Since its founding in 1982, ABC Supply Co. Inc. has revolutionized the roofing material distribution business. In the process, the company has grown to be a nearly $8 billion enterprise serving the needs of the professional contractor with exterior building material stores across the United States.
The success that is chronicled in the history of ABC Supply is the result of an unwavering focus on a single, simple guiding principle—treat contractors with respect and give them the products and services they need to build their businesses.
Co-founder Ken Hendricks spent many of his formative years working with his father who was a contractor. While learning firsthand the “ins and outs” of the roofing and siding businesses, Ken also witnessed the lack of respect that his father and his colleagues often received from their suppliers. That experience—and the lessons his father taught him about the importance of hard work, never giving up and treating people with honesty and respect—formed the basis of the dream that would become ABC Supply.
By 1982, Ken was already a successful entrepreneur and the owner of two well-established companies—International Roofing and Hendricks Real Estate Properties. During the economic slowdown of 1982, Ken and his wife, Diane Hendricks, decided not to sit back and wait for better times to come. Instead, they chose to take a risk and acquire three supply centers from Bird & Sons Inc. These centers were the first locations of the new American Builders and Contractors Supply.
Ken and Diane’s dream was to put their contractor customers’ needs before everything else, treating them like the professionals they are, giving them the tools they deserve and upgrading their image along the way. They believed there was a better approach to meeting contractors’ needs, and that philosophy is the cornerstone of the dream that became today’s ABC Supply.
ABC Supply grew rapidly by acquiring other distributors and opening new facilities. Ken also established or acquired affiliate companies that produced some of the roofing, siding, windows and other products that ABC Supply sells. The largest of these acquisitions has been that of Bradco Supply Corp., with its nearly 2,000 associates and 128 locations, in 2010. ABC Supply acquired Chicago-based L&W Supply in 2016, which added 136 locations across 36 states to the company’s roster.
Today, the company has more than 700 locations nationwide and is the largest wholesale distributor of roofing products in the United States and one of the nation’s largest distributors of siding, windows and other select exterior and interior building products. Through L&W Supply Corporation, the company also offers an array of interior products that include drywall, ceiling tile, steel framing and other interior building supplies.
ABC Supply remains an “employee-first” company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed. It is a 10-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, making ABC Supply one of only three companies worldwide to have earned the honor every year since its inception in 2007.
In 2017, ABC Supply celebrates its 35th anniversary and continued commitment to helping its customers and associates achieve the American dream.
Following is a timeline of milestones in ABC Supply’s history.
1982 – American Builders and Contractors Supply founded with three stores.
1983 – Six stores.
1984 – 25 stores. ABC Supply is number three on the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.
1985 – 37 stores. ABC Supply is number two on the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.
1986 – 47 stores. ABC Supply tops the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. Mule-Hide Products is started.
1987 – 50 stores. Ken Hendricks is named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Wisconsin.
1988 – 57 stores.
1989 – 72 stores.
1990 – 84 stores. The ABC Catalog Division is started.
1991 – 90 stores. Amcraft Building Products is started.
1992 – 94 stores. ABC Supply celebrates its 10th anniversary and is the 12th-largest privately held company in Wisconsin.
1993 – 97 stores.
1994 – 109 stores. ABC Supply is rated number eight in the United States on the Distributors Scorecard.
1995 – 126 stores. ABC Supply is the seventh-largest privately held company in Wisconsin and moves up to number five on the Distributors Scorecard. The new National Support Center opens in Beloit, Wis.
1996 – 157 stores.
1997 – 205 stores. ABC Supply is number 321 on Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Largest Private Companies.
1998 – 204 stores. ABC Supply reaches $1 billion in sales.
1999 – 200 stores. ABC Supply moves up to number 167 on Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Largest Private Companies. The ABC University associate training and education program is established.
2000 – 200 stores. The ABC Freedom Programs are launched.
2001 – 215 stores. ABC Supply acquires Vande Hey Roofing Tile Co. and Houk Seamless Guttering & Supply.
2002 – 256 stores. ABC Supply celebrates its 20th anniversary. American Construction Metals (ACM) begins production.
2003 – 259 stores.
2004 – 275 locations. ABC Supply reaches $2 billion in sales.
2005 – 303 locations. $2.59 billion in sales. ABC Supply is ranked number 145 on Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Largest Private Companies. ABC Supply enters into a sponsorship agreement with racing legend A.J. Foyt and AJ Foyt Racing, sponsoring the No. 14 car in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series. The company adds patio enclosures to its product offering with the acquisition of Town & Country Industries.
2006 – 346 locations. Nearly $3 billion in sales. ABC Supply moves up to number 117 on Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Largest Private Companies. Inc. magazine names Ken Hendricks its Entrepreneur of the Year.
2007 – 394 locations. ABC Supply celebrates its 25th anniversary. ABC Supply is one of only 12 companies worldwide to win the first Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world and is based on the most rigorous workplace research ever conducted. The company implements a new Customer Service Delivery System (CSDS) that enhances customer service by taking the best practices that individual branches had been using and making them the standard practices system-wide. The company wins the Pathfinder Recognition Award as part of the Wisconsin 75 awards program. ABC Supply expands its Town & Country Industries division with the acquisition of Ashley Aluminum and its 42 locations.
2008 – 373 locations. David Luck is named chief executive officer of ABC Supply, also continuing in his role as company president. ABC Supply repeats as a winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, demonstrating again that it has one of the most productive and engaged workforces in the world. All ABC Supply branches are redesigned as Solution Centers, becoming premier destinations for product information and selection.
2009 – More than 350 locations. ABC Supply acquires Chesapeake Siding and Roofing, a wholesale distributor of exterior building products with two locations, one in Virginia and the other in North Carolina. The company is honored with its third consecutive Gallup Great Workplace Award.
2010 – More than 450 locations. More than $4 billion in sales. ABC Supply acquires Bradco Supply Corp.; it is the largest acquisition in ABC Supply’s history, adding nearly 2,000 associates and 128 locations in 30 states to the ABC Supply family. The company holds its inaugural Founders’ Celebration, honoring Ken and Diane Hendricks and celebrating the core values on which they built ABC Supply. For the fourth consecutive year, ABC Supply is honored with the Gallup Great Workplace Award; the company is one of only six four-time winners, having received the award every year since its inception.
2011 – More than 450 locations. ABC Supply is again honored with the Gallup Great Workplace Award; the company is one of only four five-time winners, having received the award every year since its inception. ABC Supply receives the Distinguished Performer Award in the “People” category as part of the 2011 Wisconsin 75 awards program; the award recognizes a company’s commitment to its employees by encouraging empowerment and providing training assistance.
2012 – More than 450 locations. ABC Supply celebrates its 30th anniversary. ABC Supply receives its sixth consecutive Gallup Great Workplace Award; it is one of only three companies to have received the award every year since its inception. ABC Supply acquires Superior Supply Co. Inc., adding branches in Bridgeton and Northfield, N.J.
2013 - More than 450 locations. David Luck retires as ABC Supply’s CEO on Dec. 31. ABC Supply receives its seventh consecutive Gallup Great Workplace Award; it is one of only three companies to have received the award every year since its inception. ABC Supply acquires Sellmore Industries, Lee Wholesale Supply Inc., American Wholesale Building Supply Co., JB Supply Company and Midstates Wholesale Supply, adding branches in Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. ABC Supply also opens new start-up branches in Bergenfield, N.J. and Pleasant Gap, Pa.
2014 – More than 490 locations. Keith Rozolis becomes CEO and president on Jan. 1; he had been president and chief operating officer. ABC Supply receives its eighth consecutive Gallup Great Workplace Award. The company acquires Dealers Service & Supply, St. Louis; The Standard Group, based in New Jersey; Michigan-based Siding World; and Gilbert Supply, Marcy, Marcy. N.Y. ABC also opens start-up branches in La Crosse, Wis.; Columbia, Tenn.; Denton, Texas; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Fargo, N. D.; Nampa, Idaho; Charleston, W. Va.; Billings, Mont.; Newnan, Ga.; Omaha, Neb.; Cumberland, Md.; Philadelphia; and Sacramento, Calif.
2015 – More than 600 locations. Nearly $6 billion in sales. ABC Supply receives its ninth consecutive Gallup Great Workplace Award. The company launches ABC Connect. ABC Supply acquires the exterior building products division of The Ar-Jay Center, Rome Building Products, Elite Home Supplies, certain assets of Weather Guard Building Products, Oregon Roofers Supply, Exterior Distributors, HomeXterior Building Supply, Team Wholesale, adding locations in Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia. ABC Supply also acquired Norandex Building Materials Distribution, based in Hudson, Ohio. It is the company’s largest acquisition since acquiring Bradco Supply Corp. in 2010, adding 103 locations to the ABC Supply roster and nearly 950 associates. ABC also opens start-up branches in Charlottesville, Va.; Jacksonville, N.C.; Kent, Wash.; and Logan, Utah.
2016 – More than 700 locations. Over $8 billion in sales. ABC Supply receives its 10th consecutive Gallup Great Workplace Award, making it one of three companies in the world to win the honor each year since its inception. The company acquires the assets of Chicago-based L&W Supply. It is one of the largest acquisitions in company history and added 136 locations across the country. The acquisition also makes ABC Supply one of the largest distributors of interior and exterior building supplies. Additionally, the company acquires the assets of T&C Supply, GK Building Supply Corp., Sidewinder Supply Inc., Ace Aluminum Distributors, Inc., and Trumbull Vinyl Products, Inc., adding locations in Ohio, Connecticut, Arizona and Florida. ABC Supply also opens a new location in Annapolis, Maryland.
2017 – More than 700 locations. ABC Supply celebrates its 35th anniversary by recognizing the associates and customers who have made the company what it is today.