The Story of Consumers Pipe & Supply Co.
Founded in 1965 by Joe Abeling and his son Bill, the company began as a small local supplier providing PVF products to the ever-growing oilfield and utility trade in the Los Angeles market. This modest, yet proven two-man PVF team was soon joined by another family member, daughter Donna. The foundation was secure for what would become the current Consumers Pipe & Supply.
Joe Abeling retired in 1970, and the business was taken over by Bill Abeling. During the early 1970s, the company grew at a rather modest rate while adding to its customer and vendor bases. The market in the 70s was one of growth in most areas in Los Angeles and Orange County, with steadily growing PVF sales annually in the utility, steel and MRO markets. It was in the late 1970s that Consumers Pipe had an opportunity to impact PVF sales on the national and global level.
In 1976, valve expert Allan Bachelder joined the sales team. With a new focus on valve sales, the company grew from the 70s throughout the 80s. Bachelder’s background with Stockham Valves and Consolidated Pipe helped CPS begin providing PVF to many high-profile projects, both domestically and globally. The global projects list included oilfield, refinery, power generation and geothermal projects in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Chile to name a few. The new customer base included such names as Brown & Root, Fluor, Santa Fe Energy, Parsons, Chevron and Shell Oil. The domestic work included major projects in refining, water, oil and gas transmission, underground utilities and the Alaskan Pipeline project.
The second major milestone was in 1980, when the company opened the second of three locations—a branch 60 miles east of Los Angeles in Fontana, California. This move allowed a strong PVF stocking location in the then-mostly unknown Inland Empire. The Riverside and San Bernardino County MRO customer base was now afforded local access to the ever-growing markets. Consumers Pipe carried product lines including Apollo, Capitol, Crane, ITT Valves, RP&C, Stockham and Trerice.
Bill Abeling led the sales growth in the 70s and 80s and was the architect in setting a base for the company to expand into the Inland Empire and Nevada markets. Bill and his wife Mary Jane retired in 1994. Their youngest son, Michael Abeling was named President.
The 1980s were not the best of times for PVF in Southern California. However, Consumers Pipe continued to grow sales and profits by utilizing best practices and becoming local product specialists in steam utilization and high performance valve sales.
The company would need to improve on its internal processes to keep up with the competition firmly in place in the market. Consumers Pipe chose to invest in a new computer system. The company also added a few more manufacturers to the Consumer Pipe family of products: Jamesbury, Durabla and Spirax Sarco as well as quarter-turn pneumatic and electric valve actuation as an in-house process.
A key year for the company was 1990, which marked the opening of a Las Vegas branch. This branch was set up to provide a local sales effort of core PVF product in the growing Vegas area market. This new local distributor support led to new sales with mechanical and HVAC contractors on project work at many of the current high-rise hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas strip.
In 2000, the company continued on plan and opened a stocking location in the San Diego market. The San Diego customer base had been supported with a local sales team with material shipped daily on Consumers Pipe trucks from the Fontana location.
After 40 years at the Commerce, CA location, the corporate office was moved to the Fontana. There the company survived the Great Recession of 2008 and continued to grow with the support of ASA, the American Supply Association, Affiliated Distributors (A-D) and Supply Force. In 2010, they adopted the Six Sigma Operations Model which would drive operational excellence for the ever increasing specialty OEM market.
In 2011, Consumers Pipe & Supply moved into a newly designed two story state-of-the-art distribution center where they currently reside. With this new expansion, CPS was able to continue meeting their Inland Empire customer’s needs as well as being able to stock more material in the 30,000 sq ft distribution center. In 2012, both the Las Vegas and Santa Fe Springs branch locations were moved to their current locations.
In 2015, Consumers Pipe & Supply celebrated their 50th year anniversary in the pipe, valve and fitting industry. They expanded their pipe yard to accommodate more material and meet the ever expanding needs of their customers. Along with the expansion of the pipe yard, a new truck driveway was added for easier deliveries.
New employee enrichment programs were introduced such as the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and the opening of a free 3-day a week lunch program in the “CPS Bistro.” Employees have the opportunity to relax and enjoy lunch in the laid back environment before returning to their busy schedules. Bill Abeling always said, “Treat the employees like family, and make the customers and vendors your best friends.” Today, Consumers Pipe & Supply strives to live out these words of wisdom by being the employer of choice for their growing team of associates.
Consumers Pipe holds their relationships with their vendors in high esteem. Because of these relationships, CPS is able to supply the best products available in the industry including Anvil/Gruvlok, SSP, Viega, Apollo Valves, Spirax Sarco, Crane, Bonney, Metso/Jamesbury and NIBCO. With the continued support of these vendors, CPS exceeds the needs of their industrial PVF and commercial construction customers.
In 2016, Consumers Pipe & Supply will debut their new website which offers many new features to their customers. Customers will now be able to search for over 75,000 products online, have 24/7 access to their own accounts and much more. Whether you need the One-Stop Pipe Shop, Valve Actuation Shop, after hour assistance, online ordering, live online chat, 24/7 access to your CPS account or training classes, Consumers Pipe & Supply offers it all!
Consumers Pipe & Supply – No better partner for quality products, unparalleled value, outstanding service, great prices, ample inventory, quick turnaround, and fast delivery.