the main parties:

Defining every party’s actions

To get started, we spent time with every party to find the bottlenecks and issues they face, and identify the key actions they take in the process. They're all there in the frighteningly confusing scheme above, remember it?

After that, we formed a large process pipeline to automate, highlighting any parts that required manual attention.

The main focus of the new Installers Portal is ‘Action’. When someone logs into the system,- the first screen they see is an ‘Actions required’ screen.

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If you’re an Evergen employee, you’ll see the action required from Evergen. For example:

The installer company might see these actions:

Сontractors have the opportunity to:

If you were to look at the Installers Portal as a contractor, you’ll see all your orders with full details and actions immediately required his is what an order looks like when it’s at the inspection stage:

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We gave every contractor the opportunity to join the system by invite from the installation company or Evergen.

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When installation is complete, the Installer Portal displays a card with all the details:

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All the job history is available on the ‘Jobs History’ tab:

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For each installer, you can open and view the full history:

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No more delays, misunderstandings, or forgotten calls. The new Installer Portal became an excellent way to establish centralised, transparent, and efficient communication among people.

No more tedious job: machine-to-machine automation

But there’s another part to the system, Evergen uses SaaS services such as:

Our specialists made sure that all three SaaS services seamlessly integrate with the Installer Portal.

No. manual. work. required. anymore.

That’s a big win in our book and in Evergen’s.

Evergen’s feedback

“Before joining forces with MadAppGang, our company faced several challenges in the solar panel installation process. The process took an astronomical amount of time, which seriously affected our responsiveness and customer satisfaction. We lacked automation and the number of steps made the interaction between staff and contractors complex and inefficient.

However, working with MadAppGang changed this situation dramatically. With their help, we developed Installer Portal, a unique platform that simplifies and automates the entire solar panel installation process. We were pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and technical expertise of the MadAppGang team. As a result, we have continued to work with them on other projects, such as DERM.

Working with MadAppGang was fruitful and efficient. Our company focused on business goals and expectations, while MadAppGang provided expertise in project design and technical implementation. The roles were clearly defined and the cooperation was harmonious. We are proud to have them as our regular partners”.

— Ben Berns, COO, Evergen

Challenges and our tech-magic solutions

One of the main challenges we faced on this project was accommodating different types of users within a single system, each with their own roles and hierarchical relationships.

All Evergen users were associated with the Evergen company and had different roles. Installer contractors could either be independent or part of an installer company. What's more, a contractor could even be contracted by two different installer companies at the same time. Quite a complex hierarchy, right?

We encountered an issue: the traditional approach using many-to-many relations didn't fit our needs. So, we opted for a graph-based model, leveraging powerful graph databases like Neo4j or ArangoDB.

However, considering the relatively small scale of dependencies, we built our own in-memory graph database solution. All the necessary data was loaded into the server's memory from MongoDB blog fields, requiring just an additional 20MB of memory. The most exciting part was that our solution worked incredibly fast!

What we put under the hood

On the server side, we developed a Node.js application using the Express framework, with MongoDB as our database.

How about the front end?

We used ReactJS, Tailwind CSS, and TypeScript to create a responsive and dynamic user interface.

CI/CD practices

To ensure quick delivery and deployment, we relied on Bitbucket Pipelines along with Docker containers. Our application was deployed to a private Elastic Container Registry (ECR). This made integration seamless and ensured reliable deployment of the system.

Additionally, we seamlessly integrated with Xero, Unleashed, and Hubspot, further enhancing the capabilities and functionality of our system.

How many tech magicians did we need?

Our team consisted of a:

Together, we implemented the entire system in an impressive timeframe of just 5 months.

We have no intention of stopping

This case is one example in our portfolio of collaborations with Evergen. Our future endeavors include crafting a customer portal, where Evergen's customers can effortlessly manage all facets of their solar panel systems, a smart tool designed for convenience and ease.

Additionally, we're working on mobile applications for end-users. These applications will empower Evergen's customers to command their entire solar panel systems directly from their smartphones.

We are also helping Evergen with:

One recent project we’ve implemented is DERMS (Distributed Energy Resource Management System) - a software platform that’s essential for monitoring distributed energy resources (DER) such as rooftop solar paired with behind-the-meter battery systems for residential and commercial applications, or even a collection of electric vehicles.

From the humble solar panels atop a cottage to the vast battery arrays of a commercial complex, DERMS keeps watch, ensuring every watt of energy is harnessed efficiently. It's the guardian of our greener, brighter future.

The story of how two tech companies are busily working to change the energy landscape continues. We’re excited for the next chapter in our ongoing partnership with Evergen. Stay tuned for more stories of innovation and progress.