Spotlight on Team Rhino: Ceri Couser

July 16 2021

Established in 1983, Rhino Doors have worked hard to develop a unique door design that was quickly recognised by UK industry leaders. 

Following the success of the high-performance attack delay doors, Rhino decided to develop their range further by designing and manufacturing high-performance doors which provide protection against fire, smoke, flood, blast and excessive noise.  

The evolution of Rhino’s products has led them to secure a number of contracts within a diverse range of industries, including: defence, transport, infrastructure and oil and gas, which has transformed the company into the versatile door manufacturer that it is today.  

And with this growth and evolution has come a workforce of dedicated and experienced staff working tirelessly behind the scenes. In this edition of Spotlight on Team Rhino, we sit down with Ceri Couser, Head of Projects, and take a peek at what life’s like at the UK’s leading door manufacturer.  

So, tell us about your professional background and how you came to work at Rhino Doors. 

I graduated in 2001 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and from there I worked for a company who specialised in the design and manufacturing of recycling equipment, such as car crushers and metal shredders. 

Unfortunately, in 2003 I found myself without a job when the company I worked for went into administration. But as one door closed, another opened – thanks to Rhino Doors, where I was appointed as technical sales and design engineer. From this moment, this was where my career progressed.  

What made you want to join the Rhino team? 

When I saw the job opening, I felt that the skills, knowledge and experience I had matched what Rhino were looking for. I also liked the prospect of being able to travel around the country to complete site surveys and I felt this could help with my professional development. 

Prior to me joining the team, all drawings were produced by hand sent via post and fax. This is where I was able to support the company by producing the drawings electronically, which helped us to liaise with architects and specifiers at the design stage and gave us a big advantage during the construction tender stage.  

What does your role as Head of Projects consist of? How do you handle project workload? 

The project team are responsible for managing and coordinating all new jobs that have been handed over from the sales team. From this point, as Head of Projects, I’m responsible for seeing the jobs through from sales to manufacture.  

Client drawing approval can take weeks depending on the complexity of the job and the level of detail required by the client. So, in my role I prioritise what needs to be done and when, according to the needs of the customer – taking into account the pressures and commitments of other parts of the company, including workshop and installation teams.  

As a team, it’s vital that we stay ahead of the production team to ensure that we are able to provide work for the workshop ready for the next manufacturing slot. 

What do you enjoy most about your job and what project have you enjoyed working on the most so far? 

I enjoy the varied role, meeting and building new relationships with customers, and travelling around the country, visiting places that most members of the public don’t have access to, such as nuclear sites and government buildings.  

There are many projects that I cannot name due to security clearances and the Official Secrets Act! However, the projects I have enjoyed the most are the ones that have involved taking the standard Rhino core products and evolving their designs to enable it to support the ever-changing terrorism threats within the UK. 

Looking back, how have things changed at Rhino since you started? What has been the biggest or most impactful change? 

I have worked for the company for almost 20 years, so things have changed a lot in that time! There has been a total restructure in terms of management, which has been positive and meant an increase in investment into the company. Not only this but we moved to a bigger premises which has more space in terms of capacity, shop floor and office space. This has also led to an increase in staffing and Rhino have been able to offer development opportunities to existing staff. And with this growth has come a lot of positive change, impacting on pensions, healthcare and increased annual leave entitlement. 

Technology is something that has changed and moved on considerably since I joined. It’s also something which has evolved further in the last 18 months, with Covid impacting on the way we work and interact with our clients. This has also had an impact on the way in which the team in Port Talbot communicate with those in Burscough, however this has made the way we work more agile. 

Has your role changed since joining? 

Due to the smaller size of Rhino Doors 20 years ago, I was responsible for a lot more. However, as the company has grown, roles have become more specialised and focussed, meaning that I am able to concentrate on leading and developing drawing work that is needed to progress jobs through to the manufacturing stage. 

What do you think the future holds for Rhino Doors? 

A lot of the work that we currently do is with the core products and, while there’s still room for growth in that market, I think that the bespoke products are where the potential growth lies for Rhino. 

To find out more about Rhino Doors and how we can work with you, get in touch.

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