Rhino always delivers for customers

Over the last 10 busy years, Rhino Distribution Ltd trebled their workforce. How? Through a laser-sharp customer focus with great brands and products, says Sales Director Niall Byrne.

“Our business model is simple. A relentless focus on customer`s needs,” is how Sales Director Niall Byrne sums up the ethos at Rhino Distribution Ltd.

This spirit has propelled the Dublin firm to become a leading supplier to builders merchants, electrical wholesalers, hardware, hire stores and many other sectors requiring a partner who delivers quality branded product fast and at the best possible price.

A fully Irish-owned and operated family business, Rhino has been serving these sectors for over 30 years, putting them first with prompt, friendly personal service.

Brands and beyond

“The secret to a healthy business is knowing our customers and offering products and services they trust at prices they can afford. Our policy of offering products that generate a healthy margin for customers is delivering growth,” Niall explains.

Rhino carries a wide range from trusted brands including Stanley, DeWALT, Toolway, Power, Gorilla, Knipex, RST, Eclipse, Spear & Jackson, Sigma and Cetaform.

To meet consumer demand, Rhino has added significantly to its line-up. It’s an ongoing process; researching and selecting only the best quality products, including Irish brands to ensure customer confidence.

The business is always seeking the next opportunity, be it a new product or brand for their portfolio; staying nimble and receptive to an evolving market and customer requirements.

“We offer many ways for our customers to grow their business, not just through our comprehensive range.”

“Customers can also pick up smart merchandising solutions from our experienced sales team. While regular promotions and special offer catalogues ensure we deliver good value.”

All the right moves

From the start the company have invested heavily; continually improving service and selection. For over twenty years, the business has been based at Bluebell, Dublin 12. Originally trading as Rhino Industrial Supplies, the company rebranded as Rhino Distribution Ltd in 2013.

This name change allowed Rhino to pivot and concentrate on wholesaling hand tools, electrical products, power tool accessories and a large range of assorted products for builders merchants, hardware and DIY stores nationwide.

To accommodate the shift, Rhino acquired the premises next door, doubling warehouse capacity to 20,000sq feet, including a new mezzanine level. The business also invested in additional shelving, new forklift trucks and a pallet stacker.

The resulting success is a huge achievement for any company; especially one with no on-site showroom. Customer feedback drove the decision, recalls Niall.

“Customers told us a showroom was less essential than having additional space to ensure stock was available and delivered efficiently when they need it. Customers know best”. Since then Rhino has enjoyed year on year growth, trebling its workforce in the last ten years.

One of the company’s impressive tool displays

Streamlined delivery

Rhino’s sales, admin and distribution departments collaborate seamlessly to achieve efficient distribution of goods inwards and outwards; a top priority.
“We’re proud that we can offer same day delivery in the Dublin area and next day to all other parts of the country using our distribution partners. Our customers value this reliability and level of service.”

Rhino is set to become even more efficient. “We’re in the process of introducing a new IT system which will streamline operations even more, by including vendor-managed inventory. Completion should happen this year.”

Agile Rhino

Rhino is captained by General Manager Richard Trunk, ably supported by a dedicated team, including Niall and his experienced field sales crew: Noel Quigley, South Leinster; Martin Dowling, North Leinster; Shane Waters, South, and Paul Kenirons, West. “Our team always listen and look to go the extra mile. As an agile business, we can offer solutions to individual requirements and source bespoke products. Customers really appreciate this unique selling point.”

“We have always used the model of offering a good, better, best choice, which serves us and our customers well. Even if we lose a sale initially, we always get it back in time.”

In-house teams provide strong support, for a cohesive, customer-centred operation. Niall says that, “Every day is a learning day. With our dedicated and knowledgeable colleagues, we work together in a family atmosphere.”

The staff’s combined sector experience of over 150 years has weathered the highs and lows. This builds resilience and minimises short-term thinking. “Rhino is here for the long haul”.

Meeting challenges head-on

Despite unpredictable times for the hardware industry, Niall confirms that Rhino is looking ahead with confidence. “We face huge competitors with major clout, but our extra-responsive business model and agility gives us great scope to prevail.

The outlook is very positive. Currently, pricing presents a real challenge, so ensuring stability across our leading brands tops the agenda.”

Reinvestment is key to future-proofing the business. “We’re continually examining everything we do to facilitate customers and exploring ways to improve.”

Technology is playing a greater role, as customers want instant feedback on product availability. The field sales team have tablets providing remote access to stock and account systems, enabling real time ordering and delivery schedules.

Rhino is seeing a move away from just in time stocking to having product available where, when and in the quantities required.

Sustainability is at the forefront too. “We’re taking steps to help customers provide sustainable products and actively sourcing eco lines such as the GF range of garden hoses and accessories.”

“And we’re making our operations more efficient wherever possible. For example, recycling cartons in the packing area and fitting LED lighting throughout the premises.”

Niall anticipates that the short and medium term will be challenging, but there are and will be opportunities for companies supplying the housing and home market.

“I am very hopeful for the period ahead, albeit with some bumps on the road. We’re planning for continued growth with further developments in the pipeline. Stop planning and you move backwards, so it`s full steam ahead for Rhino.”

In touch

Various communications channels reflect Rhino’s emphasis on customer and industry links. Exclusively for Rhino customers, the www.rhinodist.com website offers the flexibility to order products at any time. A new IT system will enhance this online offering, providing live stock availability creating a seamless service.

The Rhino catalogue and promotional flyers are always well received too, especially in hard copy, Niall notes. “Customers still like to have a physical brochure in their hands to refer to, sometimes well after a promotion ends!”

A longstanding member of Hardware Association Ireland, Rhino regularly participates in networking events, training, conferences and The Hardware Show. “Being involved with a national representative body greatly facilitates our access to current and potential customers. We see
membership as our support for the sector which benefits us all.”

The Rhino USP “Listening to and responding to customers is in our DNA. We have the knowledge, range, price and capability to deliver efficiently. We always do the best for our customers.”