The business opened its doors in downtown Omaha, NE which is where the company headquarters still resides today. Back in the 1930’s when the company began blending oil it was unheard of east of the Mississippi, but now the company manufactures and distributes oil across the globe. This once small distributor is now one of the leading, privately held lubricant manufacturers in the United States.
Warren Distribution, Inc. was founded in 1922 by James Schlott. He ran his distribution business on 811 Howard Street in downtown Omaha, NE.
The company supplied lubricating oils and related products to agricultural businesses in Omaha and surroundings areas.
In 1930 James’ son Norman Schlott joined the business. After joining, Norman developed an oil blending process which led Warren to become the first operation west of the Mississippi to do so. During this time, the company developed its own private label brand of oil called Gold Bond Lubricants. The product was so successful the formula was sold to an implement dealer in Eastern Iowa around 1935.
By the late 1940’s Warren had begun manufacturing antifreeze. The company even created their own line of automotive fluids within the Polar brand, which included windshield wash fluid, antifreeze, among other products. Polar is still owned by Warren Distribution today.
In 1963 the company lost their building at 811 Howard Street due to a fire. But not much slowed the Schlotts down as they quickly relocated to 727 South 13thStreet. The new location would become the company’s home for the next 54 years.
In June of 1970 Bob Schlott, son of Norman and grandson of James Schlott, joined the family business. At about the same time, Bob purchased some property along River Road in Council Bluffs, Iowa to expand on the antifreeze business.
By the time 1976 rolled around the company began producing their own plastic bottles as well as packaging their goods in house.
In 1981 all manufacturing was moved to Council Bluffs, IA and the Omaha warehouse was converted into office space. In 1985, a distribution center was built across the street from the manufacturing plant. By 1987, Warren’s private label brand of oil called MAG1 was developed. This brand is still owned, manufactured and distributed by the company today.
In 1999 the company became ISO Certified and implemented lean mythology to improve processes and eliminate waste.
This was also a pivotal time for the company as they shifted their focus to primarily manufacturing oil. With the production shift came increased business and ultimately company growth. Manufacturing and distribution facilities opened in; Guntersville, AL. in 2002, Glendale, WV. in 2006 and Houston, TX. in 2018.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA
The manufacturing facility is 60,000 square feet and sits on Guntersville Lake. This is fed by the Tennessee River. The facility started production in 2002 and is solely dedicated to producing private label brands. In 2013 the location expanded its capabilities to include bottle manufacturing.
In 2013, to support our Guntersville, Alabama operation, a second distribution center was opened in Albertville, AL. This facility is roughly 10 miles southeast of the manufacturing facility and it offers 197,000 square feet of space.
This facility began production in 2007 and has capabilities very similar to those at our Iowa Manufacturing facility, with bottle production as well as blending and packaging of both private label and house branded lubricants. The manufacturing facility is 244,000 square foot and located by the Ohio River.
Just south of the manufacturing facility is a 108,000 square foot distribution center. The distribution center primarily ships finished goods.
This facility opened in 2018 and offers 100,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space. The manufacturing facility was erected to primarily serve the distributor channel, focusing on bulk loads that exceed 55 gallons or larger.