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Debbie Keppler-SteppAfter 37 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, National Tube Supply (NTS) Area Manager Debbie Keppler-Stepp has a passion for building relationships with customers across the region. In her spare time, she also enjoys gardening and spending time outdoors with her family. Learn a little more about her and her role at NTS below.

  1. Tell us a little about your role at NTS.

I have been with NTS for 13 years now, originally starting with the company at its University Park location, in Chicago. Two years ago, I transferred to the Houston area and became the area manager for our facility in Baytown, TX. My role involves looking for new potential customers as well as working to maintain relationships with current customers in the areas of North Louisiana, East Texas, North Houston and San Antonio.

I really enjoy working with the team in Baytown because we work really well to support our growing list of customers. We truly work as a team at all levels and together, we immerse ourselves in their industries to better advise how our products can improve our customers’ businesses.

  1. Where do you see NTS in five years?   

I expect to see a lot of growth across all NTS locations, but specifically for Baytown, as it is one of the newer facilities. In Baytown, I think we will continue to see a successful increase in the number of employees, customers and warehouse shifts.

  1. What is something you wish people knew more about NTS?  

We like to provide a value-added service and part of that includes solving problems for our customers, which is why we ask a lot of questions about the way they run their businesses. We use our experience and expertise to identify and solve problems that customers may not even be aware of, and we recommend the best products for them, based on what we hear.

  1. What do you love most about your role as area manager at NTS?   

I love having the opportunity to meet new people from all over the region, as well as building relationships and finding new business for our company. I also enjoy continuously learning about our products, how they are used and where they can be applied.

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m an avid reader and I love gardening! I have a great husband who also happens to be a great cook, a niece who is like a daughter to us, and a 2-year-old granddaughter. Since moving to Texas, we have enjoyed hanging out in our backyard year-round, having friends and family visit and spoiling our two dogs.

Want to learn more about National Tube Supply or the Baytown facility? Browse our online inventory or get in touch with our team of experts, we’re always happy to hear from you.

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National Tube Supply is celebrating 27 years of customer-focused service to manufacturers across North America. To learn a little more about us, our services and our facilities, we put together the infographic below, which summarizes the state of our business in 2017.

To find out how we can provide you with value-added service, contact us here.

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With so many industries playing a key role in manufacturing, it is important to stay up-to-date with the various factors that can affect supply and demand, and our customers’ projects. As we kickoff 2018, we decided to immerse ourselves in some of the upcoming forecasts for the year ahead. Below you will find three key trends that we see for the various industries we operate in, including rail, construction, agriculture and more.

1. General Optimism
The outlook looks positive across a number of different trades.

As the global population continues to rise, the agricultural industry continues to see an uptick in both demand and production. One of the causes of the hike in demand is the increased exportation of equipment to countries such as South Africa and Brazil, especially as Canada continues to represent a large volume of the U.S. export market (

In addition to this, lower unemployment rates and wage increases are supporting the rise in new home builds for the construction industry. With this, we expect to see a growth in equipment sales, leading to improved equipment manufacturing.

After a tough three to four years, there seems to be a change in outlook for the oil and gas industry in 2018. According to Forbes, the midstream oil and gas industry in the U.S. will boom in the upcoming months. And, with the ability to quickly onboard fracking, we expect the barrel of oil to sit between $55-65 per barrel throughout 2018. National Tube Supply’s Baytown, Texas plant is already seeing a number of new manufacturing projects.

2. Increased Commodity Prices
As global demand for commodities continues to rise, prices are forecasted to continue increasing as well. This brings a positive outlook for industries related to mining and drilling, such as water exploration, oil and gas, and precious metals like gold, silver and iron ore.

3. Natural and Political Impacts
External, sometimes unexpected, natural and political impacts play a big role in many industries. In 2017, hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused major impacts on industries in the U.S and we will continue to see these impacts well into 2018. For example, the hurricanes will increase operations in the rail industry for the first half of the year due to transportation of goods for recovery and the rebuild of affected areas. However, the build of new rail cars is expected to remain flat throughout 2018.

Also, in the steel industry, the recent developments in the Cold Drawn Trade Case will impact foreign product coming from Italy, China and Germany. Overall, steel prices rose throughout much of 2017 and this is expected to continue, especially in the first half of 2018.

In conclusion, 2018 looks positive for the majority of manufacturing trades. As a service company to all of the above industries, we are looking forward to going the extra mile to help our customers in various industries achieve their goals in 2018. This has been our New Year’s resolution for the past 27 years, and something we look forward to continuing for the years to come.

What trends are you seeing in your industry for 2018? We would love to hear from you.

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Patience Bailey is the Office Manager of our Baytown, TX facility and is the one who keeps the office up and running as smoothly and efficiently as it should be. She is an enthusiastic manager, a dedicated mom and Houston sports fan.

We recently sat down with her to ask what she enjoys about her role and where she sees the Baytown facility heading in the next couple of years. Keep reading to learn a little more about her below…

  1. Tell us a little about your role at National Tube Supply.      

I am the office manager for National Tube Supply’s Baytown facility. I have been involved with the company since May 2014 and some of my daily duties include checking orders, creating RMA’s, shipping on box trucks and doing a daily count report. I work very closely with the shipping department, the receiving department and also the warehouse.

I love everything about my job! I get to help solve problems and I collaborate with the other facilities in Illinois, California and Canada, and I really enjoy working closely with the team here in Baytown.

  1. When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?

I have a 6-year-old son who plays baseball so most of my spare time is spent watching him play. We are big sports fans, so when I’m not watching him play, we love watching the Astros and the Texans!

  1. What do you think sets National Tube Supply apart from the competition?  

Our commitment to our customers. The whole company is committed to exceeding customer expectations and here in Baytown, we work really hard with a smaller team to make sure all our customers are happy.

  1. Anything else you want people to know about the Baytown facility?

We all work so well together and we are constantly helping each other out to ensure this service facility is the best it can be. We’re all very excited to watch this branch grow and to continue serving Texas and the surrounding states with all their tubing requirements.

  1. Where do you see National Tube Supply in five years?  

I would love to see the Baytown, TX location double its employee headcount as the company continues to grow. I’m sure in the next couple of years, we will see both the expansion of the shifts in the warehouse, as well as the numbers on the sales team, and I’m very excited to watch it happen.

Want to learn more about National Tube Supply or the Baytown facility? Browse our online inventory or get in touch with our team of experts, we’re always happy to hear from you.

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With more than 30 years of experience in the steel industry, National Tube Supply’s (NTS) Baytown Branch Manager Terry Flanary is one of the key drivers of growth for NTS, specifically for the southern region.

We got the chance to catch up with Terry and ask him a few questions, so you can learn more about the newest NTS facility and the upcoming plans for growth.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I have been with NTS for 18 years now, and I’ve been in the steel industry since 1985.

I have an amazing wife, three incredible daughters and the two most beautiful grandchildren anyone could ask for: one granddaughter and one grandson. One of my favorite things to do is to spend time with my family. Together, we like to fish, boat and grill out in the backyard.

  1. Tell us a little about your role at National Tube Supply.

I’m the Branch Manager at the NTS Baytown facility, which opened in 2014. With this facility, we service the states of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi.

In my role, I work closely with the National Tube Supply headquarters in University Park, Illinois to ensure offices across the country remain consistent in terms of company values and expectations. We are proud of our customer-focused service and I want that to be instilled in our Baytown employees as well.

  1. Where do you see NTS in the next five years?

I envision NTS continuing to grow its market share in the industry throughout North America. We see a lot of growth for the company, especially at the Baytown facility. In the next five years, I would like to see this facility double as we establish ourselves as a major player for mechanical tubing in the south. We will also continue to exceed customer expectations by providing quality products and striving to “wow” our customers daily with our above-and-beyond service.

  1. What do you wish more people knew about NTS?

The main thing that people should know about NTS is our value-added services to complement our massive inventory. Not only do we offer material cut-to-length, but we do it with the ability to ship orders next day as well. Our employees also work directly with our customers to ensure we’re offering the most efficient and cost-effective products for their individual requirements.

  1. What do you like most about working with National Tube Supply?

Simply put, it’s just really fun to be part of the NTS family. Our company’s commitment to our customers starts with our commitment to our employees. Our current team is great, and we are continuing to build that family by bringing in people who want to be part of something that is fun and exciting. It’s a company culture that is valuable to be a part of.

Want to learn more about National Tube Supply or the Baytown facility? Browse our online inventory or get in touch with our team of experts, we’re always happy to hear from you.


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National Tube Supply (NTS) has always supported and assisted employees during times of need. Hurricane Harvey, which ripped through Texas in late August, was no exception.

During the week of August 28, 2017, the Baytown, TX, facility remained closed, to ensure the safety of its employees. Luckily, the building was fortunate enough to come through the storm with minimal damage and the only damage it endured was a small roof leak.

We are pleased to report that all of our Baytown employees and their families are safe, but a few did suffer from large financial hits after losing possessions, cars and even homes. One employee, in particular, lost everything. He and his wife were stranded on the roof of his house with seven neighbors for more than 36 hours, before they were finally rescued by boat. All they had were the clothes on their backs. Every NTS facility across North America came together to collect thousands of dollars to donate to the employees who were impacted by the storm.

In addition to caring for the NTS family, our employees were also out in Baytown area assisting as much as they could. Several employees deployed with first responders and purchased supplies for areas that were hit the hardest.

National Tube Supply is a family-oriented company, so it comes as second nature to take care of family during tough times. We support many community initiatives and during this time, the Baytown community is part of the extended NTS family.

Our thoughts are with everyone impacted during this difficult time, and we look forward to doing as much as we can to help Baytown and the surrounding areas recover.

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National Tube Supply Company is pleased to announce that we have achieved certification for ISO 9001:2008, as audited by Integrated Management Systems Group, LLC. Our certificate applies to all of our five facilities and we are proud of the improved processes, procedures, and documentation within our entire organization. We are becoming a better organization collectively as a result of this quality improvement effort. All of our employees should be recognized for their contributions and cooperation to this company commitment.

Gary Chess