ABM provides a variety of facility management services in areas such as electrical and lighting, energy, facility engineering, HVAC and mechanical, janitorial services, landscape and grounds, parking and transportation.
ABM is a company that has a diverse range of services, many of which revolve around energy efficiency and sustainability such as building improvements, electric vehicle charging stations, and renewable energy solutions. Green solutions designed to help building owners attain LEED and Energy Star certifications are also services that ABM focuses on to assist in lowering energy usage and reducing carbon emissions.
Two of the most utilized services ABM offers are janitorial and parking services. The janitorial services include commercial cleaning from surface and floors to biomedical waste and computer/server room cleaning. ABM works with airports, universities and schools, health facilities, retail and shopping centers, stadiums, industrial buildings, offices and other types of facilities. The services provided by ABM are applicable to a wide variety of facilities and largely include integrated facility management, maintenance, engineering, and repair.
In 1909, Morris Rosenberg, the company's founder, began cleaning shopkeepers' windows in San Francisco, CA. The company took the name American Building Maintenance in 1913 and acquired Easterday Janitorial Supply Company in 1927.
In the 1920s and 1930s, ABM grew its business on the West Coast by offering annual cleaning contracts to businesses. In 1921, ABM became the first janitorial contractor in America to clean a major college campus after contracting to clean Stanford University.
When Morris Rosenberg died in 1935, his oldest son Theodore "Ted" Rosenberg became president and his younger son Sydney joined the company in 1937. Ted purchased an electrical company in 1937 and ABM cleaned Navy ships and installed wiring on Water Buffalo amphibious vehicles during World War II. By the end of the war, ABM had grown to 17 offices in the U.S. and Canada.
ABM’s growth continued throughout the post-war years and the company went public in 1962 in the over-the-counter market with Ted serving as Chairman and Sydney as CEO. Ted remained involved with ABM until his death in 2010 serving on the Board of Directors and the late Sydney Rosenberg retired as a director in December 1997.
In 1965, ABM went from the over-the-counter stock market to being listed on the American Stock Exchange, now known as NYSE Amex Equities. In the late 1960s, ABM acquired the companies later known as Ampco System Parking, CommAir Mechanical, Amtech Elevator Services and Amtech Lighting Services. In 1971, ABM made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ABM. ABM Engineering was established in the early 1990s and received ISO 9002 certification in 1999. By the end of 1999, ABM employed over 55,000 people and reported annual sales revenue over $1.6 billion.
Henrik Slipsager became the president and Chief Executive Officer of ABM Industries in November 2000. Divestitures were made including selling Amtech Elevator in 2003 and CommAir Mechanical in 2005. ABM acquired Lakeside Building Maintenance in 2002; Security Services of America in 2004; and four janitorial companies—Colin Service Systems in the Northeast; Initial Cleaning Services' janitorial operations in Maryland; HGO in Philadelphia; and Brandywine Building Services in the Delaware, southeast Pennsylvania and south New Jersey area.
17 ABM employees were killed at the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks. The company also lost its largest corporate account, which accounted for annual revenues of $65 million. A window washer that was working for ABM managed to use his squeegee to open an elevator door saving many people.
In 2007, ABM acquired the assets of HealthCare Parking Systems of America, Inc. (HPSA), a provider of healthcare-related parking services based in Tampa, Florida with annual revenues of approximately of $26 million.
Also in 2007, ABM completed the acquisition of OneSource Services Inc. (London AIM: OSS) for $365 million in cash. OneSource is a provider of outsourced facility services, including janitorial, landscaping, general repair and maintenance, and other specialized services for more than 10,000 commercial, industrial, institutional and retail accounts in the U.S.
In 2010, ABM Industries and its CEO, Henrik Slipsager, were featured during the second season of the CBS reality show Undercover Boss. Later that year, ABM acquired The Linc Group, LLC, also known as TLG, for $300 million. Also in 2010, ABM acquired select parking assets from the L&R Group of Companies and also all of the assets of three parking companies: Five Star Parking, Network Parking Company Ltd., and System Parking, Inc.
In May 2012, ABM purchased TEGG Franchise Operations including CurrentSAFE. In November 2012, ABM acquired Atlanta-based AirServ Corp. for $158 million in cash, they also acquired HHA Services, a food and facility service provider to hospitals, healthcare systems, long-term care facilities and retirement communities.
ABM became the official cleaning services company of the Los Angeles Convention Center in December 2013. The company also services AEG-affiliated venues such as the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Sprint Center in Kansas City, the O2 Arena in London, and others.
ABM Industries began working with Cornell University in 2014 to install the school's first array of solar panels, which are designed to lower energy costs and act as learning tools for students. Throughout 2014, ABM Industries made several acquisitions including GBM Support Services Group Limited, Airco Commercial Services and Alpha Mechanical Service.
In 2015, the company named Scott Salmirs as its 7th CEO in ABM's 106-year history. In May 2015, ABM acquired CTS Services and Facility Support Services In August 2015, ABM became the official security provider to Tyson Foods Inc. at their processing and distribution facilities across the U.S. In October 2015, ABM sold its Security Business to a division of Universal Services of America for $131 million, and acquired Westway Services Holdings, a technical engineering company for UK customers, in December 2015.
In June 2016, it was announced that ABM Industries had joined the Fortune 500 for the first time.
On December 20, 2004, the company restated results for the four fiscal years through October 2003 to correct an error in the way it accounted for insurance reserves.