Rhys Van Toor - Operations Manager Rangiora HireHire

What is your background
I was born in Southland and grew up on a farm. I went to Otago University where I completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a Management major.

I was a store manager for an electronics chain in Christchurch for 16 years when I was made redundant. An operations manager role came up with Rangiora Hire which looked like a good opportunity and a step forward in my career. I’ve been here 11 months now.What was it like when you first started at Rangiora Hire?

I found it a totally different mindset from what I was used to. I had been involved in electronics and technical stuff and this was a more mechanical operation. It’s a family business so a wide set of skills and the ability to wear multiple hats is essential here.


How many skills helped when you came across?
Dealing with staff, helping to keep them happy in the business plus keeping the customers happy at the same time. Many of our team are former business owners and they have a lot of experience to offer here. We have about 9 staff who are very capable, they mainly self-manage with some direction from me. I’ve still got heaps to learn with the technology and terminology.

Have you changed your skill sets here?
I’ve learned to drive a forklift and trained to use EWP’s (Elevated Work Platform) as I had never had experience with these before. I had to change my way of thinking from electrical to mechanical.  I have also continued to develop my customer relationship skills in addition to my previous experiences in the store I managed.

What are the benefits of working for a family company instead of a big company?Here, we are only a phone call away from the owners so questions are answered and decisions made more quickly.

What is the thing you enjoy the most?
I like that every day is different with plenty of new challenges. I like it when the business is running smoothly, with happy customers and productive staff. I enjoy completing projects and learning new skills, including Forklift licence, EWP training, Digger and Dingo driving. I enjoy going home at the end of the day feeling that I have made a difference and completed a job well done.

Where to from here?
One day I would like to own my own business, but I’m in no rush for that. I still have a lot to learn about the Hire industry and, every day, I gain a little more knowledge, skill and understanding.