Featured: Over the Horizon, Just Another Solar Podcast #52

Over The Horizon - Just Another Solar Podcast with Derek McKercher

What’s over the horizon of global sustainable energy innovation? Direct and raw, this is precisely the subject that fuels Perth Solar Warehouse Director Derek McKercher. Perth Solar Warehouse customers access some of the world’s most advanced technologies with outstanding customer success from a less-than-conventional approach to technology adoption. It’s time to make sustainable energy less of a proprietory space to expedite improved adoption, and from Derek’s perspective, it started with Perth Solar Warehouse.


Key points

Featured on the first episode of 2024, Just Another Solar Podcast hosts Luke Beatie, Karl Jensen, and Nigel Morris delved into the latest industry topics, including the potential of battery cell price reductions, electric vehicle fires and Queensland’s state-based grid connectivity and metering issues. However, more occupying of the 43 minuet recording was the deep dive into the mindset behind Derek McKercher’s unique business approach that had the hosts curious.

Stream: Over the horizon with Derek McKercher

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‘Over the Horizon’ begins with a discussion of the above topics providing various opinions of direction and insight. Beyond the initial 15 minutes of industry discussion, Luke Beattie [host] shifted the focus to Derek McKercher, seeking deeper insight into the enduring journey and competitive advantage Perth Solar Warehouse provides its customers, now reinforced with a series of highly commendable awards over 2023.

Prefer to read the full episode? Just Another Solar Podcast Episode 52: Over the Horizon with Derek McKercher ›

The journey

In 2011, after providing electrical services to various retail solar and energy companies for seven years, Derek had accumulated a library of frustration as part of the customer journey. Most elements of frustration had a level of commonality. They were avoidable and seemingly human error-related. With a knowledge of interpreting software, Derek formed Perth Solar Warehouse creating an all-encompassing online purchasing experience through online technologies that minimised human error within conventional solar company models and improved internal efficiency through digital processes.

However, it’s not one element that caught the curiosity of the Just Another Solar Podcast hosts. Perth Solar Warehouse consumer satisfaction across critical reviewing databases for customer research trends in alignment identifying consistency in both high pool depth (e.g., SolarQuotes.com.au) and low pool depth (e.g., Solar Choice) platforms. Such consistency from a Top 10 volume company in Western Australia (Sunwiz data 2023) has the professional community wondering how customer success follows a relatively lean business compared to many—efficiency through digitalisation. 

Emphasised from a competitive business perspective, “In the digital space, If you are looking at what we [Perth Solar Warehouse] are doing, you are already behind, what you’re seeing today has already occurred. It’s in the past. A little bit like the sun you see on the horizon, which in reality, already occurred five minutes prior. We’re already looking at what’s next and implementing these revelations behind the scenes.” 

The solar industry is never a stable place and is extremely competitive, “We need to remain agile and pivot as required…We’re consistently evolving as a leading sustainable energy provider” mentioned Derek.

atmospheric-refraction-diagram-Just Another Solar Podcast

Atmospheric refraction. Source: timeanddate.com

The advantage

Travelling to sustainable energy-related conferences relative to Australian energy supplies, Derek grasps significant insight into future trends shaping the energy landscape. considered a crystal ball method. Fortuitously, Perth Solar Warehouse customers benefit from the most advanced product options on the market while acquiring knowledge shared directly from industry insight holders. Such a level of foresight has put Perth Solar Warehouse on the national map as a business to watch in 2024.

The benefit

What is the benefit of revealing potentially proprietary insights with competitors? Derek believes in more significant positive consumer sentiment towards sustainable energy adoption. “if we allow businesses to learn from our model that experiences high customer satisfaction at scale, consumer sentiment shifts and more encourage technology leaps through positive outcomes.” Furthermore, “We [PSW Energy, Perth Solar Warehouse] aim to assist growth in energy supplies that are more sustainable for humanity to thrive. We can’t do this alone, and the more businesses that invest in long-term customer outcomes, that’s a fantastic space to exist. We must encourage positive competition.”

A layer not conveyed during the recording, Derek McKercher later revealed on Linkedin:

I never said anything. The meter reader mauled to death in QLD while working in 2022 and discussed in this latest podcast was my best friend from East Kenwick Primary School – Kane Minion. On reflection, I found it fitting that we were reunited unintentionally in a certain way yet again as my journey on this pale blue dot emerges into the spotlight on this podcast.

Thank you, Luke Beattie, Karl Jensen and Nigel Morris, for continuing the discussion on personnel safety and improvements through technology to prevent reoccurrence. It was a tremendous coincidence, and you did not know my relationship. After the recording, I was even more grateful that progressive debate continues in 2024.

Your life touched many. Rest in peace, my friend

Kane Minion and Derek McKercher featured on - Just Another Solar Podcast

Image: Kane Minion (left), Derek McKercher (right). Circa 1996. Source LinkedIn

The team at Perth Solar Warehouse would like to dedicate this post to Kane and his family, who had an early life impact on shaping what exists at Perth Solar Warehouse today. Thank you, Kane. Your memory lives and continues to inspire positive global change.

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