They say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and this certainly applied when we spoke to Innova Solutions owners, Glenn Dunleavey and Spencer Kelly, recently as the company held its 15th Anniversary celebrations. ‘It seems like only yesterday when Spencer and I set up Innova Solutions with the sole aim of targeting a few select markets and delivering an unbeatable service.’ Dunleavey told us, going on to say ‘Our first strapline, which is still underpinning our raison d’etre today, was ‘Making Life Easier’ and we set out to achieve this by making ‘Yes’ our stock answer and finding, re-sourcing or making any product our partners needed to make their operation more efficient and cost-effective.’ It seems that every business has issues from time to time with either products or services that they procure from external sources, often as a result of difficult or indifferent relationships with those suppliers. This was identified by Dunleavey throughout his career and when the opportunity arose with friend and colleague Kelly to set up their own venture, they set out to offer an alternative to frustrated businesses.
Since opening their doors, back in 2002, this concept has served Innova Solutions well and today they are market leading suppliers of high strength bonding tapes and structural adhesives into the sign industry, the UK’s biggest supplier of photoluminescent into the production of safety signage and taking significant market share in the supply of bobbin-wound tapes into continuous production sectors like plastic extrusion. Kelly told us ‘although we had a good knowledge of these markets from our previous work experience, we really did not know what direction the Company would take but our approach really resonated with these sectors who had historically been ill-advised or confused with ‘technical jargon.’ We sought to simplify our product offering, branding it according to the job it performed, and with our hands-on consultative approach, we asked the signmaker what performance they wanted from a tape, adhesive or photoluminescent material rather than what they already had from off-the-shelf products. From there our chemists formulated bespoke products to tick all the boxes.’ Dunleavey added ‘this won us a lot of trust and loyalty from the sign companies and we will never forget this nor take it for granted. Even as we speak, our development team are working on new, innovative products for sign-making applications to deliver further production and performance benefits and improve finished aesthetics.’
Today Innova employ 14 people and turnover £4M and both owners remain true to their roots and have built a team with the original ethos at the core of everything they do. Retaining many of the originals from the early years, Innova are justly proud of their staff retention record and as the business is set up in Dunleavey’s home town of Trawden, he told us ‘contrary to popular business views, I have employed many friends and they have grown and developed within the company both as business professionals and individuals and have made huge contributions in skills, energy, drive and enthusiasm. Many of them hold key roles in the business, Linda Barrowclough as Operations Director and Roy Bright as General Manager, and our friendship has grown by working closely together.’ Dunleavey summed up the last 15 years closing with ‘it has been an absolute pleasure to work with such dynamic and forward-thinking market sectors and many of our clients have become firm friends. We have built a superb team that we can totally rely on whilst we seek growth in existing and new markets and we really enjoy what we do. Business should be fun and we are privileged to have worked with people who have made the last 15 years a terrific journey, even if it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. We are relishing the next 15!’