There are many different suppliers of steel pipe, valves, and fittings across the United States. Finding the best steel pipe suppliers may not seem like an important factor on the job, but if there is a problem or when a contractor is planning for Just-In-Time or large volume orders, the right supplier can make a very big difference.
When considering the different suppliers available, particularly for large scale industrial, commercial and residential projects, the location of the steel pipe suppliers is going to be a factor. This becomes even more critical if the pipe needs to be shipped a significant distance, or even used internationally.
In addition to location, it is worth the time to talk to the supplier about the specifics of your orders and the company’s ability to fill those orders. The past track record of the supplier is often the best indicator of what to expect with your orders.
With larger on-hand inventories, any supplier is able to fill orders faster. Larger on-hand inventory also means that a supplier is less likely to have a large order placed that prevents them from filling smaller orders. Knowing standard sizes of steel pipe are typically available in the volume required is always an important consideration.
Order Turnaround Time
Some suppliers, even when inventory is on-hand, are much slower at order turnaround. Other suppliers make it a focus on ship materials quickly after an order, ensuring downtime waiting for materials delivery is never a factor.
Look for steel pipe suppliers with a constant inventory turnover. Steel pipe that is stored for long periods of time in the yard or in enclosed storage is more likely to potentially have areas of rust, damage to the ends of the pipe and other similar issues.
Ability to Fill Emergency Orders
While a contractor may never require an emergency order of pipe, valves or fittings, it provides peace of mind to know the supplier has the ability to get these orders out if necessary.