Innovative Steel Solutions Provider

JP Steel

Founded in 2005 by President Randy Pearson and his wife, Vice President Jill Pearson, the duo has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

“I wanted to start a company that had a more service-oriented approach rather than a cost-driven one,” Mr. Pearson says. “Other companies were losing out on business due to being focused on costs rather than on the needs of the people they were working with.”

JP Steel has become a leading distributor of carbon, alloy, and stainless steel pipe, tubing, and bar products. The company supplies first-step processing, semi-finished parts, and finished parts that help their clients meet fabrication requirements and to improve operations by advancing their pre-production processing.

The Pearsons started the company after working for several years in the steel industry. Mr. Pearson got his start in the early 1980s and became one of the top sellers of tubular steel products. Mrs. Pearson has a background in accounting and processing and has over 25 years of experience. Initially starting JP Steel in their home, the company expanded quickly after plenty of hard work and around-the-clock dedication. “We were cold-calling and selling throughout the day and working on orders just about all night,” shares Mr. Pearson.

“We started getting contracts, and were very customer-specific in our approach,” Mrs. Pearson agrees.

Today, the company employs a team of sales representatives who cold-call for JP Steel. “Our salesmen make up to 40 to 50 calls per day,” says Mrs. Pearson. “It’s all about the numbers, they look up the people and areas we wish to target.”

By 2008, the Pearsons were successful enough to build the first part of their warehouse in Brookshire, Texas, located near Houston. In 2010, an additional warehouse was built and by 2014, additional space was added to accommodate customer demand. Today, JP Steel has a 31,000 square foot warehouse stocked with products for customers and provides same-day and rush delivery for off site projects and well sites.

JP Steel’s growth has mainly been from providing their products and services to customers in the Houston area, primarily along the Energy Corridor in the western part of the city. Just some of the companies located in the Energy Corridor include BP America, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell Oil Company and other small-to-medium sized energy-related companies. The company also sells to companies throughout the United States and Canada.

Initially, JP Steel sold alloy tubing and customer specific grades, but now carries far more inventory with a much wider range of sizes and grades. For example, the company stocks square and rectangular structural tubing through 16 square inches and equivalent rectangulars and walls up to .625 inches.

JP Steel sales grades and specifications including ASTM A500 Grades B & C. A500 C with a Charpy test is a notoriously hard grade, and JP Steel is one of the few companies that have it ready and available for its customers.

Charpy tested tubing has been in increased demand over the past few years and JP Steel has one of the largest charpy-tested tubing inventories in the area. Charpy testing measures the energy required to break a material under impact loading and has become a big requirement for offshore oil and gas piping. “We rarely saw requirements for charpy testing back in 2005,” explains Mr. Pearson. “By 2008, there was more demand for material that had to have a charpy test. As the industry has evolved for more stringent testing, the more demand there has been for charpy tested tubing and we are able to provide that for our customers.”

JP Steel also supplies Pump Shaft Quality (PSQ) stainless steel bars, stainless steel pipe and tube pipe, welded pipe, seamless carbon mechanical tubing, As welded mechanical tubing, seamless pipe, alloy mechanical tubing, Drawn Over Mandrel (DOM) honed, and hydraulic tubing, and 4130 tubing in pipe sizes for oil field service.

The company also provides a number of services including standard cutting, laser cutting, heat treating, machining, and kitting. Lately, the company has performed a great deal of cut-to-length and kitting for their customers after purchasing a new saw for their warehouse. “By performing the cutting for our customers, it helps shorten wait time for fabricators.”

JP Steel also offers full service consulting, project analysis, and feedback as needed to assist clients and meet their needs.

With such a vast array of products, services, and solutions, customer service is extremely important to the Pearsons to keep their company successful. “We really try to operate completely with integrity and transparency,” says Mr. Pearson. “Any time there’s any issue or question from our customers, they don’t have to call us, we call them first and let them know about everything every step of the way, from start to finish, to plan and execute properly. Most companies don’t do that.”

“Making sure the material is purchased correctly and already tested and certified is a big part of what we do,” explains Mrs. Pearson. “We buy our products on the front end so we can get them out to our customers immediately so there won’t be a lot of aftermarket testing involved.”

JP Steel provides processes and traceability to make sure materials arrive at the customer with all proper documentation. “Over the last five to ten years, customer service has become a big part of what makes us who we are; the other side is accuracy and traceability. There are special testing and industry requirements that have to be met, so we make sure they are already performed for material to go straight into production.”

Salesman Steve Shoults has been with the company for more than five years and has over 25 years of experience in steel sales. Based out of St. Louis, Mr. Shoults shares his thoughts on how JP Steel meets the needs of its customers.

“JP Steel is, to me, much more than a distributor,” he says. “We are a partner with our customers, assisting them in every step of the process to guarantee the right size, specs, price, and delivery needed to maximize their productivity. We will order and stock custom sizes to meet their needs. That’s what sets us apart from everyone else.”

Due to the growth of the energy industry, JP Steel has seen significant expansion, but the company still retains a welcoming atmosphere for its employees. “We’re getting bigger, but we strive to maintain a family atmosphere,” says Mrs. Pearson. “We’re a good place to work and we have a good group in place. We’ve gone through challenges, but our employees know how to do their jobs and if they work hard, they will be rewarded. Randy and I strive to make it a place where people want to work and treat them how we want to be treated.”

The company recently added three new salesmen who are currently in training and will be up and running by the end of the summer; additionally, the Pearsons plan to turn JP Steel into a family business by having their son and daughter join the business and learn about diverse aspects of the company. The couple’s son recently introduced a new computer program to improve traceability in the company inventory, and their daughter is working for the company in between semesters at college.

“Our company has grown so much and we needed an automated system to keep track of things,” explains Mrs. Pearson. “We wanted to get information to our customers faster and we’ve taken a lot of time and effort to make sure everything went right.” The system was introduced in June and is coming along and becoming more integrated into the company’s inventory. Future plans include expanding the company’s product line, testing availability, and purchasing a new saw with spec cutting and kitting for customers. Additional plans include adding new offices in Texas and Louisiana and increasing the sales force.

For almost a decade, JP Steel has rapidly grown to become a huge player in tubing and piping, and in selling niche items to its clients. With its customer-focused approach, always listening to the needs of its clients, JP Steel is guaranteed to become even more successful in the market.

“We started in our house and grew from there; it’s been a whirlwind for us. We worked hard and followed our dreams to make it happen,” says Mrs. Pearson.

“I try my very best to take care of my customers and personally want to do the best for them, take care of them the best I can,” agrees Mr. Pearson said. “It’s the driving factor as to how I operate.”

December 14, 2017, 10:16 AM EST