From Weeks to Minutes: CertainTeed's Efficiency Leap with Aurora AI
Streamlining the installation lifecycle
Contractors onboarded in less than 2 months
Reduced solar design process from 4 weeks to a 10-minute customer session
"The best part about Aurora is that it enables us to deliver high-quality customer service. The real-time design provides a collaborative experience and streamlines the installation lifecycle, making the process of going solar a no-brainer for our customers."
Mark Stevens, Solar Applications Manager, CertainTeed
CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, and a leading brand and manufacturer of building products, including roofing, siding, insulation, and solar. The company and their affiliates have more than 6,900 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada.
When CertainTeed was founded in 1904, the concept of solar panels was just a glint in the eye of a few inventors. With over a century of experience and a reputation for quality building products, CertainTeed leveraged their deep expertise in roofing material design to add solar to their product offerings. In March 2023, the company launched the Solstice® line of innovative solar roofing solutions: Solstice Shingle, an integrated shingle product, and Solstice Panel, a retrofit solar panel.
How did a company of this size, with this history, add a major new product line — and succeed doing it?
Since CertainTeed was already established in the traditional roofing space, the primary obstacle was identifying a partner to help bring the Solstice program to market. Because their contractor community primarily worked on traditional roofing projects, the company needed a platform that would be popular in residential markets and intuitive for those unfamiliar with solar design.
According to Mark Stevens, Solar Applications Manager at CertainTeed, “Our initial workflow had our solar roofing specialists request third-party designs and use manual spreadsheets. From collecting the homeowner’s information to waiting for the design (and re-designs), the whole process took a sluggish 3 to 4 weeks.”
In an industry where speed is vital, CertainTeed knew they needed a software solution that would accelerate their workflow without sacrificing their reputation for high-quality service.
After evaluating several software options, the choice was clear: Aurora Solar. “We immediately identified Aurora as the largest, most trusted residential solar platform,” Mark explains. “From Lead Capture AI to Plan Sets, we trust Aurora to provide the software and services to make our solar program successful.”
To mobilize their new channel program, CertainTeed uses Aurora’s end-to-end platform, from sales to install. Aurora’s Sales Mode with Aurora AI stood out for its blend of speed, scalability, and user-friendly interface. “Aurora AI is great for people who aren’t experts in the process,” Mark continues. “What previously took weeks in manual spreadsheets can now be done within minutes, and — more importantly — in real-time with the homeowner.”
The speed, scalability, and ease-of-use is demonstrated across CertainTeed’s solar project lifecycle. Once a solar roofing specialist sells a deal using Sales Mode, they can then request an on-demand Plan Set directly within the Aurora app. “From sale to permit, everything is done in Aurora, which just makes everything so efficient,” Mark explains.
Beyond software, Aurora's consultative partnership and Professional Services have also been vital for CertainTeed. For example, Aurora’s team of specialists supported CertainTeed’s efforts in onboarding contractors onto the software, using Partner Management features to configure custom logos and pricing for each individual contractor. Aurora also helped ensure that CertainTeed’s roofing specialists had everything they needed to successfully sell solar solutions, from welcome packets with step-by-step instructions to live trainings, both virtual and in-person.
Aurora equipped CertainTeed with the complete solar sales & design package to launch their new Solstice program. Before Aurora, roofing specialists gathered lead information, manually requested third-party designs, and then returned them for adjustments — a lengthy sequence that unfolded away from the customer and took between 3 and 4 weeks. With Aurora AI, that process was condensed into a 10-minute session, carried out directly in front of the customer.
“Our contractors love to use it because it delivers that high-quality customer experience we want every homeowner to have,” Mark explains. “Instead of taking weeks to send revisions back and forth, the contractor and homeowner can have a more collaborative and transparent conversation, which is critical when you’re making the big decision of going solar.”
Supported by Aurora’s team of training specialists, CertainTeed successfully onboarded more than 50 new contractors in the program’s first two months. And, a contractor closed their first solar deal and submitted a permit request for installation within a week of the launch.
On the Horizon
CertainTeed's strategic partnership with Aurora AI is a great example of how ingenuity — and the best technology — can improve operational efficiency and deliver value to customers. Their focus on collaborative customer experiences and innovative technology sets CertainTeed up for continued growth and success in the solar industry.
Moving forward, CertainTeed plans to deepen their collaboration with Aurora by integrating it across more parts of the business, including marketing and business analytics. “We get a lot of inbound phone calls and leads from social media,” Mark says. “We’re excited to get Lead Capture AI up on our website to get those leads faster and turn them over to our inside sales teams.”
As CertainTeed completes more projects in Aurora, the team has also identified opportunities to make smarter, data-based decisions. As the program continues to mature, CertainTeed plans to use Aurora data — such as project location, system size, and product sales — to identify regional trends and new sales opportunities to make Solstice even more successful.