Business Development Manager, Trenchless Pipe Repair Expert
Apex CIPP, parent company of Dancutter USA, welcomed Matt Dumas as their business development manager in August, 2023. While Dumas is one of the newest additions to the company, he is certainly not new to cured-in-place pipe (CIPP). In fact, thanks to his experience, he’s become known within the industry as “The Problem Solver.”
Pioneering trenchless pipe repair
Matt Dumas’s trenchless career spans more than two decades, going back to a time when residential no-dig pipe repair was seldom heard of in the United States. Sure, Europe had been successfully utilizing the low-impact, greener technology since the 1970s, but it would take time for American plumbing companies and property owners to become familiar with the option.
“I started my plumbing career by digging up and ripping out damaged pipes,” explains Dumas, “But trenchless pipe repair changed everything.” Matt Dumas
He’s talking about both the plumbing industry as well as his career trajectory, since he would go on to pursue everything he could learn about the burgeoning pipe repair method.
The more Matt became involved with trenchless pipe rehab, the more he realized he had discovered his plumbing super power. Property owners could now decide if they wanted to remove and replace their aged/damaged pipes, or install structural pipelining that would essentially build new lines directly within the old pipes – without the building damage and lengthy timelines that pipe replacement required.
Becoming “The CIPP Problem Solver”
Dumas jumped at the chance to work for several progressive plumbing companies that were implementing European pipe lining methods. He learned about materials, equipment, and the best practices for installation. Matt gained valuable field experience dealing with unexpected issues, making him a resilient installer who was not afraid of a challenging project. He had become a true trenchless pipe repair expert.
“I had a knack for solving problems; still do,” Matt Dumas recalls “When there was a difficult layout or an impasse with a pipelining project, they’d call me in. I’d figure out what needed to be done and make it happen.”
Oftentimes, he adapted equipment to work in ways no one had seen. Soon, he was running entire operations and teaching others how to line “impossible” projects.
Focusing on small-diameter pipe (2”-12” diameter) rehabilitation, Matt honed installation techniques as he developed relationships with manufacturers and broadened his network of professional contacts. “From Florida to Maine, I’ve seen and done it all.”
Working at Apex CIPP
So what brings Matt Dumas to Apex CIPP? The longtime Florida resident is happy to be based back in his home area, working from the company’s Sarasota headquarters. He’s also excited to spearhead the position of Business Development Manager.
“Connecting with company owners and technicians is one of my favorite things. We speak the same language.” Dumas continues, “I’m glad to discuss the benefits of equipment or materials, but when it comes right down to it, I’m going to recommend the best product for your needs, regardless of whether we sell it or not.”
It’s that kind of no-nonsense communication that makes him a perfect fit for Apex CIPP. “Matt’s a straight shooter. He’s not about making a sale; he’s about being an asset to customers,” confirms Craig Underwood, owner and general manager. “We have always put customer success as our first priority, so Matt will be a huge benefit to the contractors we work with.”
Shared values and goals
Independently owned and operated Apex CIPP is a thriving small business with the purchasing power of a Fortune 500 company; a rare combination. Its holdings include Dancutter USA, the direct distributor of Dancutter pipe robotics. “We’ve built our reputation on being transparent, authentic, and trustworthy. We treat customers how we want to be treated, as their reliable resource for training and equipment.” Underwood reiterates that the success of his company is a direct result of making his customers’ success the top priority.
Dumas feels he has always practiced the Apex philosophy of putting customer success above sales. The trenchless pipe repair expert says, “There’s a special satisfaction that comes from knowing you had a part in helping a company reach their goals. Watching them take off, I mean really taking their business to new levels, that’s when you know you’re doing the right thing.”
Recommending what’s right for the customer
Matt’s tenure in the trenchless plumbing industry has allowed him to witness numerous technical advances. Installation techniques have improved and the curing process has more options than ever. Now, there’s ambient (natural), steam, hot water, and UV LED light curing available to harden or set the structural liners. Spot repairs and spray coatings are good options in some cases. Robotic cutters/millers have helped expand the reach and range of pipe rehab. The pre- and post-repair inspection processes have experienced major upgrades.
“Pipe inspections have come a long way,” mentions Dumas. “The camera systems we have now are so advanced, you can get a comprehensive view of what’s happening inside the pipelines and immediately share it with the homeowner.” He’s referencing technologies such as sonde for location and self-leveling heads that function in the presence of water. The camera viewing radius has expanded, and flexibility around plumbing bends has become navigable. Obtaining digital transmission of information is a game-changer for drain cleaning companies, home inspectors, plumbing professionals, and property managers.
Dumas says plumbing inspection cameras are not a one-size-fits-all product. The right inspection system depends on pipe diameters, project types, the tech features needed, and budget. That’s why Apex CIPP carries several brands, sizes, and price points.
“We work hard to provide products that are the best value for each customer. We want to help them meet their current needs and set them up for future success.”
After 20-something years in CIPP, solving problems for customers comes naturally for Dumas. He sees more demand for trenchless pipe repair than he ever imagined back when he was starting out in plumbing. And he still enjoys getting calls from technicians on a jobsite. He’s happy to talk through a tough situation or offer tips on how to get the most out of existing equipment. Now, in his new position, he looks forward to working with companies looking to enter the trenchless field or expand their services with new equipment.
“We couldn’t be more excited to add Matt to the team,” Underwood states, “It’s a big win for Apex and an even bigger win for our customers.”
For more information about Apex CIPP, please visit apexcipp.com or call 941-300-0441. To reach Dancutter USA or learn more about trenchless pipe cutting/milling robotics, please visit dancutterusa.com or call 855-997-0524.