This article by Jonathan Doochin, CEO, Soligent, at wwwsolarpowerworldonline.com, offers some great insight into the role distributors play in the solar market. Here’s a taste of what Doochin had to say in this very informative post:
“But the future of distribution will be increasingly focused on services. Pure-play solar distributors, for instance, will become a source for residential and commercial financing. Permitting and project design will be automated through cloud platforms created and managed by distributors.
"Recruiting partners will also be managed through distribution. In the future, solar dealers will depend less on recruiting and building their own installation teams. Instead, they’ll have the option to focus on their core competency and leverage the distribution network for their other needs such as relying on contractors and teams of certified, vetted experts they will obtain through — you guessed it — distribution."
I also found a comment on the article by Pamela Cargill to be quite interesting:
“There has been a significant amount of consolidation in the pure-play solar distributors since I started in the business in the early 2000s, with many names having completely exited the space or, ironically enough, rolled up under Soligent. I think the remainder of the pure-play solar distributors out there need to look over their shoulder at the advancing army of nationwide electrical equipment distributors (Rexel, Gexpro, etc) that are starting to take a greater interest in the solar industry. These much larger firms have built businesses that specialize in supply chain management and account management.”
Pamela is the principal of Chaolysti, a consulting firm specializing in process improvement and operational effectiveness in the residential solar sector.