Rapierstar’s largest Irish distributor celebrates 30 years in business

The Republic of Ireland’s largest distributor of Rapierstar fasteners to the window and door industry is marking its 30th anniversary this year.

Dublin based Universal Products has developed over three decades to become one of the country’s leading distributors in the fenestration sector, offering fabricators and installers some of Europe’s top hardware brands. Its focus on providing the highest service levels and its commitment to creating a portfolio of products to suit a continuously evolving market have been at the core of its success to date, and these will continue to underpin its business going forward.

Last year, Universal Products supplied more than 8 million Rapierstar fasteners to the Irish market, making a big contribution to it being the most widely used brand of window and door screws in the country.

The 100% Irish owned and managed company employs a team of 17 people at its 15,000 sq. ft HQ and distribution centre located on Dublin’s western edge. From this base it supplies Rapierstar fasteners to customers throughout the country, along with other major brands in the window hardware market such as Yale, Fullex and Avocet.

Customer service and partnership working are hugely important to Universal, which is one of the reasons it employs sales managers to work closely with fabricators as far afield as Donegal and Cork. This, it believes, is a key differentiator, setting the company apart from its competitors, according to Managing Director, Ted O’Sullivan.

“We’re a people-focused business and that has been key to our longevity in the market,” said Ted O’Sullivan. “Having experienced hardware professionals on the road ensures we can collaborate closely with customers and provide them with the right solutions for their needs, as well as helping them overcome any challenges. That would be much harder to do if we didn’t have the capacity to visit our customers on a regular basis or be able to respond quickly so we can be with them on-site when they need us most.”

Technical expertise is a strong dimension to Universal’s customer service. Through long-term partnering with companies like Rapierstar, the team has developed a wealth of knowledge that enables their customers to succeed in whichever market they work, and whatever legislative changes come into effect.

Ted O’Sullivan continued, “Ireland’s building regulations mirror those of the UK fairly closely. Having the right level of knowledge and support from supply partners like Rapierstar means we are really well-placed to advise our customers of how they need to change when any new legislation does come into force, and I think that is something they really value.”

Paul McAuley, Rapierstar’s technical consultant in Ireland commented, “It is tremendous to see Universal Products reach its thirty-year milestone. This kind of longevity for a distributor in the fenestration sector can only be achieved through a dedication to service and focusing on assembling a product portfolio that customers can depend on. We look forward to partnering with them for the next thirty years!”