For the past 55 years, Equipment Controls Company (ECCO) has provided natural gas measurement products, gas control products, and data acquisition products and services to a variety of utility and non-utility customers. In its early years, ECCO was focused on the non-utility side of business, and their primary supplier offered expansion into the gas utility industry five years into the business. Since that time, ECCO has grown from serving only customers in Georgia to serving utility customers in 10 southeastern states and non-utility customers nationwide in the U.S.
Early on, ECCO’s business was built on intuition. When Tod Bradley joined as Chief Operation Officer four years ago, he developed a high-level plan that included using Phocas to organize the company’s data and double the company’s business in five years. They did it in four.
“Hardly anyone speaks now without looking at Phocas first,” added Bradley.
Success, especially during the difficult times, Bradley believes, is a function of the company culture, its underlying foundation and principles built on a commitment to customer relationships.
“For us, it’s about engagement with our customers,” said Bradley. “Even more so today, we believe there is tremendous value in personal contact with our customers, reminding them that we are here to serve them and making sure we understand the pulse of their businesses.”
This is especially important because the company’s gas measurement and gas control products are highly technical and require a high level of support.
“Most of the time, we get phone calls from prospective customers asking, ‘What do I need?’,” said Bradley. “We’ve built our reputation on three things: being readily available, having product on the shelf, and knowing what we’re doing and offering. We provide a technical product, so whether it’s a customer or a contractor installing the equipment, we still make sure every product we sell is functioning properly.”
While the near future may present some unknown challenges for the business, the combination of strong customer relationships and reliable data will help ECCO navigate the unknown.
“We use Phocas to drill into our bids, orders, backlog, gross margin and customer data so that we can find answers to questions and review what is impacting our sales,” said Bradley. “Is it the pandemic, or was it something else? We review our dashboards every day to see what’s happening, so that we can identify problems and opportunities, and quickly address them with customers. We’ll do whatever we can to help them.”