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Nova Aluminium

Genevieve Lewis talks to Nova Aluminium’s Lisa Sperring, sales administrator, on how the company has gone from strength to strength over almost 15 years in the industry

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Nova Aluminium's single-sided NovaFlex with LEDs

A Champagne Super Nova

In just a short year and a half, Nova Aluminium experienced serious growth – starting out with just four employees before expanding to 30 in 18 months. Now that Nova employs over 50 members of staff, how did the Bristol-based business achieve such success?

Lisa Sperring, sales administrator at the company, explains: “Nova was formed in early 2005 by directors who had previously worked for a leading trade supplier of aluminium sign systems, they have many years of experience dating back to the 1970s. Our team are passionate about the signage industry and continually strive to impart their knowledge on both the sales and production teams working alongside them.”

Our team are passionate about the signage industry and continually strive to impart their knowledge

Sperring continues: “The company grew quickly in the first 12 months and became a respected industry provider in this time. Starting with just four employees in 2005, by mid-2006 there were more than 30 skilled and knowledgeable staff working at Nova. The business has continued to expand and now employs over 55 staff.”

Some of the Nova Aluminium team alongside examples of their work

Workforce is not the only aspect that has grown over the last 14 years, with the Nova team also working hard to extend its range of products. Sperring adds: “We have also expanded our portfolio of products, ensuring that we move with the times, and have the most relevant systems available to sign-makers nationwide.

“Nova Aluminium are trade only suppliers of aluminium sign systems. Our range of products has grown with us over the last 14 years and continues to do so. Back in 2005, we had just six systems – all of which we still despatch to sign-makers up and down the country on a daily basis.”

Finding a niche

Nova specialises in a wide range of products, with Sperring explaining that the team have noticed a number of trends over the years: “We have a range of systems for acrylic faced lightboxes, one of which, NovaSlim, has been updated to a screw-free visual. NovaTrim remains the most popular one-piece framing system for rigid panels. Our overhead lighting system NovaTube, with its unrivalled wash of light perfectly compliments NovaTrim and the non-illuminated flex frames we have available.

“We have noticed a change in popularity of systems over the last 14 years and as such illuminated flex face boxes have become our forte here at Nova.”

There are other products, such as NovaFlex, which is a full perimeter tensioning system, that is used for flex boxes. “NovaComp utilises the black clip tensioning procedure and is available in depths of 135mm and 200mm,” says Sperring. “Internal fabric faced systems are proving ever popular and with two systems offering different tensioning procedures we have the perfect solution every time.”

Not only does Nova offer NovaTex, NovaDisplay and NovaGuide as well, but the company also provides other solutions such as wayfinding signage. Sperring explains: “Wayfinding signage is also available from Nova, Pole and Plank comprises a suite of aluminium profiles to be able to create a wide range of possibilities. Instore, NovaGuide, our newest addition is an ideal one-piece framing system allowing for a quick panel change – great for aisle and directional signage alike.

Our customers both new and old have key input into the products we design, and we are always happy to work with you to achieve any designs you require in aluminium

“We will continue to move with the ever-changing times and ensure that our portfolio of products is kept up-to-date. Our customers both new and old have key input into the products we design, and we are always happy to work with you to achieve any designs you require in aluminium.”

Celebrate success

Having expanded so quickly, Nova Aluminium now looks to the future and part of its team is made up of  four apprentices. Sperring continues: “Our central Bristol base covers 40,000sq ft and Nova’s passion to perform is backed up by the most up-to-date equipment available, both in production and in our fleet of vehicles that we use to deliver 90% of our orders safely and on time. Currently employing over 55 members of staff, including four apprentices, Nova continues to go from strength to strength.”

It is this passion and drive that saw Nova celebrate its ten-year anniversary in 2015 and will be welcoming the big 15 next year. “To celebrate Nova’s tenth birthday, we held a fun day for all of our staff and their families, which was so much of a success that we are still talking about it four years on. With human table football, tug of war – won by the women’s team – and even a Nova-themed ‘Brit Awards’ it was a great success. I wonder what surprises are instore for our 15th birthday?”

Nova Aluminium’s fleet of vans that transport 90% of its deliveries

It is clear that Nova Aluminium and its staff have hit the nail on the head when it comes to being a strong business in the sign industry. It is also encouraging to witness a company take on not just one apprentice – but four young people that will be able to take Nova into the future. Sperring’s concluding words on Nova Aluminium’s aspects for the future are apt for the business’s attitude: “As a company, our goal is to continue to add to our portfolio of products year-on-year and continue to maintain our high levels of quality and customer service. We also strive to reinvest in manufacturing equipment, machinery and vehicles to allow us to achieve our goals.”

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