Q&A with Jeff Simons, President and CEO, OFR Metals

Jeff Simons, Presiden & CEO OFR MetalsWe have spent a lot of time introducing you to our general managers, but what about our head honcho? Introducing Jeff Simons, OFR Metals’ President and CEO. Jeff began his role with us in February 2014, previously working for O’Neal Industries, parent company to OFR.

Being CEO of a company is a large job. So, what is it like being in that position? Well, we decided to find out through a Q&A session.

You have been working in various positions for the O’Neal family of companies for a while now. What is your favorite part about working with the organization?

Jeff Simons (JS): Our companies are family-oriented, which creates a level of loyalty and commitment to the organization that is rare in today’s business world. That dedication from our employees has been and will continue to be a critical key to our success.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned from working in the steel industry?

JS: There are thousands of companies in our industry, and I’ve always been amazed how small it seems in terms of the people in our business. Although people change companies from time to time, they tend to stay in the business. To have a successful career, you must have a foundation of honesty and integrity and never compromise ethical behavior. This is a lot simpler at the O’Neal Industries family of companies since those are our core values.

How would you describe your leadership style?

JS: My leadership style is best characterized as transformational. Our industry seems to be in a constant state of change and, to succeed, I believe that it’s important that leadership commitment is felt throughout the organization. I strive for our team to be excited and motivated to achieve success that they didn’t think was possible. In simple terms, it’s all about commitment, not compliance.

We aren’t under the impression that being CEO is all sunshine and roses. So, what has been your biggest obstacle during your role as CEO at OFR Metals?

JS: As I mentioned before, we seem to be in a constant state of change. The biggest challenge has been leading our company through change while navigating the headwinds of the current 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?

JS: Our employees have an unbelievable team spirit. I’ve seen acts of kindness and support across the entire OFR team that are truly inspirational. A company is defined by the people. It’s our team members who make our company a special place to work.

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?

JS: My dad is my biggest role model. He worked in sales for one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world and I saw him build relationships that supported him in consistently winning national sales achievement awards over a 40 year career that separated him from others.

In the workplace, Dave Simpson, a retired Regional VP for O’Neal Steel was a key role model as my career developed from sales into management and further into leadership roles. I worked for him directly for 18 of the 28 years that I’ve been with our company and his influence was a huge part in my career development. He mentored my career as I became an effective manager and leader.

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?

JS: The bottom line is that our customer’s success is our success. A key differentiator for OFR in our industry is our customer-focused orientation. We take a long term view and we’re committed to developing partnerships that are built on trust and lasting over time. Our focus on and commitment to providing our customers the highest quality products at competitive prices, in addition to the capability of developing complex supply solutions where appropriate, are all keys to helping our customers succeed.

Clean Stainless Steel: 3 Ways

We have talked a lot about our products lately – how they are made, what they are used for – but we haven’t spent any time on how you take care of metal once you have an end product. This is kind of important, don’t you think?

One of the most common metals that people need care instructions for is stainless steel. While it is a stainless steel that doesn’t mean it isn’t prone to fingerprints, dust, scratches, and streaks. And it may be no surprise to you that a big reason that stainless steel attracts all these blemishes is because the most common place for it is in your kitchen.

So, let’s discover ways to clean stainless steel!

Warm Water

Water can be, and is, used in most cleaning situations. However, the minerals in water can also leave behind marks on steel if you are not careful. Use a microfiber cloth with warm water to clean your stainless steel application. Microfiber cloths are great at absorbing all the water to ensure you don’t leave behind minerals and your stainless remains scratch free.

Make sure to rub the cloth in the direction of the surface finish of the stainless.

Stainless Steel Cleaner

Stainless steel cleaners are great if you have scratches or tough markings. Most cleaners also polish the stainless steel surface. However, not all cleaners are created equal. Here are three recommended cleaners based on my at-home refrigerator test.

Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish

Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner is a liquid spray that has quick cleaning capabilities and leaves your appliances with a polished finish. Spray it onto a microfiber cloth and buff in the direction of the finish. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

Homax Stainless Steel Magic Aerosol

The Homax Stainless Steel Magic Aerosol works great on tougher messes. It is magic (see what I did there) on greasy refrigerator door handles, stoves, etc. It also doesn’t leave too much of a film after cleaning up the greasy mess.

Window Cleaner

Window cleaners like Windex shine windows and mirrors, so it is only natural that they would shine stainless steel as well. This is a great easy fix for fingerprints. When I’m expecting company and don’t have a lot of time to thoroughly clean my appliances, I squirt a little bit of Windex on a cloth and presto! The fingerprints are gone.

Have another tried and true method of cleaning stainless steel? Tell us about it on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

August ONI Insight: Market Indicators

In July, U.S. businesses added 185,000 jobs. This is down from the 229,000 jobs added in June. Nevertheless, the job growth seen since early 2014 has increased home sales to the highest point in eight years.

With the decline in oil prices we have seen recently, only 2,000 jobs were added to the oil manufacturing sector. This decline in oil prices may result in layoffs according to an economist at Moody’s Analytics.

On the upside, we have seen U.S. economic growth accelerate over the second quarter with consumer spending growth at a 2.9% rate-up from a 1.8% pace in the first quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a 2.3% annual rate. First quarter GDP was revised to show it rising at a 0.6% rate.

The capacity utilization rate for week ending August 1, 2015, was 73.6%. This represents an 8.0% decrease in steel production from the same period last year.

Trade cases have continued to be a hot topic in July. A trade case against offshore suppliers of cold-rolled steel was filed in late July. The trade case targeted steel producers in Brazil, China, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. U.S. mills claim overcapacity of cold-rolled exists in the eight countries named that could be used to target the U.S. market. The domestic mills previously filed a case against coated steel sheet.

For more information about what is happening in the metals market view the August 2015 ONI Insight Guide below.ONI-Insight-August-2015

5 Benefits to Metal Roofing

Metal roofing coils at OFR MetalsPrepainted steel is becoming more and more common as an exterior building material. It is used in roofing and siding as well as window and door frames. While it is most commonly known for its durability, there is so much more to prepainted steel and why it is used for these architectural components.

In this post we will dive into five benefits of metal roofing and siding. But first let’s go over the basics. At OFR Metals we offer two types of prepainted material specific to metal roofing and architectural components.

Kynar 500®, or Hylar 5000®, is a resin-based coating that provides protection to aluminum and galvanized steel. In the architectural world, as well as the steel world, these coatings are viewed as the premier choice coating system. It is a high-performance fluoropolymer resin that keeps the paint on roofing and siding systems looking vibrant. It also offers chalk/fade resistance.

Siliconized Modified Polyester (SMP) is close behind Kynar in durability. It is a two-coat finish for aluminum and Galvalume. The coating has excellent scratch resistance and can withstand just about anything thrown at it.

OK, now that we have covered the basics let’s discuss the benefits to metal roofing.

5 Benefits to Metal Roofing

Durability.

Metal roofing is manufactured to withstand most weather conditions. Metal roofing systems pass through impact resistance testing to ensure it can withstand weather elements such as hail, heavy rain, snow pack, and wind.

To add to the durability factor, metal roofing systems are also long-lasting. Compared to the average lifecycle of a non-metal roof (approximately 10-20 years) a metal roof can last three times as long. According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, it may even be the last roof an individual will ever install on a home as they can last approximately 50 years.

Protection.

The steel used for metal roofing systems (aluminum, galvanized, and Galvalume) all have a metallic coating such as zinc or aluminum that prevent the underlying steel from corrosion. Adding a layer of paint on top of the metallic coating adds another barrier for protection.

Energy Efficient.

A common misconception about metal roofing is that it gets hot in the sunlight. The reality is that it actually stays cooler than your average asphalt roof. According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, installation of metal roofing can save up to 40% in cooling energy costs and highly emissive metal roofs can reduce urban air temperatures by as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another environmental factor is, most metal roofing is composed of 30-60% recycled material and can be installed directly onto an existing asphalt roof if necessary. This helps to reduce waste.

Aesthetics.

Metal roofs are becoming more and more common. While they used to be identified as roofing for barns, sheds, garages, trailers, etc., they are now becoming more recognized on business and residential buildings as well.

Painted steel comes in a variety of different colors and finishes. They can even be produced to look like asphalt, granite, clay, and many other materials. It isn’t hard to find the right fit for your building or home.

Affordability.

Metal roofing may be a little more expensive initially, but in the long haul it will end up saving the building owner money.

Going back to our point on durability, metal roofing typically lasts about three times as long as asphalt roofing with minimal maintenance. While other types of shingles and roofing systems need to be replaced every ten or so years metal roofs can last up to 50+ years before they need to be replaced.

Metal roofing will also save money on your air conditioning bill. Metal roofing reflects the heat from the sun instead of absorbing it like asphalt, clay, and wood shingles do. Saving you lots and lots of money.

There are definitely other benefits to metal roofing. If you have any other questions or would like to know more about metal roofing contact your local sales representative. Availability may vary based on location.

For a list of standard colors available download our roofing color guide.