The General Managers Part One
Our sales representatives are on the front lines when it comes to interacting with our customers. But how many of our customers regularly interact with our General Managers? I talked with two of our GMs to find out just what it is like to be in their position and what they believe OFR Metals stands for.
Seth Wiener is the GM of the Southeast Region, covering Alabama and parts of Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Although he has worked in the industry for 29 years, he is in his first year at OFR Metals. Seth came to OFR from O’Neal Steel in August of 2014.
Describe your role here at OFR Metals as a General Manager.
CI: My role is to provide a vision and direction for our future, in an environment where employees can meet personal and professional goals, always striving for profitable growth.
SW: I feel that my role as GM for OFR Birmingham is somewhat unique because we share this market with [our sister company] O’Neal Steel. I have the normal OFR GM responsibilities, but I also am responsible for managing our relationship with O’Neal Steel and supporting their efforts in selling sheet in this market.
At OFR Metals we believe in being a company that employees will want to work for. So, what is your favorite part of working for OFR?
CI: The people. The people I work for and work with are passionate about what they do, genuinely care for each other, and at the highest level, integrity guides all decisions.
SW: I would have to say that my favorite part of working for OFR has been getting to meet the people who make up this company. It is all about the people. There is a ton of positive energy and a real sense of determination and purpose. That is great!
Obviously no job is all sunshine and roses. What is the biggest struggle you have experienced working at OFR? Has it had any impact on where you are today?
CI: The economic pressures of the recession have been challenging for customers and employees. Struggling is not a bad thing. In struggling you find strength, new ideas, and new approaches.
SW: Every job comes with struggles, which I equate to challenges. I can’t say that I have experienced a biggest struggle or challenge in my short time here. Like most people, I just take on each challenge as they come up and keep rolling.
Did you have any role models (famous or not) that had an influence on where you are today? Who are they and how did they help you get here?
CI: I believe everyone has many people who influence their lives but the person who influenced mine the most was my father. He instilled in me a strong work ethic and a belief that I could do anything I set my mind to.
SW: My parents developed my foundation and have had the greatest influence on where I am today. They are great folks who have a great sense of work ethic, humility and humor. While growing up under their roof, they gave me just the right amount of hugs and kicks in the butt. There have been a handful of leaders in my working life who have had a significant impact on the way I look at business. We are fortunate to have one of those folks leading our company.
The bottom line to what OFR values and believes is our customers and their success. In your opinion how does doing business with OFR help our customers succeed?
CI: We look for new ways to help solve customers’ business issues and are constantly evolving to meet customers’ changing needs. We look for ways to be more than a supplier.
SW: From what I have seen so far I believe that our folks know that we can’t really be successful if our customers aren’t successful. It begins and ends with the customer.
We have seven regions at OFR Metals. That means we have five more GMs to talk with. Check back for more interviews coming soon!