How Robert Griggs continually reinvested in Trinity Products to build a leading pipe producer

Robert Griggs, president, Trinity Products, Inc.

Robert Griggs, president, Trinity Products, Inc.

STL Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year



Robert Griggs


Trinity Products, Inc.


Since founding Trinity Products, Inc. with two partners in 1979, Robert Griggs has been taking huge personal risks. At its inception, Trinity had only a rented office space with four telephones, one employee and a borrowed debt of $15,000.

The company began primarily as a steel pipe supplier and then branched into fabrication. Adding fabrication services increased value to customers and allowed Trinity to diversify its customer base. This expansion brought about the addition of new product lines, high-rise sign structures and billboard and sign pole fabrication.

Because of Griggs’ tenacity and intense drive to succeed, the company has continued to be successful over 34 years. In this time Griggs has heavily invested in new equipment and technologies in order to facilitate the growth of the company’s different business units. In 2002, Trinity completed the construction of a 10,000-square-foot coating facility which allowed Trinity to diversify into painting and coating steel pipes.

Griggs’ vision was not finished. He focused on becoming vertically integrated by building his own steel mill with capabilities of producing spiral weld pipe. Production of the plant started in 2004 and was not completed until 2007, when the mill began to roll pipe. This created new challenges as the company not only learned how to roll pipe, but had to assume management of more employees. The risk of expanding services on the brink of the global economic downturn proved to be fortuitous, as the diversification allowed Trinity to remain nimble.

Additionally, the company broadened its expertise by investing in industry certifications like the American Institute of Steel Constructors facility approval, and obtained quality approval from states regulatory agencies in California, New York, New Jersey and the Army Corps of Engineers. Today, the company is the second largest producer of large structure pipe in the United States and currently has a larger market share than it had before 2008.

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