OK Pipe & Fittings, One of Houston’s Most Inspiring Stories – Voyage Houston Magazine

Read the full article here:  http://voyagehouston.com/interview/meet-gabe-hatfield-ok-pipe-fittings-north-east/

IMG_9716x2Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabe Hatfield.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
This year is our 20th year in business fabricating AWWA large diameter carbon steel fittings. We operated out of New Caney for 15 of those years, and have recently relocated to Moscow, Texas, upgrading into a much larger shop to accommodate the increase in demand. Our fittings, which we fabricate up to 96″ in diameter (and larger), are being used in many major nuclear, power, and water plants throughout the USA, Canada, and Mexico. I’m so proud of the quality of our work, the way we do business, and more importantly the crew we have working with us. I’m happy to be a part of the future of the water and wastewater industry, helping to renew its infrastructure.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I can’t help but think back to when we first started. No money, sub-par machines, and hard physical labor were the norm. Then, suddenly, large backlogs and fabricating fittings for months straight without taking a day off. The miserably hot summers that we’ve welded outside because the mitered elbows were too big for the old shop, and the many days we had to remove my children from the property to x-ray. OK Pipe & Fittings wouldn’t have made it this far without the hard work and dedication of an outstanding crew!

CFO, Susan Hatfield, has always been obsessive about finances and getting things done on time. Without this attention to detail in business, we wouldn’t have survived the initial years of developing the company, and I wouldn’t be so attentive to detail and obsessed with the numbers myself. CEO, David Hatfield, has forty plus years in the fittings specific industry working with most of the original authors of the specs, including those that produced the studies on all types of fittings which were published in Taylor Forge, Crane, Tube Turns and ITT Grinnell catalogs.

John Flanigan, Lead Contractor/Plant Manager, has been with us for 17 years, developing a distinctive work environment; spearheading innovative strategic thinking; managing company resources productively, and overseeing day-to-day operations. John’s outstanding success in these areas make a coherent and consistent pattern that continues to build a dynamic organization and keeps us moving forward.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with OK Pipe & Fittings – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
OK Pipe & Fittings provides custom mitered fittings and pipe from 1 ¼” to 96” and larger for various water, nuclear, and power projects. Because of the wide variety of fittings and materials required in today’s market, our objective is to work with our customer to determine which products best suit the purpose at hand. OK Pipe’s fabrication division can meet the needs of most waterworks projects and can support the low-pressure needs of major fabrication businesses specializing in heavy power.

Experience will show that mitered elbows larger than 48″ are more competitive than WPB elbows. Smaller-sized tees and wyes are just the same. As the trillions of dollars in water projects unfold over the next decade, those who use fabricated fittings where allowable will get the business. The price difference is that significant.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We have just purchased new machinery to add several new products that we plan to have up and running by the end of this year. In addition to the existing mitered fittings we fabricate such as Elbows, Tees, Laterals, Crosses, and Wyes, we will be adding reducers and rolling pipe. We also plan to become much more involved with AWWA (American Water Works Association) to be a larger part of the improvement of water quality and supply.

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