Right90 Gives Evergreen Solar Critical Visibility Into International Value Chain
Evergreen Solar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets solar power products using proprietary low cost wafer manufacturing technology. The company's products provide reliable and environmentally clean electric power for residential and commercial applications globally.
For companies like Evergreen Solar that utilize just-in-time manufacturing and therefore carry a lean inventory, the current period where rapid changes in market demand occur presents a number of unique forecasting challenges.
In addition, the Evergreen Solar distribution channel consists of a mix of distributors, installers and system integrators, with each party adding a layer of complexity and lag time to the forecasting process. As it became more important for the company to scale with demand, Sales Planning and Analysis Manager Alex Keally knew the static spreadsheet forecasting method could no longer provide the immediate visibility he needed.
The company turned to Right90 for its seamless integration with Salesforce CRM and its ability to combine multiple, complex forecasting functions into a single solution that is useful and actionable at every level and in every location around the world.
Through Right90, Evergreen Solar:
- Maximizes revenue potential: By avoiding over- or underestimating inventory needs, Evergreen Solar is able to utilize just-in-time manufacturing practices and deliver what the customer is expecting.
- Delivers accurate, actionable forecasts: Right90 provides up-to-the-minute information sharing between multiple users in different locations. As a public company, Evergreen Solar also needs to be able to answer investors' questions quickly; Right90 helps the company feed accurate, real-time information through the CFO to key stakeholders.
- Provides visibility into forecast changes: Visibility drives future plans and feeds into capital planning at Evergreen Solar's manufacturing facilities.
"Our old forecasting method was too simplistic, yet wasn't easy enough to use. With Right90, we have a higher level of detail, so product codes, shipping terms, payment specifics and all the details we need are incorporated into one useful, actionable line item per customer," says Alex. "For example, our finance team needs to be able to forecast revenue by currency, while the operations team is interested in revenue by product type – Right90 gives us the appropriate level of visibility for every business function."
Evergreen Solar also uses Right90 to track and anticipate forecast changes and communicate that information to factories around the world. The Right90 solution exposes more useful information than traditional spreadsheet forecasting, allowing one country to anticipate changes based on shifts that occurred in another region.