LAWTON, OK — Blake Kephart knew he was under the gun. The co-owner of Kephart Mechanical in Lawton, OK, was working under an extremely tight timeframe to complete the construction of a local Staples Office SuperStore. He was also short on manpower. The large building required thousands of pounds of iron pipe to be carried to the roof and Kephart’s installation crew had no training other than in installing iron pipe.

That’s when the local distributor of Gastite CSST stainless steel tubing, Morrison Supply, took the ball and ran with it. Gerald Swindell of Westway Sales, Gastite’s Dallas, TX-based sales rep and Morrison Supply’s Mike Johnson, discussed the demanding construction schedule with Blake Kephart.

Kephart said, “We do a lot of work for retail chain operators like Applebee’s and Cracker Barrel. It used to be that we had six months to complete one of these facilities. But in recent years the timeframe has shrunk to 90 to 120 days. These operators want to get in and get their cash flow rolling.”

Swindell explained that it wouldn’t be necessary to cut, weld, thread, or “manhandle” thousands of pounds of iron pipe. He suggested that fewer than a half dozen reels of Gastite CCST tubing, which often weighed under 50 pounds and measured 150-250 feet, would be enough for the job. He added that Gastite would provide on-site training for installers.

Those factors enabled Kephart to complete the job on time and with fewer employees. “Gastite is so easy to use, I can get by with one or two installers, instead of the three or four that iron pipe requires,” he said.

Publication date: 10/28/2002