Country: United States (Nederland, CO)
Industry: Solar Energy
Apps Implemented: Sales, Purchases, Inventory, Accounting
Number of Users: 6 Users
Company Size: 6 Employees
Implementation Type: Odoo Online (SaaS)
Despite the need for renewable energy, the solar industry is a competitive arena. Very few solar companies have managed to weather this storm and succeed, but those that have persisted have been very successful. To succeed you need to have an incredible product and extreme efficiency in every part of the company - better process management and exceptional technology driven business solutions. There’s been an emergence of companies who are disrupting the non-renewable energy scene. The energy sector is increasingly emphasizing the need for clean and renewable energy alternatives - like Lumos Solar, a long-standing company in the solar arena, which specializes in making solar both beautiful and practical.
Lumos Solar is a solar company that has stuck around because of their vast experience working in solar, their laser focus, maintaining a lean and efficient operation, and leveraging their resources intelligently. The company continues to grow as Lumos becomes a more dominant competitor in the solar fabrication space, and it’s not a tough sell - their client portfolio speaks for itself.
The Dawn of Lumos
Scott Franklin, founder of Lumos Solar, didn’t begin in solar. A couple decades ago, instead of at the apex of the solar industry, you’d be more likely to find him at the apex of a mountain. Franklin was an avid rock climber in his early years, and he climbed professionally all over the globe. In 1995 he and his wife decided to start a climbing company - creating climbing equipment for “sport-climbing”. His transition from a climber to a business owner was very successful - eventually selling it to a much larger company.
As much as Franklin loved climbing, after some travelling he realized what a niche it is, and he was interested in being involved in something bigger. “What product or service can I develop a business around with my skills and experience and capital - where the more we create with that product or service, the better for the world?” Franklin was craving something with high geopolitical impact, and he used that question as his lense to filter ideas, and eventually landed on an emerging and high-potential industry: solar.
In 2006 Lumos Solar launched for business and since their founding days have become one of the longest lasting solar companies in the United States. Despite the turbulent nature of the industry, Lumos has demonstrated continuous success for over eleven years. Their work spans from residential housing installations to university campuses to stadiums - including the stadium which housed Superbowl LI. Despite being such a powerhouse in their industry, many are surprised to find out that Lumos is comprised of only six employees. Their secret? “We have a lot of experience and a unique perspective. We’re focused on the essentials, we’re not a public company, we’re not VC funded - so we’re not forced to make stupid decisions to meet quarterly expectations.” Being an independent and lean company means they can be highly focused on their product and choose tools and processes that optimize their operating efficiency based on current and future needs (rather than tradition and legacy systems).
Upgrading a Legacy ERP Solution
Previously, Lumos was using Netsuite as their CRM and ERP solution, but found it was very expensive and not particularly easy to work with. After purchasing a 3D printer from LulzBot, Franklin read an article about the CEO of the company using an open source software for their business - and they soon made the transition to Odoo.
“We thought we could do something easier and more flexible, so the idea of open source, something we can modify, was interesting to us.”
Scott Franklin, Founder/CEO of Lumos Solar
Currently Lumos uses the Sales, Purchasing, Inventory, and Accounting apps - as Franklin says “It helps us do the core functions of the business”. They’ve found it very useful and have started to customize parts of the program with developers to fit their needs. Now they are working on developing a coding tool that talks to Odoo to push quotes into Odoo.
Adding Flare to the Solar Industry
Lumos Solar’s mission statement is simple: “The art of solar”. Lumos has managed the ultimate sophistication in it’s design and product line with incredible products, a sleek design, and the way they integrate solar into the aesthetics of a building or structure, they have truly mastered art in design. “I love that we get to be in this business in the first place. What we’re doing is changing the perception of solar from an unattractive electrical appliance to a really appreciated design asset.” By focusing solely on making beautiful solar structures, they’ve managed to carve out an incredible niche for their company, combining aesthetic with functionality. Accomplishing all of this with a six person team shows that their philosophy of simplicity works not only for design, but is also a testament to how they’ve run their business processes in general. Odoo’s software - where you choose only the apps you require for your business - aligns with this philosophy. “We don’t like to pay for things we don’t need, and that’s something we liked about Odoo, we don't have to buy this whole gigantic thing we don't use.” Lumos leverages only the programs that they need, creating a lean solution that conforms to their current business methodology as well as their budget.
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About Lumos Solar
Lumos is focused on breaking any barriers to making clean energy available for all. They are company dedicated to combining beautiful design with a mission to make the world a better place. Their work has won them numerous awards and they have many new and exciting projects in the works for the future.
“You install the solar panels once, and everyday it’s producing energy. No moving parts, no war, no climate change. It’s so simple that you can’t believe it. That’s it, that’s how it works.”
Find out more at www.LumosSolar.com