CEDAR RAPIDS — Apache Hose & Belting, a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of hose products, fabricated belting products, and cut and molded rubber, is shortening its name and changing the way it sells products to its industrial customers.
Apache Inc., 4805 Bowling St. SW, will focus solely on distributors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as its channel to sell industrial products. President and CEO Tom Pientok said the company previously has sold directly to end users as well as through distributors.
“We were competing with our own customers, so we had to clear our channels to market and better position ourselves for growth,” Pientok said. “We had a number of options, but we have chosen to sell to dealers, distributors and OEMs.”
Pientok said Apache also has created a dedicated sales force that works directly for the 49-year-old employee-owned Cedar Rapids company.
“In the past, we have used manufacturer’s representatives in certain areas of the country,” he said. “Effective with this change, we will use only Apache-employed sales personnel.
“We have restructured our geographies, and we have Apache-employed sales personnel throughout North America.”
Pientok said shortening the company’s name to Apache Inc. will open avenues to products other than hose and belting.
“With our acquisition of Seals Unlimited (in 2011), a molded products group, that triggered the realization that we’re more than just what our name implied,” he said. “We probably won’t sell toasters any time soon, but it makes the transition to other related products much easier.”
Apache has clients throughout North America as well as in England, Germany and South America. Company founder Robert South sold Apache to his employees after he retired in 1985.