A. O. Smith, customer Knapp Supply, share more than birthday

Knapp 140th Anniversary 620 x 240
A. O. Smith and Muncie, Ind., distributor Knapp Supply share a great deal in common besides being supplier/customer partners.  The two companies both are part of the wholesale plumbing channel, A. O. Smith as a leading manufacturer of water heaters and Knapp Supply as a full service wholesale plumbing distributor.  Both have strong family involvement.  

And both share a birth year, with the respective companies each starting their businesses in 1874.  Both companies have been celebrating throughout 2014, and A. O. Smith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ajita Rajendra reached out this week to his counterpart, Knapp Supply President Jim Feick to congratulate the company on its anniversary.

“Our two companies share a lot in common besides a birth year,” Rajendra wrote.  “Both A. O. Smith and Knapp Supply have changed dramatically from the small Union City and Milwaukee start-ups in 1874.  This ability to adapt to changing technologies and evolving customer requirements has been a fundamental element of both our companies’ success over the years.”    

“Another trait we share is an uncompromising belief in taking care of our customers,” Rajendra pointed out in his letter.  “The final characteristic, and to me the most important, both of our companies believe in doing business the right way, with honesty and integrity.”  

Knapp Supply serves professional tradespeople, contractors, remodelers, and homeowners in Indiana, northern Kentucky, and western Ohio with plumbing supplies, kitchen and bath supplies, water systems, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and industrial supplies.

The company was started in 1874 by Captain Alex A. Knapp as a plumber, steam, and gas fitter supply company in Union City, Ind.  There have been a succession of family owners leading up the Feick family who owns the business today, but Knapp Supply has been committed to plumbers and plumbing contractors continuously for 140 years.