Having moved to Macon, Georgia from Hartford, CT for basic training at Camp Wheeler to fight the Nazi menace, Joe Oliner met the daughter of a local scrap dealer, Henry Koplin. When the war ended he returned, married the scrap dealer's daughter and went to work for his father-in-law at Macon Iron & Paper Stock, Inc. In 1956 Joe took a few truckloads of "new" steel across the street from the scrap yard and started General Steel Company.
He quickly developed solid relationships with regional mills and established a reputation for fiscally conservative management and loyalty to his customer base. General Steel grew with the industrial development of the Middle Georgia area by building a responsive delivery fleet and thousands of tons of inventory.
Joe's son, Henry, graduated college and returned to work in the business and now serves as President. Henry has focused on growth opportunities while maintaining the fiscal responsibility of his father. The company has built on its solid reputation with its suppliers and with its customers. General Steel also boasts a workforce with very low turnover.
General Steel has implemented modern information systems and is developing net-based technology to reduce the costs in the distribution chain.
General Steel has maintained a leadership position in the steel industry while focusing on serving the needs of the Georgia market. The company has been active in the Steel Service Center Institute (Henry is currently President of theSouthern Region) and was a founding member of the North American Steel Alliance ( the first and only successful co-op in the steel industry) and served on the original board for three years.
In 1999 General Steel acquired Industrial Alloy Supply to expand its product line into stainless, aluminum and galvanized products.
General Steel is now the main source for most steel products in Middle Georgia. Besides stainless and aluminum products, the company keeps a substantial inventory of hot rolled structurals, shapes, beams, sheet, plate, tubing, pipe, expanded metal and bar grating. General Steel also fabricates rebar and is a DOT certified shop. A large fleet of trucks provides next day service throughout Georgia.
With the help of the North American Steel Alliance, a cooperative of over 85 steel companies with revenues of well over 4 billion dollars, General Steel has been able to compete and grow while retaining local control and their commitment to the local market. General Steel has built a network of contacts and has been able to bring the world of steel to middle Georgia.