Lowcountry’s Scout Boats navigates global marketplace

​Steve Potts, CEO and founder of Scout Boats

Steve Potts, CEO and founder of Scout Boats, is a man with a vision.

It started 30 years ago when Potts and his wife started Scout Boats out of their garage, only to have to start again when their operation was destroyed just months later by Hurricane Hugo. However, Potts picked up the pieces and kept moving. Fast forward three decades, and Scout Boats is now a successful 500-employee boat manufacturing business in Summerville, SC.

Potts’ expertise and love of boating has been the driving force behind the company, propelling it from a small start-up to one of the most respected global brands in the industry. Scout Boats designs and manufactures boats with the latest trends and efficiency. From simple and small watercraft to luxurious yachts, Scout Boats has options to fit every customer.

For Potts, managing a growing company has been a learning experience and a challenge.

“As the founder, I’ve had to learn and adjust to all the levels of a business. It’s been a challenge, but I surround myself with the right people who can do the things where I’m not as strong,” he says.

For Potts, Scout Boats is more than just a business; the company’s success affects the entire family. His son, both daughters, his sons-in-law, his sister-in-law and a nephew all work for Scout Boats.

Potts is determined to make every employee feel like a stakeholder, “We work really hard to give our employees a sense of ownership. We recognize new hires, share news of celebrity customers and meet with each plant monthly to share company news and make them feel included and valued. I’ve done what they’ve done for a living, and I understand their day-to-day lives, and I want them to feel seen,” he says.

His long-time relationship with SouthState Bank as his business banking partner has given him confidence in financial decisions.

“Having the support of people who understand my business takes the pressure off of me so I can focus on managing,” Potts says.

Over the years, Scout Boats has utilized services from SouthState including commercial lending capabilities, corporate credit cards through a partnership with Elan, and SouthState Bank at Work for its employees. Scout utilizes Treasury Navigator for its cash flow management, also employing Treasury products including remote deposit capture, ACH origination, ACH and Check Positive Pay. 

All of these services come paired with exceptional customer service.

“Using one provider for their commercial banking needs gives them the ease of one primary point of contact, who in turns works with a team of specialists internally to meet their needs,” says senior wealth commercial banker Helen Pratt-Thomas, Scout Boats’ banker.

Pratt-Thomas and her team work proactively to offer competitive loan pricing and terms within the local market, ensuring guaranties mirror the customer’s performance.

Scout Boats shows no signs of slowing down. They recently opened a fourth plant to offer even more variety to customers, and they are always looking to make high-quality boats that are stylish, classic and high performance.

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