by James Rada, Jr., photography by Bill Ryan
In 1988, Jonathan Sevel was a manufacturer’s rep selling uninterruptible power supplies (essentially, battery back-ups for large computer systems). It’s a basic component for IT systems.
“They range from teeny ones on home computers to large ones that support data centers,” says Sevel. “You never notice an outage because it goes to battery so quickly that you don’t even register it happened.”
Sevel decided that he wanted to go into business for himself, but he soon learned that the real business opportunity was not acting as a distributor of the units but in servicing them.
He partnered with American Power Conversion (APC), the industry’s largest manufacturer of UPSs, and his company, CoastTec became the only APC-certified out-of-warranty service center in the United States in 1991.
Besides servicing the UPSs, the technicians at CoastTec also refurbish and repair the units. They go through two rounds of quality assurance so that the refurbished units are as good as new and cost less than half of what a new unit costs. At any given time, CoastTec has around 25,000 units in their warehouse, some to service and some for sale.
The company has been growing steadily and Sevel, who is the company CEO, says that 2016 was CoastTec’s best year yet.
CoastTec moved its operations to Carroll County in March of this year. They needed a bigger, open building, and employees with a much higher skill set. The new location more than doubled the company’s space. Carroll County residents have been among their new hires as they bring their staff up to 32 employees.
“Carroll County is wonderful,” says Sevel. “I find it a lot better than Baltimore County. Carroll County Economic Development was so welcoming. I’ve never had such a warm welcome from a county before.”
The official ribbon cutting at the new building was on March 20. State and county representatives, customers and vendors joined CoastTec employees for the ceremony.
- UPSs are also found on phones, routers, point-of-sale devices.
- Sevel sold a majority of the company to a venture capitalist in order to grow it in 2009. He then bought it back in 2016.
- CoastTec has more than 25 years of experience in servicing UPSs.
- Jon’s brother, Adam, is the company’s chief operating officer.
- Some of CoastTec’s clients include: NASA, Johns Hopkins, Toyota, Toys R Us, Estee Lauder, and more.
- CoastTec offers a Comprehensive Protection Program that allows large customers to pay for a certain number of service calls rather than paying a fee to cover each computer at a business.
- APC has an 85 percent market share in the UPS market.
- CoastTec has access to APC’s engineering change orders so that when APC makes changes to its units, CoastTec makes the same changes.
- CoastTec’s new building has 62,500 square feet, more than double the space it had in Baltimore County.
- CoastTec says that the APC UPS refurbished units leaving its shop work better than the originals.
- After servicing, CoastTec offers a new one-or two-year warranty on its work. If the UPS fails while under the new warranty, the unit will be serviced or replaced at no charge.
CoastTec 1533 Progress Way, Suite 113, Eldersburg, MD 21784 • www.coasttec.com • 410-521-1000