NOVO Engineering incorporated in 2004. At that time, our firm had a handful of employees, a small office in Carlsbad, and a few clients.
Today, we have about 90 full-time resources and offices in Vista and Scripps Ranch, California and Eden Prairie, Minnesota (in the San Diego and Minneapolis metropolitan regions). Our client roster includes some of the world’s most well-known companies in the biotech, medical device, and printer industries, and an array of start-ups with exciting new technologies they are in the process of commercializing.
We’re proud of the relationships we have built with our clients, the new products we have helped to develop, and most importantly, the gifted technical team we have assembled. For all of us, being a part of the innovation economy, and developing products that improve people’s lives, is deeply fulfilling.
We look forward with great anticipation to the next 15 years!
Product Development Infrastructure
Since the company founding, we have invested steadily in acquiring or building the tools and infrastructure that facilitate rapid product development. The vision was clear from the outset: we needed to have direct control over the steps in the process that commonly slow down product development projects.
The first capability we focused on was the development of a modern, CNC machine shop and fabrication shop. We hired master machinists and acquired CNC machining and turning centers. An extensive list of support equipment and tooling were added. Welding, heat treating, sheet metal fabrication, painting, inspection, waterjet cutting, and many other processes were added to our shop capabilities over the years. Our well-equipped machine shop never fails to impress visitors touring NOVO’s facilities, and it allows us to control the fabrication of custom mechanical components that are often on the critical path during development.
Then next area of focus for us was verification testing capability. We dedicated a lab to optical inspection, environmental testing, and electronics test and measurement. The test lab provides a way for us to quantify our progress towards meeting product requirements throughout the development process.
NOVO has been involved in medical device development since our inception, and it became clear that to provide the best service to our clients, particularly medical device startups, we needed develop a quality management system (QMS) and have it certified to ISO 13485 standards. Off-the-shelf quality systems were not a fit for our engineering service business model, so we developed a proprietary QMS that fits our business model and benefits not only our medical device clients, but all our clients.
The next big hurdle for us was streamlining our internal workflows and processes. We evaluated several PLM and ERP systems and concluded that they would be too “clunky” for a business model with many concurrent projects and a large, dynamic list of resources, clients, and suppliers. Instead, we chose to develop custom software to manage and track most of the tasks that we commonly perform. We have steadily added functionality to this software to the point where we can’t imagine running the business efficiently without it.
All these capabilities together empower our engineering team and allow them to execute complex projects at a pace that most corporate engineering departments cannot match.
NOVO Engineering Workplace Culture
As an engineering services company, it makes sense to invest in our staff and in retaining good people. Management at NOVO have worked hard to make NOVO a uniquely pleasant place to work. In addition to hosting fun events each year (a summer beach party, barbeques, and a winter holiday party), we have a fitness trainer twice a week and have extensively upgraded our on-site amenities. While those perks are easy to describe and common enough in professional environments, what makes NOVO stand out is the mutual respect and admiration our staff members have for each other, which allows them to share knowledge and collaborate in an unusually constructive way.
Here’s what our employees say about the work environment:
- “It’s all about the engineering, not politics. We’re not competing with each other—we’re working with each other to deliver the best possible solution for the client.” (Sr. Electrical Engineer, with NOVO since 2007.)
- “For me, NOVO is a place where I get to work with an amazing team of top-notch engineers on exciting and novel projects for our clients. Together, we have designed and developed solutions to some of the most challenging problems and we’re always looking forward the next one.” (Engineering Manager, with NOVO since 2009.)
- “To work for a company for over a decade, the work needs to be engaging and the environment supportive. NOVO has both! It has been a privilege to work with a great team of engineers on challenging projects for a wide range of clients.” (Sr. Engineer, Project Manager, with NOVO since 2008.)
- “The wide variety of projects I have worked on has allowed me to be involved in the entire electronics and firmware/software design process. I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do this at a more traditional company that had a single product line.” (Sr. Software Engineer, with NOVO Minnesota since its inception in 2011.)
- “One thing that makes NOVO the ideal work environment for engineers is the technical diversity of our fellow engineers and managers. In addition to constantly changing projects coming in the door, the NOVO staff have an amazing diversity of interests: surfing, flying, skateboarding, biking, motorcycles, hot rods, off-roading, camping, and rock climbing, to name a few. The employees are passionate about their interests and often push themselves and their equipment to the limit, staying on the leading edge of the sport or hobby. It is an energizing and enriching group of people to be around every day.” (Principal Engineer, with NOVO since 2009.)
Serving Our Clients
We are grateful to have contributed meaningful engineering work to so many clients and projects. We feel satisfaction in resolving purely technical challenges, pride in meeting and exceeding client expectations, and honor to have made a difference in patients’ quality of life. Our staff say it best:
- “I spent three and a half years working on the Dexcom applicator. This was the most exciting and rewarding work I have done in my career, as the Dexcom CGM system helps thousands of people with diabetes every year.” (Sr. Development Engineer, with NOVO and Dan Kline Engineering since 2002.)
- “I am impressed with how well NOVO is able to help so many different clients in various technical fields…and do it year after year.” (Sr. Mechanical Engineer, with NOVO since 2007.)
To all of our clients, staff, and vendors, thank you for a great 15 years of bringing better products to market. Faster.