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Johnstone Supply of Tacoma

Johnstone Supply of Tacoma, Washington, has been a supplier to the HVAC, refrigeration, and property maintenance industries since 1979. A member of Johnstone Supply (the top cooperative wholesale distributor in the country), Johnstone-Tacoma was named "Member of the Year" for 2014-an award presented to members who are progressive and contribute to the growth of the cooperative.

With 31 employees and three locations, Johnstone Supply-Tacoma has relied on the Epicor Eclipse enterprise resource planning (ERP) system since August 2011. The company had previously been using an Epicor legacy system.

"Eclipse works really well from a sales perspective. Finding products is lightning-fast-that's a huge competitive advantage for us. And we can see what's happening-live-all the time."

Ryan Sadlier
Owner/IT Manager | Johnstone Supply of Tacoma

According to Owner/IT Manager Ryan Sadlier, Johnstone-Tacoma selected Epicor Eclipse for its flexibility and excellent search capabilities. "Eclipse works really well from a sales perspective," Sadlier explains. "Even with over 100,000 products in our database, it's extremely easy to conduct internal searches by products, categories, and keywords using Eclipse."

Workflow, mobile, and customer service facilitation

Johnstone-Tacoma has also experienced improvements in its business processes, and is moving toward a paperless environment. According to Sadlier, "In Eclipse, everything is tied together so you can click your way from an order, to inventory, to A/R, to a PO and back again without ever leaving your work. The queues are an active gateway into all of the open transactions, and Eclipse allows us to really 'work' our transactions from front to back quickly. We find that we can manage by exception, because issues pop into view quickly, and that translates to better and faster customer service."

Through integration with the Epicor Eclipse ERP, Johnstone-Tacoma can take mobile orders via the B2B Seller™ Web site and Innovo OE Touch. "For example, our largest customer has four locations; they used to send 4- to 6-page faxed orders that had to be entered by hand for guaranteed same-day service," states Sadlier. "Now, with bar codes, mobile scanners, and OE Touch connected to Eclipse, they have cut 40 minutes off the order process; and their orders are getting to the warehouse two hours earlier, with no manual data entry. It's so easy to buy from us….It doesn't get any better than that. We also don't have to involve Inside Sales in data entry, which allows them to focus more on customer service."

According to Sadlier, OE Touch delivers lightning-fast response (with pictures, availability, detailed specs, and history) from Eclipse back to the mobile app over any wireless connections. He adds, "We appreciate Epicor's willingness to work with third-party integrators such as Innovo. The interface devices impress customers at the point of sale; they look really professional. And allowing customers access to the warehouse automation solution gives us great 'stickiness.' This is extremely important for leveraging our investment in Eclipse, and we can also see what's happening-live-all the time."

Results and recommendations

Over the past three years, Johnstone-Tacoma has seen its revenues increase 33%, and Sadlier gives Epicor Eclipse a significant part of the credit for that success. In particular, he notes, "We have only had to add a few logistics employees during that time, not any sales or accounting personnel, to handle the additional volume." In addition, he has seen a positive impact on inventory control, noting, "Our fill rates have been great, even when we've had the warehouse on 'autopilot.'"

Sadlier has heard comments by Epicor competitors that Eclipse can seem overwhelming at first. He suggests that other distributors targeting an Eclipse go-live should "start with almost everything closed or turned off, and then add flexibility gradually, so you expand over time and gain confidence in the system." He concludes, "Epicor Eclipse can be as simple as you want it to be, depending on your goals and implementation. Be careful what you ask for in the beginning. We see the tremendous potential…there are very few things we have tried to do but couldn't."

Company Facts


  • Help a Northwest regional Johnstone Supply distributor improve efficiency and customer service while increasing revenues and inventory turns



  • Revenues increased by 33%
  • Inventory turns increased by 10%
  • Inventory fill rates remained high
  • Streamlined workflow
  • Customer satisfaction increased (e.g. accelerated order process for largest customer)

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