Page 60



Nova Direct has always embraced innovation and technology. Commercial Director Stuart Sutherland outlines some of the latest developments at the Burgess Hill direct-marketing company.


lthough Nova Direct is best known as a direct-mail company focusing on fulfilment, we have always looked at new ideas with an open mind. In recent years we have promoted ‘smellymail’ and have developed a very strong charity arm, which helps charities maximise the potential of their databases. Now we are turning a small part of our business into an innovation hub, bringing together different skills and techniques.

A NEW SOLUTION We are always looking to offer new services and solutions for our clients, and one way in which we have achieved this is by bringing in an over-sized A1 bed laser cutter, which allows us to make whatever shapes we want out of polypropylene, paper, beech ply, MDF and other materials The value of using this type of equipment is multiple: • Prototyping: Computer Aided Design (CAD) is not enough on its own. If you are working on a large project or looking to mass-produce a


product, it is always best to create a physical model before launching into production. We can work on a project with our CAD designer, pass it onto our graphics guy and create the component parts. Testing in this way can make dramatic savings, as design faults can be eliminated.

“The Greeks invented the steam engine, but didn’t have a practical application, so it sat there on a drawing board for 2,000 years.” • Unique promotional products: We have been working with the United Nations Refugee Team, and they wanted a little, free gift

item that they could hand out at events. The idea was a self-assembly money box, and together we came up the idea of a money box that looks like a refugee shelter tent. We were able to try out different designs, whether is was the angle of the tent or the positioning of the coin slot. It enabled us to grow and evolve an idea and a concept until we got to a finished piece and we could see it, rather than making a judgement on intangible artwork on a computer screen. • Short runs: If you are a small charity and you want to make a till display, you are limited by what you can find already out there online or in a catalogue. If you wanted to have your own design, such as a display with a sunflower hanging out of the top corner, it would be prohibitively expensive to create without any economies of scale. The laser cutter opens up the opportunity for short-run bespoke marketing products, with a wide range of choice in terms of the material used. The only limit is the imagination of the client.


The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...