The UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance engineered doors, Rhino Doors has, since 1983, been producing doors to protect people and assets across a variety of industries, including critical national infrastructure, defence, transport and energy.
As the organisation has evolved and adapted to new challenges, its experienced team of people, from engineers to managers and senior leadership figures, continue to innovate, securing new contracts with clients across a broad range of sectors.
In this latest Spotlight on Rhino feature, we speak to Jac Edwards, Contracts Manager at Rhino Doors, exploring his background in the industry, his story of growth within the company, and some of his career highlights as part of the dynamic Rhino team.
So, talk us through your background and what brought you to Rhino Doors.
After finishing school, I went on to study for a degree in Product Design and Engineering, and found myself a graduate role in engineering with another organisation. But it wasn’t long before I applied to join the Rhino Doors team as a Project Engineer in 2016, seeking a more challenging role where I could develop a more technical skill set.
Everyone was really welcoming when I joined the team, and I knew it was a great fit for me. Since then, I’ve progressed within the organisation and I’ve recently been given more responsibility through my promotion to the role of Contracts Manager.
How has Rhino supported you on your career journey and invested in your professional development?
As the company is going through a period of significant growth, a lot of the work we do now is contracts-based, which is why my current role was created. Rhino Doors has been really supportive in helping me to develop, particularly in terms of providing additional professional training.
I recently did a Microsoft Project course and I’ve completed other project management courses in the past which have helped me to adjust in this new role. I will also shortly be completing some additional specialised courses on contract management, including NEC3. I enjoyed my engineering role with Rhino, but it’s great to be taking on a completely new challenge and to have Rhino investing in me, helping me to be the best that I can be.
What does your average working day consist of? Tell us about a day in the life of a Contracts Manager at Rhino.
At the moment, we’re in a handover period so I’m mentoring one of the new Project Engineers, passing on my previous responsibilities, and helping with drawings and other design work. As the company is continuing to evolve and new work comes in, a lot of my day-to-day is spent working on programmes for our contracts, issuing applications for payment, dealing with clients, and ensuring that projects and milestones are completed to agreed timescales. Every day is completely different and I’m learning more and more each day.
What’s the most enjoyable part of your role?
I’m really enjoying developing new skills, particularly in terms of working with software I didn’t use in my engineering role, like MS Project and Excel. I also like getting the opportunity to do different things, like compensation events and EWNs. It’s a new challenge for me and it’s taking me out of my comfort zone, but it’s great to be constantly refining my skill set, taking on new responsibilities and pushing myself to the next level.
I’m also enjoying mentoring new team members. It’s something I’d never done before, but it’s great to be able to share my knowledge and insight with someone else, helping them to develop their own abilities.
Since joining the Rhino team, what changes have you seen and how has this impacted on what you do?
When I first started at Rhino Doors, we were a much smaller company. Because of that, you had the opportunity to get involved with lots of different parts of the engineering process. Everyone mucked in and it was a team effort. That ethos is still running through the business, but our roles are much more defined now.
The company has evolved a lot during my time and I’ve seen lots of changes. Under the current leadership team, we’ve established Rhino Engineering Group, as well as specialist subsidiaries dealing with aftersales services and hydrogen products, and the scale of our contract wins has grown. Now, with bigger jobs and clients, my role is dedicated to supporting the wider organisation’s growth.
What does the future look like for Rhino, and how do you see yourself progressing within the organisation?
I want to continue learning as much as I can, taking new courses, developing new skills and mastering the Contracts Manager role. I want to establish myself within the company as a key, senior team member and carry on progressing with the support of everyone at Rhino.
Rhino Doors is going through a great period of growth and I’m looking forward to the company exploring new avenues and developing new products and services. I’d love to see us continuing to expand our offering and I’m excited to see how we evolve into the future.
To find out more about how Rhino Doors can work with your organisation, get in touch. And to find out more about the team, explore our recent Spotlight on Rhino pieces featuring Ceri Couser and Stuart Moss.
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