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Innova Solutions celebrates 20 years in business

Supplier of bonding tapes, materials and adhesives, Innova Solutions, is celebrating 20 years in business.

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The Innova Solutions team as the company celebrates 20 years in business. Image: Tom Stables

The company was founded by managing director Glenn Dunleavey and Spencer Kelly in 2002 and has grown to employ 22 members of staff.

To celebrate the milestone, the company is celebrating its achievements so far and is setting the ambitious target of achieving a turnover of £10m in the next five years.

Dunleavey cites building positive long-term relationships as a key part of Innova’s success over the last two decades.

“When we first started Innova in 2002, we could not have foreseen the true scale of the challenges ahead,” Dunleavey reflects. “We are well used to ‘bumps in the road’ but have also encountered immovable objects that required careful navigation.

“In meeting these challenges, we created springboards for growth, through market penetration and diversification. By taking tough but brave decisions through these challenging times, we created new market opportunities and developed an excellent team through considered investment.”

Back when the company was first founded in 2002, Innova started out with a team of three sharing a small warehouse and offices with Dunleavey’s brother’s company. Over the last 20 years, the business has grown to employ 22 staff and operates across three sites comprising over 25,000sq ft.

By taking tough but brave decisions through these challenging times, we created new market opportunities and developed an excellent team through considered investment

The first five years saw the company focus solely on signage and graphics. The 2008 financial crash saw the company having to navigate rocky waters and Dunleavey says it was the business’ flexibility and quick reactions that saved Innova and propelled it forward.

This saw Innova reduce its workforce by 20% and diversify into new markets, flatlining for three years. In 2011, the company emerged from the recession and the success of the new markets saw Innova achieve year-on-year growth to double the size of the business over the next three years.

Then came Brexit and Dunleavey describes the UK’s decision to leave the EU as the start of another turbulent time for currency. “By this time, Innova Solutions was dealing in both dollars and euros on a major scale, leading to severe pressure on our import/export trading margins.

“Six years on, we are still contending with the red tape, hurdles and additional expenses incurred in trading overseas.”

In 2020, the pandemic came along and whilst a difficult time for many businesses, Innova was able to retain its clients despite a drop in orders. Already operating to some extent in the plastic extrusion market, the company invested £250,000 in its own conversion machinery and a 10,000sq ft premises to house it.

Glenn Dunleavey co-founded Innova Solutions with Spencer Kelley in 2002. Image: Tom Stables

“This was a calculated risk, but one we were able to take quickly,” Dunleavey explains. “Once again, fortune favoured the brave and we are already at full capacity on the equipment with plans to invest further to satisfy demand.”

Despite investment in kit and space over the years, Dunleavey adds that the best investment the company has made has been in its team, including “injecting youth into the business, to maintain energy and proactivity levels.”

Reflecting on the last 20 years, Dunleavey says: “Now in 2022, it seems like just yesterday we were starting this business. But when we break it down over the many game-changing events that we have encountered, the time frame is pronounced.

“I am resolute that our success has been managed professionally but it is our ability to make quick decisions and take calculated risks, with the flexibility of the whole business to react, that has seen us overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities for growth.”

He adds: “We are forever grateful to our loyal customers and supportive supply partners. We have established long-term, trusted partnerships and a reputation for reliability and being a safe pair of hands, earned through successfully navigating choppy waters for the past 20 years.

“Looking ahead, we hope to build even more partnerships and help support our customers through the inevitable challenges that we will overcome in the next 20.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn. 


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