Scott Irwin, Founder and CEO
Apex Steel Pipe & Piling
Apex Steel Pipe & Piling partners with its bankers and Texas Gulf Bank to keep business flowing. Founded in 1998, Apex is one of the largest used steel pipe suppliers in the U.S. Apex specializes in buying and selling new, used and surplus pipelines and steel pipe.
Scott Irwin, Apex's Founder and CEO, first met Rich Jochetz, Texas Gulf Bank's President, in the early 1990's when Scott applied for a consolidation loan. Over the course of Scott's personal banking relationship with Rich, he was impressed with the high level of personal service Rich provided. When Scott decided to launch Apex Steel Pipe, Rich was the first banker he contacted.
"Rich had some knowledge of the pipeline business, but once we started our business banking relationship, he made a concerted effort to learn all he could about the industry. In the beginning we only bought low inventories because we didn't have a lot of cash on hand. Rich provided the traction we needed to kick-start the company. As his faith grew in Apex, so did our line of credit,” said Scott.
One of Apex's core businesses is removing, refurbishing and reselling used steel pipelines. "When pipeline companies or other entities need to replace abandoned, out-of-date, or out-of-use water, crude oil, natural gas pipelines, we remove it. Once out of the ground, we straighten, clean and bevel the pipe, then resell it. These projects are normally very large and we don't have a lot of lead time when opportunity arises. Additionally, the scrap markets can fluctuate drastically - anywhere from a low of $80 a ton to $400 a ton. Down markets represent a good buying opportunity for us,” said Scott.
"Rich understands that we often need quick funds to capitalize on large opportunities. Rich has walked our steel yards. He understands our business. That's why he's able to really go to bat for us. When opportunities to buy come up, Rich can structure a deal outside our normal line of credit so that we can make the purchase. Rich ensures that Apex stays in a position to control the markets,” said Scott.
"Bankers make the bank,” Scott continued. "In my previous dealings with other financial institutions, I've always felt like just a number. I would have to talk to someone new every time I called in. When I walk into Texas Gulf Bank, they know my name. I don't have to explain myself to them. It's like a small town bank with all the national bank amenities.”
According to Scott, flexibility, responsiveness and loyalty are what set Texas Gulf Bank apart from the competition. "I felt the difference the minute I walked in the door and it's why I have stayed with them ever since.”
Since Texas Gulf Bank opened its first branch in Freeport, Texas in 1913, it has been a strong, stable, and financially secure member of the community.We are proud to play a part in keeping business flowing at companies like Apex Steel Pipe & Piling. Together we are building a shared legacy of success both for ourselves and for our clients -- and that's a relationship you can bank on.
If you would like to see your business featured in the "Face-to-Face" with Texas Gulf Bank, contact us and share your story. You could be featured in the next online and ad series.
View the Apex Steel "Meet Our Customers" ad - PDF
View the Apex Steel "Meet Our Customers" poster - PDF