Johan Joubert opened the doors of JBM Steel on 1 March 1987 in a tiny shop of only 300 m² in Quartz Street, Nirvana.
The driven businessman used his savvy and years of experience in the steel industry and within two years he started building at 29 Natrium Street in Ladine where JBM Steel is currently situated.
“Throughout the years the business expanded and I was able to buy two bigger lots of 4 400 m² in Natrium Street, where the business is currently operating from and where the JBM buildings and offices were erected. In 1991 JBM Steel expanded once more by buying two more lots of 2 300 m². Two more pieces of land were acquired in 1994 where a warehouse and factory are located. In the beginning I had only one bakkie with which I did all my deliveries. Today we have ten delivery vehicles ranging from bakkies to a 16-ton truck,” Joubert says, explaining that the secret of his success is quality customer service. “Without the loyalty of my customers, the top class service of the JBM team and the grace of God we would never have made it this far.”
Steven Hall, former Branch Manager and current Sales Representative of JBM Steel agrees that customer service is very important to Joubert. “I have worked at JBM Steel for 17 years before I relocated to Pretoria. Three years later I was able to return to the company and continue my career here. In all my time at JBM Steel, I have never experienced one year where the business did not show growth,” he says.
Hall also puts a lot of stock into the way that Joubert conducts his business. “It is very important to him to pay accounts and salaries on time.” Joubert adds to this, saying that he had had to sell some of his vehicles in the past to ensure all his accounts are paid when his debtors did not pay their dues on time.
Hall is not the only employee who have worked at JBM Steel for more than a decade. Beverley Grobler, Sales Manager, has been an employee for 13 years, Seun Mabotja, General Worker, for 17 years and Piet Mabapa has been in JBM Steel’s employ for 28 years.
“Joubert is a very fair employer and always has time to listen when we have problems. Even now that he is semi-retired he still keeps his thumb on the pulse of the business,” Hall says.
Current Branch Manager Kenton Goosen has more than 18 years’ experience in the steel industry, mostly in Gauteng.
“Like others I have started out at JBM Steel, moved on to Gauteng to work on my career and returned to JBM Steel where I am happiest, coming full circle. I have been Branch Manager for the past three years and enjoy unmatched support from Joubert,” he says.
JBM Steel offers a wide range of sections, including flat bars, channels, angles, beams and many more.
The company also stocks an impressive variety of metal plates and sheets as well as tubing and speciality products like lip channels, lip purlin, roofing, stainless steel and aluminium products as well as shafts.
In 1996 Joubert and his wife started JBM Metals and Casting and in 2012 his daughter Zulandi Wocke took over management of this division.
In 2013 they opened a palisade factory as part of this division of the business.
“We specialise in steel related hardware and the manufacturing of palisade gates and fencing. Our iron decorative castings are also very popular and we have loads of interesting and different types of decorations for inside and outside the house,” Wocke says.
Story and photos: MARKI FRANKEN