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North Coast Electric

Company Facts


  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Industry: Electrical
  • Number of Employees: 600
  • Web site: www.northcoastelectric.com

"The keys are the intelligence built into the Eclipse system, and the Epicor support staff that understands our issues and addresses them. Epicor 'gets it,' and we look forward to a long relationship with them."

Les Johnson, VP of Information and CIO | North Coast Electric

Seattle-based North Coast Electric, founded in 1913, is a family-owned and operated, full-service electrical distributor with 34 locations across the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Arizona. The company, consistently ranked in the top 25 electrical distributors by Electrical Wholesaling, supplies a wide range of electrical equipment to the electrical contractor, factory automation, industrial maintenance/repairs/operating (MRO), and commercial and institutional markets. In 2005, North Coast Electric decided to replace a 20-year-old legacy business system with Epicor Eclipse, a full-range enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution designed specifically for distributors. North Coast selected Eclipse not only for the inherent aspects of the software, but also for Epicor's in-depth knowledge of the industry and access to its experts. "Epicor is on top of its customers' needs and specialized business requirements," notes VP of Information Technology and CIO Les Johnson. "Everything we needed was integral to Eclipse, with all transactional flows and processes under one umbrella. And we receive consistent great service by our Account Manager. Issues and opportunities can be discussed with people who have influence at Epicor."

Rich Functionality of Epicor Eclipse 

With a long history of steady growth and careful management, North Coast has developed a range of guiding principles-both technology-and business-focused-plus many functional, performance and operational requirements for their business systems. "We have a proven, report-driven management style," Johnson comments, "so access to data is critical. We are avid consumers of information." 

Epicor Eclipse provides North Coast with an integrated solution that includes RFI technology in the warehouse (at 80 percent of their 34 locations). This allows cycle counting to be done 24/7 (instead of having to wait untill after hours), and the sales reps can see multiple stages of an order to check and track progress. Most recently, North Coast has added Proof of Delivery, for a continuous view from bid to delivery. Says Johnson, "This is critical for customer service." North Coast is also using Epicor AutoOrder for some of their larger customers. Epicor AutoOrder captures and automatically transforms any computer-generated (i.e., e-mailed or faxed) purchase order into an electronic sales order that is processed automatically by Eclipse. "We were able to standardize these customers' catalogs on AutoOrder; it's been going very well, and we have saved about one FTE due to the changes," Johnson states.

Based on these aspects and others, Johnson praises the richness of the Eclipse application for the wholesale distribution industry. He observes, "The keys are the intelligence built into the system, and the Epicor support staff that understands our issues and addresses them. Epicor 'gets it,' and we look forward to a long relationship with them."

Looking Ahead to Epicor ICE 

Epicor ICE business architecture is a modern and visionary technology developed by Epicor that enables Eclipse users with enhanced levels of mobility, accessibility, and interactivity among business applications. Epicor ICE acts as a connector and an application builder, providing distributors with access to the latest applications and technical capabilities while still taking advantage of the industry-leading distribution functionality of Eclipse. 

Johnson believes Epicor ICE will keep Eclipse relevant as it integrates with best-of-breed applications. "The Epicor electrical distribution knowledge combined with ICE equals a great customer-facing experience," he says. "Technology is becoming a differentiator and a competitive advantage in our business. For example, we'll be able to show select data to customers. We will also be able to customize order cycle processes to conform with customer and vendor requirements, and B2B solutions will be much easier to develop, operate and maintain."

About Epicor 

Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand.For more information, visit www.epicor.com. 

Success Highlights:


  • Help a Seattle-based electrical distributor to streamline processes and access data in an integrated, rich ERP solution


  • Epicor Eclipse


  • Saved 1 FTE due to use of Epicor AutoOrder application
  • Able to conduct cycle counting 24/7
  • All business users can access, create and customize reports