Skip to main content

Logical Connections

For more than 130 years, the experts at Shepherd Electric Supply have supported development throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. by providing electrical components to customers of all sizes from small businesses to the Pentagon. From a modest business selling batteries and light bulbs, the company has grown to nearly $500M in revenue with five locations. Specialized divisions serve a diverse group of customers including commercial construction, lighting and switchgear projects, commercial facilities, facility management, industrials, OEMs, and government organizations.

In 2006, with the existing—and wildly unpopular—distribution software going obsolete, Jason Black, IT Manager at Shepherd Electric Supply, was on the hunt for a replacement. He recalled, “We had three on the short-list, and it was clear that Epicor Eclipse was the best fit for our business by far.”

“The Epicor Eclipse backend is so intelligently well connected that everything we need updates, even things we may not be thinking about, it all automatically gets refreshed. Epicor was way ahead of the game in terms of automation.” Black elaborated.

Flexible Productivity-Boost

The distribution model is deceptively simple: buy a product and resell it for a profit. Nevertheless, issues arise and for a company experiencing rapid growth, those issues can quickly snowball. One such area for Shepherd Electric Supply was an old, inflexible and nebulous order management system.

Black explained, “Epicor created quality tools to let us access data. With the introduction of user-defined queues, a whole new world opened to us, letting us apply data in unexpected ways.”

For Order Management, Epicor Eclipse enabled a new streamlined workflow that provides complete visibility to order status, raises alerts on issues, ensures the right person is working on the right problem and increases customer satisfaction by proactively communicating order details. Epicor Eclipse also made it possible for Shepherd Electric Supply to store massive amounts of external data, including an electrical product database and a substitute database, in a central location for ease of access.

Epicor Eclipse’s sound business logic is the key. The backend is so intelligently well connected that everything we need updates, even things we may not be thinking about, it all automatically gets refreshed. Epicor was way ahead of the game in terms of automation.

Additionally, Shepherd Electric Supply substantially reduced its calling queue: in-stock inventory ready to ship to a customer but being held for any number of reasons. “Epicor has the mechanisms to allow us to effectively manage the calling queue and free up unclaimed inventory to be sold to other customers,” Black shared.

Epicor has also made it easier for the Shepherd Electric Supply team to view product substitutes for common parts that don’t require a specific brand and to include the cost of the alternative to support the company’s cost-plus pricing model. “It was straightforward to customize the order entry screen, link to the substitute database, show the top three recommendations and view the cost,” Black clarified. “That makes the salesperson’s job faster and simpler.”

Every Penny Accounted For

Another significant impact of Epicor Eclipse has been an uptick in project profitability. With complex, multi-year contracts, it’s too easy for some billing to fall through the cracks and once a customer closes a job, invoices won’t get paid. As a smaller company, Shepherd Electric Supply found it fairly painless to manage attribution manually. However, with a 150% increase in billings in just two years, a more judicious approach was necessary.

Black observed, “Epicor Eclipse has given us the ability to ensure that when a large job is closed, we’ve billed everything. It has also allowed our procurement team to purchase much more efficiently and receive the product at a single location and distribute out from there, thereby saving us money.”

He continued, “We would not have been able to sustain such rapid growth without the leverage, accountability, and visibility Epicor Eclipse has delivered.”

Focus on Extensibility

“The work Epicor has done on APIs has been huge,” Black divulged. “There has been a noticeable shift to make the environment more open and flexible so we can easily integrate with specialized software such as tax compliance. We have plans to explore and invest more heavily in this feature.’

He cited an example: Shepherd Electric Supply needed to better address the growing trend of customers asking to have purchased material stored until they need it. Epicor created a direct-through-stock (DTS) API, and another Shepherd Electric Supply employee used it, along with Power BI and Power Automate, to enhance project managers’ control over the entire process with simple, intuitive Microsoft interactions.

We would not have been able to sustain this rapid growth without the leverage, accountability, and visibility Epicor Eclipse has delivered.

Black said, “Instead of using a spreadsheet to manually manage a job, project managers click on an icon that opens a form which automatically pulls data from Epicor Eclipse and populates forms and calendars. The benefits extend beyond project managers. Now, rather than juggling ad hoc requests, the shipping calendar is automatically updated.”

He adjoined, "Everyone is more efficient, there are less errors, customers are happier, and we can easily handle more volume.”

Power Users Suggest and Secure Improvements

In addition to the many rich features and valuable benefits, Black noted that the user community may be the greatest advantage of partnering with Epicor. “It is one of the strongest and most productive user communities I’ve ever been a part of, which makes Epicor Eclipse even more powerful.”

He shared one component that stands out: the partnership between the user community’s Enhancement Committee (a team focused on evaluating and discussing new feature ideas) and the Epicor development process.

Black exclaimed, “It works! I have seen many ideas go from just a notion to being incorporated into the software with an icon that shows that the enhancement came from the user group. This approach puts the users front and center, a genuine, integral part of the development process.”

Company Facts

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Specialist Industry: Electrical Distribution
  • Website:


  • Obsolete, adversarial software
  • Manual, error-prone processes
  • Accelerating business growth
  • Inability to integrate solutions


  • Facilitated 150% revenue growth
  • Enhanced data access and manipulation
  • Modern, built-for-distributors ERP sped processes, bolstered profits
  • Automation streamlined operations, enhanced customer experience
  • Seamless scalability and extensibility with APIs
Get In Touch
We’re here to learn about your needs and help you curate the right solution. Drop us a line with your questions or feedback, and we'll be in touch soon. Need support? EpicCare is just a click away.

Fields with an * are required

Epicor values your privacy. Website terms and conditions.