Solar Exchange is to launch a cloud-based commerce platform which automates the buying and selling of goods for the solar industry. From September 9, professionals across the solar value chain will be able to do business with each other through the Solar Exchange trading platform, created as a new medium through which to buy and sell materials and finished goods on a global basis.
This new resource utilises online business-to-business (B2B) auctions and request for quote (RFQ) capabilities to aid sales and procurement activities. These capabilities are designed to create a direct connection between qualified solar businesses along the entire solar value chain — including raw material and component suppliers, panel and BOS manufacturers, Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) companies, developers, integrators, utilities, and power companies.
“Solar Exchange fills a gaping hole in the solar industry infrastructure,” said Solar Exchange founder Z. Ed Lateef. “Not uncommon in early markets, supplier and buyer networks within the solar market are highly fragmented. Companies have been forced to seek out partners on their own, establish trade and commercial relationships and commit to commerce with little market support. Solar Exchange removes trade barriers by offering an easier pathway to doing business within the solar industry.”
Rapid response to changing market conditions
In addition to fragmented market infrastructure, Solar Exchange aims to resolve common challenges faced by sales and procurement professionals, including limited access to new and growing markets and the ability to respond to rapidly-changing market conditions. For sellers, extending market reach into new sales channels using traditional models can be costly and often a limiting factor for many organisations. For buyers, gaining access to multiple suppliers to limit sole-source risk — as well as challenges from a lack of transparency in the conventional procurement approach — burdens cost, so limiting margin opportunity.
Solar Exchange is setting out to give companies access to major markets across the globe through its online commerce platform, creating more opportunities for members to establish and extend sales and procurement channels. In addition, it can accelerate the sales and procurement process enabling companies to be more agile in today’s rapidly changing industry.
“Validation of this new commerce solution across the industry has been extremely positive,” said CEO Gary Mull. “Companies across the solar value chain recognise the limitations of traditional buy-and-sell activities and are excited to see a model that has proven effective in other markets become operational in the solar industry.”
Solar Exchange is accessible in English, German and Chinese and has local service offices in the USA, China, Germany, and India, and plans future market support in other emerging solar markets. For more information visit www.solarexchange.com.