The latest instalment in our ongoing series sees the spotlight fall on Rhino’s new Managing Director, Jon Walter. With director-level experience in various manufacturing and engineering companies in the UK, the US, Germany and Switzerland, he joins the team to help support the business’s growth and the expansion of its products and services.
Tell us a bit about your professional background and career to date.
I started out as a student apprentice for a large automotive company, before qualifying as a fitter-turner and acquiring my mechanical engineering degree. Over the years, I’ve worked in a number of different capacities, including as a quality engineer, production manager, operations manager and business manager.
I’ve now been in director roles since 1991 and specifically in a managing director capacity since 2000, so I have a wealth of senior management experience across lots of different manufacturing businesses, including automotive and rail companies.
What made you want to join Team Rhino?
I’ve got a strong history when it comes to business growth. For the last 20 years, I’ve been working with companies across a range of different sectors to help improve their operations and grow their turnover.
Some of the companies I’ve worked with have operated in rather niche industries, which is a nice fit with Rhino, as it operates in a niche within a niche, to a certain degree. It’s a very specialised business and that comes with its own unique challenges.
I wanted to work with Rhino so that I could be a part of the company’s growth, its expansion into new areas, and the development of its products and services. It’s an exciting time for the wider Rhino Engineering Group, and to be a part of that is a real privilege.
How would you like to see Rhino Doors evolve in the coming years?
The business has shifted significantly from what was predominantly a CPNI business in 2016, acquiring new clients and projects through referrals from the Ministry of Defence or the Government to protect high-value assets. This is a very stable business model, but I’d like us to continue diversifying our offering and further building the bespoke side of Rhino Doors, whilst continuing to be industry leaders in the supply of CPNI rated doors.
This would involve us shifting our focus somewhat more to multipurpose doors, fire doors, acoustic doors and blast pressure doors, but doing so would open us up to new opportunities with clients in different sectors.
I’d like to explore how Rhino’s products could find applications within the nuclear industry, web server centres and water treatment centres, to give just a few examples. These kinds of locations still contain high-value assets in need of protection, but they currently fall outside the scope of our operations.
How closely will you be working with Rhino Engineering Group’s other subsidiaries, Rhino Site Systems and Rhino HySafe?
Rhino Doors works very closely with Rhino Site Systems (RSSL), our sister company, which installs all our doors and is an integral part of the added value that we offer our customers.
The company services doors on a large number of sites, and through this activity, frequently provides us with leads to new business, as customers seek to replace ageing or non-functional doors.
As most of RSSL’s staff came out of the original Rhino Doors business, we tend to see ourselves as one big supportive Rhino team, but with different commercial focuses.
HySafe, as a developer of blast containment solutions for the growing hydrogen cell fuelling sector, currently has no direct technical connection to Rhino Doors’ products – but it is possible that, in the future, HySafe’s products will incorporate Rhino Doors technology and it’s certainly something that we are watching with close interest.
If you’d like to find out more about Rhino Doors and how we could support your business, get in touch today. And to find out more about the team, take a look at our recent Spotlight on Team Rhino articles, featuring Jason Morris and Andrew Davies.
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