Rio Nutrition:Where Cutting-Edge Technology Meets Old-Fashioned Values

Published on Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:43pm

Most companies measure success by sales figures. Rio Nutrition, however, is a company that measures their success based on the quality of their customer service.

“Making a positive impact on people’s ranches and operations, and therefore the bottom line, is a rush for our team. They are all here because they truly care and it’s a career serving customers that motivates them,” said owner Trevor Greenfield. “Taking care of them is what makes it rewarding. That’s the difference between a job and a meaningful occupation.”What drives Rio Nutrition isn’t sales. In fact, they don’t want to sell you anything at all. If one of their products meets your needs, fits into your program, and improves your bottom line then they will sell it to you; but Rio Nutrition is driven by caring for the consumer and doing the right thing, rather than dollars. They are proud to have built a business that still relies on old-fashioned values.They understand that technology ultimately means nothing without person-to-person contact. They take customer service so seriously that you can’t purchase their products in any store. With products that are true industry game changers, Rio Nutrition insists that each Customer Adviser is an expert.This standard ensures that each customer gets exactly what they need, and there’d be just no way to ensure that if their products could be bought at every local feed store. Rio Nutrition customers regularly make remarks like, “You guys are different. I see more of you than my local guy — even though you’re on other side of country.”

Rio Nutrition uses cutting edge technology and science to create the products that drive a successful company. These products include a lick tub that does more and lasts longer; costing the rancher less.Rio Nutrition embraces a motto day in and day out: “WE CARE!” This caring extends to free delivery to each customer’s ranch, regular follow-up calls or visits to make sure the product is being used properly and working as expected, and a consumption guarantee on the Riomax® Lick Tubs.“We often hear ‘why don’t you sell through dealerships?’ Well, we just can’t extend the same level of service and care as we can when we work directly with each customer,” explained Greenfield.Rio Nutrition is completely different from a company that sells feed. With a central office serving the US and Canada, they deal directly with each rancher. “Essentially, we’re helping ranchers get more out of their own resources,” explained Greenfield. “Rather than just selling supplements, we provide them the tools to let them run mean and lean to get more out of their own resources — hay and grass.”

Rio Nutrition doesn’t view any other company or product as competition because their mindset is so completely different. “No one is doing what we are doing, and talking our kind of language. We have the lowest total cost. We use digestion technology to get more out of what Mother Nature provides — getting trace minerals into the blood and small intestine. We aren’t comparing ourselves to anyone else because we aren’t trying to be like anyone else. We are our own category in the industry and always look to lead.”

Every member of the Rio Nutrition team echoes the passion and enthusiasm of their boss and founder. That passion is then further fueled by the results their customers are getting from their tubs. When someone hears that their customer is having the best breeding results after 25 years in the business, it is truly inspiring.“Our team enjoys the culture of knowing you are providing a cost-effective solution that works for our customers. There’s an inner peace knowing you are doing the right thing. The fuel for that energy and passion constantly comes from customers themselves. “The culture of Rio Nutrition includes always being ethical and doing what they say, while representing products accurately and striving for continuous improvement. They believe in the ultimate level of caring for customers. That passion is further fueled by customers who tell them things like they have “saved hay and have never seen our cows like this before.”There’s a saying that goes: “Do what you’ve always done, and you’ll get what you’ve always got. “

If you’re getting optimum results, then stay with what you are doing. If not, then why not consider a change that is in your own best interest?

Each Rio Nutrition Customer Adviser works to engage their customer, understand their customer and then reach out to provide solutions for their customer. Their goal is never to sell a product, but rather to help ranchers save money and make money.

Rio Nutrition was started in Greenfield’s one-car garage 15 years ago in Southwest Minnesota. It was initially no different from any of the other dealers out there — but Greenfield wanted to be different. They sold antibiotics, feed medications and vaccines to local producers.“We were frustrated, we were nothing more than a ‘me-too ‘operation, bringing no real value to the livestock industry,” related Greenfield. “We wanted to become a partner to the livestock industry, however at that point in time this was no more than a dream.”Greenfield decided he wanted to be on the same side of the fence as ranchers by developing his own products to improve digestion. “It was like a light had come on, and it seemed as if a whole new world had opened up. It was on that day that we had become more than just a dealership.”What started as a single digestion ingredient in their recipes eventually evolved into a 16-component digestion powerhouse. “The sulfates and oxides in every recipe were replaced over the years with what is now a 100% protected trace mineral.”Greenfield’s ethics haven’t changed a bit from when his customers were all in a 20-mile radius of his garage. In 2004, Duane Paskewitz became a partner. Paskewitz brought with him over 25 years livestock industry expertise.

Their products now contain no antibiotics, urea, or hormones. Their products are all-natural, and are approved for most all-natural program.“What drives all of us is the results we’re bringing to table,” shared Greenfield. “We understand customers’ needs and challenges. We understand their goals and then align what we have to offer with what they’ve shared with us. If we can’t line up, then of course we don’t expect them to do business with us.”Upfront costs truly mean nothing until you know what a product can do for you. Once you know how long it lasts and what it does for your animals, then you can see the actual value. Rio Nutrition knows what the market is looking for, and what ranchers are looking for. The reason they have such an in-depth understanding of the industry is simple according to Greenfield. “We have two ears and one mouth, and the importance of what we use is in that order!”

Rio Nutrition believes that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach in the cattle industry. Their team understands that a customer in the foothill of the Rockies has completely different needs from those in the Sand Hills of Nebraska.“We don’t just sell people something. There is after-care service,” explained Greenfield. “We work with ranchers all day, every day. Once they have bought product we stay in touch to make sure they are using it correctly, and have tubs located in right areas.There’s a consumption guarantee on every lick tub. Rio Nutrition realizes that it can be hard for a rancher to budget not knowing how much product will be consumed. Rio Nutrition has taken the risk off ranchers shoulders — they wear the risk rather than the customer. They provide free product to compensate for any over-consumption because they understand that doing the right thing by people pays off in the long run

“What we’re doing is actually pretty simple,” said Greenfield, “but the industry has overlooked it. We’re hands-on. We stand behind our word. We do the right thing.”

Doing the right thing has obviously resonated with their consumers. Rio Nutrition is now one of the fastest growing brands in North America, with sales up 50% last year. That growth is essentially all word-of-mouth, ranchers helping other ranchers to discover Rio Nutrition products. Seeing more and more of their signature orange tubs everywhere proves they care!

Greenfield believes the market is hungry for a company they can trust and will do the right thing by them. He always keeps their core values in mind, so modern cutting-edge technology will always meet solid old-fashioned customer service.“We understand that if we’re not listening to our customer today, then we won’t have a customer tomorrow. Our responsibility is to our customer, and if there is a better ingredient or way to do things or bring more to the table — then we’re gonna do it. You don’t grow by watering stuff down or cutting corners. It is by sharpening the saw and continual improvement that you achieve loyalty and success.”