Startup Industrial Hose Shop Grows into Valves, Fittings and Couplings

Founded six years ago by a then-college sophomore, Elite Supply kicks off the 2024 ID Watch List.

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Elite Supply Inc.

In the business world, the lion’s share of attention and coverage generally goes to a particular industry’s largest companies, who command the most interest from the public and whose announcements tend to make the largest waves across the market.

The distribution sector, of course, is no exception – this very publication has long been the home of the Industrial Distribution Big 50, after all – but no matter how influential and powerful a company might be today, it’s always worth remembering that they likely started out like most small businesses: a single entrepreneur or a group of partners, a promising business model, and the conviction that the market was missing what they would offer.

The journey to success can assume many different forms and follow many different paths and timetables, but in a world of increasing consolidation, it’s important to celebrate the smaller success stories when they emerge.

Each winter, ID asks some of the distribution sector’s leading buying groups and trade associations to nominate a handful of their members for the ID “Watch List,” which kicks off the new calendar year by looking at distributors making under-the-radar contributions to the market as a whole. Across the next several pages, six companies share their stories, from their humble beginnings to their ambitions for the future.

This year’s list, in particular, includes businesses at widely varying stages on their corporate sojourns: a startup formed less than a year ago and another that dates back more than a century; a business with five employees and one with 150; a distributor with a single warehouse and one with locations across one of the nation’s largest metro areas.

Despite their distinctions, however, these companies share a few key traits: a belief in their vision, a commitment to their customers, and the admiration of their peers in the industry.

We begin this year's series with a rapidly growing Northeast Ohio valve, hose and fitting distributor founded by a then-college student.

Elite Supply

Elite Bull Overlay 659c5a6b356cfCompany name: Elite Supply Inc.
Nominated by: IDCO 
Top executive(s): Matt Steer, president; Bob Steer, CEO 
Year founded: 2018 
Headquarters: Salem, Ohio 
Number of locations:
Key product categories: Industrial and hydraulic hose and fittings, valves, sanitary fittings, dry release break couplings 
Total employee headcount: 5
Total SKU count: 8,000

Company commentary: Elite Supply Inc. is a small but rapidly growing family-owned company located in Northeast Ohio between Canton and Youngstown. We began as a 100% industrial hose shop before opening up our hydraulic retail counter in 2022. The company was founded in 2018 while Matt Steer was a sophomore at Youngstown State University and he worked evenings and weekends building a company that he could jump right into full-time after graduation. Since graduating in Dec. 2020, Matt has been able to expand his workforce to five and has expanded the shop footprint multiple times, and the company is currently bursting out of its 2,500-square-foot shop.

Recent awards or recognition: Matt Steer was honored to be recently elected to the IDCO board of directors, and will serve in that role through 2025.

Do they offer e-commerce? Not at the moment.

Recent company news: Plans are in place for a new, 10,000-square-foot facility at our current location. The company also plans to expand its workforce in 2024, and Elite Supply is always looking at potential strategic partnerships or acquisitions. 

For a look at the complete 2024 Watch List, see the January-February digital edition of Industrial Distribution magazine. 

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