CEZ energy group launched a new tool to automate the sale of small photovoltaic power plants for households. The tool is built on the WisePorter product catalog, saving CEZ engineers the work of preparing projects and significantly speeding up the preparation of tailored offers to customers.
CEZ Prodej is one of the largest energy companies in the Czech Republic. Its main business endeavour is the generation, distribution, trading, and sale of electricity and heat, trading and sale of natural gas, and provision of comprehensive energy services. It supplies electricity to 2.7 million customers (+15% year-on-year) and gas to 570,000 customers (+25% year-on-year). In addition to electricity and gas, CEZ also offers smart solutions for households. These include, for example, installation of rooftop photovoltaic power plants including battery storage systems, heat pumps and gas boilers, or complete heating solutions.
The client can have a tailor-made solar power plant project prepared for their roof when they visit the office. And as the demand for domestic photovoltaic power plants has sky-rocketed in recent years, CEZ has been working hard to optimize the processes associated with their delivery. In the ongoing OTNA project, the company has focused on automating their sales and preparing customized PV projects for their clients. How does it all work?
A typical home PV power plant is made up of more than forty different components – from solar panels to batteries to screws and wires. And because every roof is different, every home PV project is different too. In addition to the technology components, there is design work, installation, transportation, etc. While in the early days of the solar boom, CEZ experts could spend long hours on each project in preparation, such a process is too capacity- and time-consuming for today’s demand.
WisePorter smart product catalog makes the whole process much faster and simpler. All items (components) are stored in the catalog, including rules on how items can be combined. In addition, the catalog contains around fifty standard pre-designed packages. With the help of an operator at the customer service centre, the customer enters the parameters of the building for which the rooftop solar power plant is intended. The system offers several applicable packages and the customer chooses one of them for their house. They can also make changes to customize their project. However, all changes are automatically checked by the system, which uses information from the catalog about which items are and are not compatible with each other. In addition to the basic items required for the operation of the PV plant, the customer can add additional components to the order to increase comfort, or services such as installation and transport. When the customer is satisfied, the system automatically generates a personalized offer.
Thanks to the new project, the customer does not have to wait long for a binding offer. They will receive it immediately and tailored to their exact requirements. Just check, sign and that’s it. Thanks to the automatic preparation of offers, CEZ saves a huge amount of their engineers’ time and gains more satisfied customers. All necessary items are described by CEZ staff directly in the WisePorter product catalog and any newly created items are automatically available for new projects. The rules for using the items and calculating the project price are conveniently prepared by CEZ staff in Excel and simply imported into WisePorter.
“The interest of households in rooftop photovoltaics is really huge. The number of installations by CEZ has jumped sixfold in two years. The trend is clear and we are expecting further significant growth this year. We want to satisfy as many customers as possible. That is why we are increasing the number of installation partners and our specialists in the field as much as possible and opening new regional offices for our technicians. Another important step is to digitize as much of the entire bidding process as possible. Thus, we have prepared a smart catalog, thanks to which all of our employees can see in real time which components are available, and an application that enables faster and simpler signing of the contract by the customer,” says Tomáš Kadlec, CEO of CEZ Prodej.