Cross Company

Cross Company

Cross Company’s specialty is applying a wide range of technologies to improve machine and manufacturing process performance. We help solve some of industry’s most challenging applications for: Process Control & Instrumentation, Machine Automation, Hydraulic and Electronic Control Systems for Mobile Equipment, Fluid Conveyance Systems. Because we are 100% employee owned we see our associates are business partners, not employees. Therefore we practice a servant leadership style of management whereby management provides direction, tools and resources necessary for associates to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, and provides ongoing feedback and help when needed.

Company details

4400 Piedmont Parkway , Greensboro , North Carolina 27410 USA
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Find locations served, office locations, manufacturers and our distributors.

Business Type:
Manufacturer
Industry Type:
Manufacturing, Other
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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The Cross Company Advantage
Founded in 1954, Cross Company is a 100% employee-owned company. Yes, the employees own the company. What makes us different?

Our Culture

Cross Company
The Cross Company culture is built on the foundation of honesty, integrity, trust, mutual respect, servant leadership and the highest standards of ethical business conduct. Because we are 100% employee-owned every associate has a personal stake in the success of the company.

Our Technical Expertise
Our customers see us as an extension of their engineering departments. Our specialized teams are focused on specific industries and technologies, making the some of the most knowledgeable in their respective fields.

Our Partnerships with our Customers and Suppliers
We create “wow” experiences for our customers. Without them, our ESOP fails. We have partnered with some of the best and well-known suppliers in our industry. Together we solve industries’ most challenging applications.

Cross Company Commitment
Because we are employee-owned, we are committed to increasing the long-term value of our ESOP stock. Every associate knows that we must continually create “wow” experiences of our customers and suppliers. Every associate has an equally important and personal role to play in creating outstanding customers satisfaction. Working together as a team, we will achieve our long-term goals and make many long-lasting partners.

Cross Company Values
Cross Company values its human talent and endeavors to create a culture built on honesty, integrity, mutual respect, trust and the highest standards of ethical business conduct. We will accomplish this by:

  • Holding all associates accountable to those ideals.
  • Practicing a servant leadership style of management.
  • Communicating openly and frequently about our business performance, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Listening to our associates' ideas and welcoming dissenting opinions.
  • Establishing clear expectations and providing on-going performance feedback.
  • Embracing change and encouraging innovation.
  • Admitting and taking responsibility for our mistakes.
  • Sustaining a fun, family-oriented and interesting workplace.

We will also be aware of and responsive to the needs and concerns of the community by:

  • Welcoming and respecting diversity in our organization and communities.
  • Implementing “green” practices where practical.
  • Participating in charitable causes.

Serving Customers Since 1954

Cross Sales and Engineering Company was founded in November 1954 by Bill Cross, a young salesman and professional engineer with an entrepreneurial spirit. Today Cross Company has 200 employee-owners serving customers in nine southeastern states.  Most importantly, Bill Cross instilled a company culture built on honesty, integrity, mutual respect, trust and the highest standards of ethical business conduct.  That culture has been a cornerstone of our company and still exists today.

Initially the company revolved around selling and distributing hydraulic hose and power transmission equipment.  Due to changes in the industry, Cross Company lost its major product line in 1962 – Aeroquip which had represented 80% of sales. But with a strong reputation in the industry, the Company was soon being courted by Parker Hannifin to distribute their entire line. The decision was quickly made to form this valuable partnership. In that year Cross Company’s hose sales exceeded even Parker’s expectations; selling more in that first year than Parker had in the entire nation the prior year.

A major growth spurt began in 1964 when we started our long-standing association with Vickers, now Eaton.  Our first branch was opened in 1967 in Greenville, SC. In 1967, our longstanding representation of Parker’s hose & fittings lines led to the origination of Hose Products Company. This group helped develop Parker distributors over a six-state area.

During the next two decades, the Company continued to prosper, building on an aggressive plan to grow the business through mergers and acquisitions.  The following acquisitions dramatically expanded our fluid power business:

  • 1974 Edwards Engineering Co. - Atlanta, GA
  • 1980 Airdraulics Inc. - Chattanooga, TN
  • 1980 Fluid Dynamics - Birmingham, AL
  • 1986 Mueller Engineering Co. - Mobile, AL

Cross Instrumentation (originally named CPI Division) was created to represent Parker’s instrumentation divisions in the 70’s to the chemical and process industries. This was our first diversification from fluid power. Today it primarily serves the power generation, chemical, pulp & paper, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, water and wastewater industries.

A significant event in our company’s history happened in 1979. That’s when ESOPs were first being promoted as a way for business owners to receive their equity, while also providing employees an alternative retirement savings plan that would be based on the future success of the company.  So we created one of the earliest ESOPs in the country in 1979.  Today, our proud associates own 100% of Cross Company.

Bill Cross retired in 1986 with his son Pete Cross succeeding him as CEO.  Under Pete’s leadership, the company continued to grow organically and diversify through acquisitions.  Since 1986, Cross has also acquired the following companies:

  • 1990 – Systems Components - Conyers, GA (instrumentation and fittings)
  • 1992 – Motionex – Charlotte, NC (electro-mechanical motion control)
  • 1997 – JMT Automation – Gastonia, NC (machine controls and sensors)
  • 1998 – Alt Controls – Richmond, VA (pneumatics)
  • 2000 – Automatic Controls – Knoxville, TN (process valves and actuators)
  • 2001 – ValiAir – Birmingham, AL (pneumatics)
  • 2001 – Regan Controls – Charlotte, NC (electro-mechanical motion control)
  • 2005 – Ward Technical Sales – Charlotte, NC (pneumatics)
  • 2006 – Numatics Florida – Sarasota, FL (pneumatics)
  • 2007 – Asheville Hose & Equipment – Asheville, NC (Parker Hose Store)
  • 2008 – Innovative Controls – Knoxville, TN (control systems integration)

Perhaps the most significant milestone was November 30, 2006.  That’s when the ESOP bought all of the external shares of stock in the company and we became 100% employee owned.

More recently Cross Company has successfully navigated through two major recessions, one during 2001-2003 and the “great recession” of 2008-2010.  Through these most challenging times, Cross Company not only survived, but emerged in a stronger position and was able to gain market share. 

Pete Cross retired at the end of 2009 and was succeeded by Steve Earley.  Steve joined the company in 1995 to head up strategic planning and acquisition activities before becoming president of the Cross Automation Division (formerly JMT) from 1997-2008.

Today our company is growing and is highly profitable.  Our balance sheet is very strong and we have the financial capacity to further expand our company.

Our company’s success over these many decades is a direct result of culture created and nurtured by Bill and Pete Cross, and the hard work and dedication of our employee owners.  We are determined to carry on those rich traditions.