New ways of thinking
When we compare the renewable energy sector of today with just 10 years ago, the contrast is stark. Incredible progress has been made and it’s been achieved by an inexhaustible industry commitment to innovate.
At BayWa r.e. we share this commitment. And we strongly believe that the most innovative companies are those where all employees are involved, encouraged and given the opportunity to share ideas and new ways of thinking.
Often, it’s those employees who are working with our customers on a daily basis who can offer the most valuable insights into how we could do things better.
Our flat hierarchy helps to encourage ideas and thought leadership from everyone in our business. While dedicated internal events, workshops and skill-shares are all used to give everyone the opportunity to step back and provide creative spaces where we can challenge ourselves and bring new ideas to the table.
It was in this spirit that we launched the Innovation Challenge. A way for employees to share their ideas on absolutely any aspect of our business and how we could make it better for us, our customers and the environment.
In 2017, we were proud to receive 58 ideas from 137 employees, in nine countries. The shortlisted teams took to the stage to present their ideas at our 2017 Management Summit.
One of the winning ideas came from our solar distribution team in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Committed to supporting installers and helping their businesses to succeed, the team’s idea was for an inventory management app. This simple but clever innovation would let installers quickly and easily see their existing inventory and more effectively manage it too.
Innovation at its best
Another entry that impressed the judges came from our colleagues in Germany. Focused on the operations and maintenance side of our business, this idea centred around the use of georeferenced thermal maps, used in combination with drones, to quickly locate and identify solar panels that are in need of maintenance.
All the shortlisted ideas have now received additional funding from BayWa r.e. to be further developed. Watch this space.
Thanks to everyone who took part and who instead of asking ‘why’ asked ‘why not’.