Borrego Solar cuts task time in half with Smartsheet Salesforce Connector
Learn why Borrego Solar chose Smartsheet to gain better project insight and control, connect with Salesforce, list tasks, track delays, and capture milestones for multiple projects simultaneously.
"Once we set up a project, the connector pushes its dates and other data to Salesforce and keeps them up to date, so our management and the rest of the company always knows where a project is at."
Director of IT and Infrastructure, Borrego Solar
"You couldn’t completely trust the data,” says Emily Tam, Director of IT and Infrastructure at San Diego-based Borrego Solar Systems. She is talking about the problems her engineering team faced in keeping projects on track and avoiding slipped dates, inconsistent resourcing, and inaccurate information.
They were all problems that seemed to stem from the inconsistent entry of project data.
Borrego Solar develops, engineers, installs, and maintains solar arrays and energy storage systems for commercial and government customers across the United States. One project — a solar array atop a capped landfill — allowed the town of North Adams, Mass., to reach a goal of running on 100-percent solar energy.
One Small Decision Makes a Lasting Impact
Initially, engineering team members used Microsoft Project to manage projects offline, then manually entered key dates in Salesforce to disseminate across the business. And they were frustrated. “We found it really hard just keeping track of status and delays for all the projects,” says Tam.
Wanting better project insight and control, the engineering development manager looked for an accessible tool to help the team list tasks, track delays, and capture milestones for multiple projects simultaneously. After researching Smartsheet, he quickly entered all his projects into the work execution platform.
Automatic Updates to Salesforce Data
Employees throughout Borrego Solar had relied on Salesforce for more than a decade, and they wanted to continue to use it. But to do that, they needed to get Smartsheet and Salesforce to work together.
Salesforce held all the company’s milestone dates for projects. “But we couldn’t get down to the level of detail in Salesforce that we needed,” Tam says. “Our engineers used Smartsheet to manage their day-to-day work and overall schedules. But they also had to put their data into Salesforce for the rest of the company to see and use.”
That takes time, time that could be better spent on the projects themselves.
So the team implemented Smartsheet Salesforce Connector, which automatically synchronizes data between Smartsheet and Salesforce, regardless of where that data is entered. Engineers make project updates once — and stakeholders can trust its accuracy.
Borrego Solar saw the benefit immediately. “Once we set up a project,” Tam says, “the connector pushes its dates and other data to Salesforce and keeps them up to date, so our management and the rest of the company always knows where a project is at.”
Increased Efficiency Leads to Innovation
Now that the company’s engineers only update Smartsheet — without worrying about multiple data entry points — efficiency has improved. Plus, other departments now use Smartsheet earlier in their project management and teams are communicating better.
Those tasks that used to take 12 days have had their time reduced by half. Some of the changes are harder to quantify but just as meaningful. Tam says, “People have more room for innovation and the ability to tackle projects that will help the department and overall company.”
Now Borrego Solar can focus on innovation — and leave the data updates to Smartsheet.