Opteco: no installation too complex thanks to mobile data


Trends Gazelle Opteco is a specialist in energy, a sector that is on the rise. Mobile data plays a crucial role in the company’s operations, both during complex installations and in the development of innovative home batteries. 

Opteco, the Limburg installer of solar panels, heat pumps, air conditioners and home batteries, is constantly moving forward. Initially, the focus at Opteco was on the sale and installation of solar boilers. Later, heat pumps, air conditioners and solar panels were added. The company also developed a product that allows home batteries to communicate with each other. "We've already introduced over 1,000 of those batteries onto the market this year," says founder Ben Kunnen.


Operational managers

Despite the coronavirus crisis, the company continued to grow significantly, which culminated in a new structure. Accordingly, Opteco, which now employs about 100 people (including freelancers and subcontractors), has evolved from a flat structure into a top-down structure. "In the beginning, everything was driven by me as the business manager. But our growth didn't allow for that anymore," says Kunnen. 

"Now we have decided that each department has a person in charge and that they are supervised by our operational managers. As such, these operational managers, as well as those in charge, are given the opportunity to decide a great many things themselves."


Mobile data

"Mobile data play an important role for our employees. Sometimes, a customer's situation is very specific and they need extra information," Kunnen says. That's why all Opteco employees have a smartphone with mobile data from Orange. "If one of our employees is faced with a complex problem during an installation, they can immediately refer the situation to our specialised operational managers. Based on photos and video images sent through the smartphones, our experts can give the right advice. This means the installation is a lot faster and the customer gets the right help," says Kunnen. "I don’t know what a company like ours, which works with very complex technology, would do without mobile data."



The adjusted organisational structure gave Kunnen the space, with his business development manager, to look ahead. Particularly in the field of home batteries, they see striking innovative possibilities. "Our subsidiary Smart-E-Grid has developed a unique product that allows different customers' home batteries to communicate with each other," he says. "In this way, we are making every solar panel installation ready for the future and responding to changing legislation. This results directly in a lower energy bill for our clients. After all, especially now that the price of energy is rising, it’s important to use energy storage and energy tariffs efficiently."

He also believes it’s important to become less dependent on the grid and to generate your own energy. And we at Orange couldn't agree more. Like Opteco's customers, we like to choose energy-efficient solutions and green energy to reduce our footprint.


Want to know more about Opteco's growth story or that of the other Trends Gazelles? In our podcast series, we collate the experiences, strategies and tips of these entrepreneurs. The full list of these podcasts can be found at www.connecttogrow.be.

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