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Customer Spotlight: Direct Energy Solar

In this video clip recorded at the recent Manufacturing ISV Cloud Summit in Chicago. Stephen Simons, Direct Energy Solar CIO, credits the tremendous success and growth of his company to two major decisions. The first was to build his entire business on the Salesforce platform. “Salesforce is famous for being a CRM, but it is also the first real application platform in the Cloud you could trust your entire business to.” The second was selecting Rootstock Software to handle all of the complexities of his manufacturing operation. “We looked at every ERP vendor on Salesforce and none of them came close to Rootstock on experience, feature set and ability to deliver in a timely fashion.”

 

 

We looked at every ERP vendor on Salesforce, and none of them came close - on feature set, on ability to deliver on time.”

Direct Energy Solar began in 2008 as Astrum Solar, a full service solar provider. Its mission - provide solar power to America while focusing on delighting the customer and providing the most positive experience possible. The resulting rapid growth led to Astrum being named twice to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. In July 2014, Astrum became part of the Direct Energy family, and in 2015 renamed their brand to Direct Energy Solar.

What does Stephen Simons, Direct Energy Solar CIO, attribute his company’s tremendous success to? In 2010 he decided he wanted to build the entire business, from the front office to the back office and everything in between, on the Salesforce platform.

Pretty much every aspect of our business is covered by Rootstock, from purchasing to work order management, to field service and maintenance, bill of materials… everything.”

The other was to select Rootstock Software, built 100% native on the platform, to run his operation. As a manufacturer, Direct Energy needed a system complex enough to handle all the different varieties and ways to obtain, assemble, and deliver things. Not only that, they needed a partner who “understood those complexities, who had been there and could walk with them every step of the way”. After looking at every single ERP vendor on Salesforce, they chose Rootstock. “None of them came close to Rootstock on experience, feature-set and ability to deliver in a timely fashion.” That experience became evident when Direct Energy Solar went from pilot to go-live in 5 months. Stephen believes Rootstock may be implementing even faster now, “since we were the first.” Today, “every aspect of our business is covered by Rootstock, from purchasing to work order management, to field service and maintenance, bill of materials…everything goes through Rootstock. Because of Rootstock, we have real-time inventory management.”

Stephen recalls a time when, prior to Rootstock, the company had monthly inventory adjustments of nearly 5%. Since implementing Rootstock in 2012, “that adjustment has decreased to less than $10,000 every month and we’ve grown over 2000 percent.


Direct Energy Solar is part of the Direct Energy family, one of the largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home services in all of North America with nearly five million residential and commercial customers and $19.4 billion in revenue in 2014. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. Direct Energy operates in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit www.directenergysolar.com.