Showcase AZ: HT Metals

Tucson is on the rise as it is home to more and more businesses from large manufacturers to small businesses. HT Metals, a custom cutting metal distributor, has seen the growth of its city and clientele over the years, making them a staple in the city of Tucson.

Established in 2003, Carlos Ruiz, President and CEO, started HT Metals as a one-man business looking to serve an underserved area. “I was born and raised in Tucson. When I was doing my market research there were enough smaller midsize machine shops that were being underserved. That allows me to come to a place like Tucson and provide a little bit more service, materials, and knowledge than they would get from a larger distributor.”

HT Metals specifically works with a water jet, a versatile tool that allows the company to cut a vast majority of metals, nonmetals, and non-metallics. Use of the tool gives them an edge, according to Ruiz who notes the tool allows them to provide an added service to customers in and around Tucson.

Primarily run by family, HT Metals is now comprised of six employees. Don’t let the small number fool you. The distributor delivers custom orders to companies across Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Typically, their products are made for organizations in the aerospace industry, such as Honeywell, General Electrics, and Pratt & Whitney. They also cut different components for helicopters.

“I think the biggest key to success is to recognize and to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and I think that is where a small business like myself can kind of really compete against larger distributors.” Ruiz said.

Ruiz comments that their employees also help them stand out as a company. “We have guys that know how to run the water jet, that know how to run the ban saw, that make deliveries. Everybody kind of pitches in here. And I think that is kind of the key thing, is the willingness to pitch in.”

Richard Dickson, lead man, says they make a wide variety of parts, making the job something new every day. “Working here is great. Every day is a little different. I’m constantly involved and doing multiple projects all day long.”

HT Metals helps not only their clients, but their community as well. “Tucson is a large small town,” Ruiz said. “It’s important for business owners to be leaders in the community so they can bring that small business voice to government officials, school boards, those kinds of things, to have a seat at the table.”

Morgan Carr

Nick Serpa

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