1.1 GigaWatts of growth comes one household at a time
If the bushfires of 2019 and the pandemic of 2020 have motivated any positive impact, it is the rapid shift to sustainable solar energy in the mind of the Australian consumer.
Over the last 3 years, One Stop Warehouse reported sales of more than 1.1 GW of solar equipment, the equivalent of over 200,000 residential households with a 5kW solar system, and in FY2019/20, reported an astonishing revenue of $516m, a 31% increase from their FY2018/2019 figures.
The growth offers hopes to the industry, the numbers not only reflecting success for the company but also highlight an ongoing trend and a continuing shift towards a sustainable energy future through solar energy.
When Anson Zhang teamed up with software engineer Jeff Yu to launch One Stop Warehouse in 2013, they have never imagined that they would grow to become the largest solar distributor in Australia.
Perhaps one of the most significant reasons for the initial success was that the company paid attention to the smaller customers by providing “tailor-made solar orders” – panel orders were not limited to pallet quantities, the focus was on flexibility to help the smaller businesses thrive.
“We don’t compete with upstream or downstream and don’t cannibalise their markets; upstream we have our suppliers and we support them by sharing sales preferences and trends with them so they too can bring to the market the best products at most competitive prices. Downstream, we have our customers, and we meet a wide range of customer prices and feature points, with the right technical support.
By empowering our suppliers and customers, we know it helps our business over the long term and creates win-win strategies for all”, Andy Cheng, Product & Marketing Manager for One Stop Warehouse explained.
When Australia was suddenly adjusting to “life in lockdown”, the company kept the customers close with a range of webinar series that focused on topics presented by marketing and product experts from across the globe. Technical trainings, Trivia Live, and creative webinars were ongoing to keep the customers learning and progressing with their CPD learning.
By identifying the pain points of their customers, and meeting those challenges, GreenDeal was added to the business in 2016 to help them streamline their workflows. The end product is an all-in-one platform and APP, a work-tool where customers manage their day-to-day checklists on one platform, from installation jobs, administrative paperwork, STC prices and trading, and customer data management with the latest feature being a link to add the entire work process to XERO that will boost their administrative productivity.
Jeff Yu, the author of the GreenDeal software and platform, and COO of OSW commented, “Technology has indeed “exceeded our humanity”, and we should learn to optimise them for our customers.”
To further expand the reach of sustainable energy without competing with their customers, Discover Energy was launched in 2019 as part of a front-end vertical integration strategy.
An energy retailer, it came to the market with a call to disrupt and transform Australia’s energy supply model, to challenge the traditional supply chain and to fuel homes with long-term sustainable supply of renewable energy instead.
What makes Discover Energy unique is its proprietary Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technologies, the utilisation of solar panels, a smart inverter, battery storage on an intelligent trading platform that could make wholesale price predictions before the release of AEMO actual spot prices. Based on machine-learning algorithms, it revolutionises how homes generate, use and sell stored solar energy when electricity is most in demand and when wholesale spot prices are high.
“While VPP is not a new concept, the DE innovation makes it unique. Our technology is like a hand-brain coordination; the machine-learning algorithms being the brain of the system, and the wireless technology to charge-and-discharge the battery system being the hand that brings it all together”, Anson Zhang, co-founder of OSW and Discover Energy elaborated.
By offering 25c solar feed-in-tariffs (currently the highest in the market) and additional income from energy trading, Discover Energy allows homeowners to significantly jump-start the ROI of their battery investments, and provide solar retailers and installers with a unique and highly competitive way to sell integrated battery systems.
The development of One Stop Warehouse, GreenDeal and Discover Energy is tied with the founders’ dedicated goal to provide a whole disruption solution to the problem of energy. By finding and integrating innovative solutions into the entire vertical chain of the solar energy market, Anson and Jeff seek to make renewable energy more and more accessible to everyday Australians.
As the interview came to a close, Andy conveyed, “We credit the efforts of our whole industry from the Clean Energy Council, Smart Energy Council, the many small solar businesses sharing their capabilities, product knowledge and skills, to homeowners helping the shift to a more sustainable future, one household at a time.”
About One Stop Warehouse
Listed amongst the top 500 privately listed companies in Australia, and recognised as the top 200 fastest growing companies in Asia Pacific, One Stop Warehouse is Australia's largest wholesale supplier of solar PV panels, solar inverters, components and battery systems, operating in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
Sharing the vision of many Australians – to reduce the carbon footprint, drive sustainability and create savings, the motto is “Be Clean – Be Green”.
As a leading wholesaler in the industry, they uphold strong commitments towards brand authenticity, quality products and guaranteed customer satisfaction – a dedication that has earned the Company multiple awards and commendations including the award of a global brand for consumers choice, and Australia’s top PV supplier by the EUPD Research for consecutive years since 2018.
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