How many people can say they were good enough at sales that they could convince their spouse to cash in their entire 401k and go all in on a scrap metal recycling brokerage business….. Matt Fries of Mill Bridge Metals can officially raise his hand proudly.
Not everybody who finds their way into the scrap metal recycling industry is 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation operator, there are plenty of people who are just naturally drawn into the grit and creative opportunities that the industry can provide. Millbridge was founded on the idea that if there is a will, there is a way.
Headquartered out of Cincinnati, Ohio Matt Fries and the team of hustlers over from Millbridge have built a solid business on a tremendous growth trajectory on the back of creative deal-making.
Cashing out your 401k and betting on yourself is a ballsy move. Still, one that Matt knew his window of opportunity would not be around for a long time, with one young child at home and one more on its way not long after the decision was made to take the chance in the industry he had become so intrigued by while working for a large family-owned business.
It wasn’t long before Matt’s creative deal-making and strong relationships landed him in a position where he needed help and that's where now CFO David Tasner stepped in. Recognizing that you need help is a good thing if you are trying to grow a business, and as Millbridge began to take on more opportunities the addition of Mallorie Francis allowed them to begin to scale the logistics side of their growing brokerage business.
Focused on strong customer service right out the gate, Millbridge cut its teeth by servicing national demolition companies. This allowed them to create relationships with scrap consumers all over the country as the Millbridge team worked to find the best home for the scrap material being removed from the job site. Gaining trust from larger demolition companies allowed Millbridge to gain the trust of small and medium-sized ones, and the volume of scrap Millbridge was beginning to generate in turn created opportunities to forge relationships with steel mills and better pricing. Customer service focused always and now with strong pricing and consumer options allowed the company to execute on the next stage in their growth; servicing large industrial and commercial manufacturers.
Fast forward to today and Matt and the team at Millbridge have gone full circle having recently purchased and begun operations at their first physical location purchasing from the general public where they just installed a new 70’ hydrostatic truck scale. “One thing we talk about a lot is operating with a mentality of being proactive versus reactive. I think you have to believe that you will get where you're aiming to be and lay the groundwork to be able to handle it once you get there” says Matt.
What started as a guy with a dream, a telephone, and an $80k 401k is now an operation that consists of multiple locations, Grapple Cranes, Car Crusher, Wheel Loaders, Skid Steers, Dump Trailers, Rolloff and Semi Trucks and so much more. But most importantly Millbridge’s leadership has kept intact and is probably the most proud regardless of how much they have grown over the years is their “burning desire to exceed expectations for all our customers.”