Steve Mote began American Osment as a small-time truck-cleaning company called Expert Power Cleaning in 1972. While cleaning vehicles for companies such as South Central Bell (AT&T), Union 76 (Conoco Phillips), and Shell Oil Company, Steve experimented with various chemicals, pressure washers, and cleaning chemicals to find the best combination for a perfectly clean truck. Little did he know, he was beginning an exciting journey toward a lifelong business endeavor.
After graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1975, Steve merged and incorporated Expert Power Cleaning with Industrial Cleaners, a local company who sold cleaning chemicals and Hotsy brand pressure washers. Steve's years of experience working with diverse chemicals and equipment as a cleaning contractor proved to be invaluable. Representing and merchandizing the chemicals and equipment was a natural transition. Not only had Steve developed an understanding and an abundance of knowledge on the subject, but he had also developed meaningful relationships with the companies he had been working with over the years.
After the merge with Industrial Cleaners, the company continued to grow steadily. Steve began to manufacture and market his own brand of cleaning chemicals. By 1977, Industrial Cleaners had become the largest company in the area to specialize in sales and service of pressure washing chemicals and equipment.
In 1978, Southern Disinfectant, a company that sold cleaners and disinfectants was purchased. Industrial Cleaners and Southern Disinfectant were combined, and Industrial Cleaners moved into the Southern Disinfectant facility where Steve could manage both simultaneously. In 1979, Steve acquired American Floorcraft. Located in downtown Birmingham, this company sold different types of cleaning equipment including floor machines and vacuum cleaners. After moving into the newly acquired Birmingham location, the three companies were combined and renamed American Chemicals & Equipment.
Over the next decade smaller acquisitions were made including Holt Manufacturing and Dixie Chemical, leading American Chemicals & Equipment away from the contract cleaning business; instead, they began to concentrate on janitorial supply distribution.
In 1988, a large, well-established paper company, Osment Paper, was acquired. This was by far the most difficult acquisition because of its sheer size; it doubled the size of the company practically overnight, adding over forty additional employees and expanding the product lines to include food service items. To retain the hard-earned value and credibility of both companies whose names were well known throughout the community, the decision was made to combine American Chemicals & Equipment and the Osment Paper Company. American Osment was born.
The company continued to grow over the next nine years. In 1997 American Osment purchased Alabama Paper and Metalware, another central Alabama distributor. In 2005 American Osment was able to expand its reach into west Alabama with the purchase of Tuscaloosa's largest janitorial supply house, Barksdale Warrior Paper Company. Further growth continued in west Alabama with the acquisition of Daily Paper and Chemical in 2008. In January 2011 American Osment purchased Central Products, a company specializing in wholesale chemicals and equipment in Montgomery, Alabama.
Today, American Osment represents only the best manufacturers the industry has to offer including GOJO, SCA/Tork, 3M, Diversey, Spartan, Tennant, Landa, Georgia Pacific, and Kimberly Clark. American Osment is comprised of approximately 100 people and boasts an incredible 110,000 square feet of warehouse space.
- 1972: Steve Mote began Expert Power Cleaning.
- 1975: Steve Mote graduated from UAB, and Expert Power Cleaning merged with Industrial Cleaners.
- 1977: Industrial Cleaners became the largest wholesale chemical/equipment company in the Birmingham area.
- 1978: Southern Disinfectant was purchased and combined with Industrial Cleaners.
- 1979: Steve acquired American Floorcraft and renamed the company American Chemicals and Equipment.
- 1980-1996: Over the next sixteen years, smaller acquisitions were made including Holt Manufacturing and Dixie Chemicals, leading American Chemicals and Equipment away from the contract cleaning business and toward janitorial supply distribution.
- 1997: American Osment purchased Alabama Paper and Metalware.
- 2005: American Osment purchased Barksdale Warrior Paper Company.
- 2008: American Osment purchased Daily Paper and Chemical.
- 2011: American Osment purchased Central Products.