Synergex began life in the mind of David Aiello in 1987. After being edified but eventually numbed by his training as a Chartered Accountant, David's creativity sought a passionate way to express itself that customers valued. He believed that "just try harder" sentimentality or just giving anecdotal advice was not enough; that solving problems through empathy, commitment and intelligence could be done by giving a commercial response to deal with customers' challenges and opportunities in a systematic way that resulted in humanized and disciplined decisions.
In his accounting training David saw many examples of diminished sales or profitability because of supply chain problems. David wanted to develop operational solutions for business through a transparent, responsive, and responsible management of the customer's supply chain. David's customer would not have to accept their status quo. His role was to listen, design an alternative that modelled how it all should work, and then actually deliver it - every day. His teaching focused to take responsibility and don't create a context for blame. The story of Synergex began with this innovative calling.
The business began by acquiring a Customs brokerage business in Toronto, Canada, and progressively responded to customers' needs by quickly expanding into truck freight management in North America, international air and sea freight forwarding, and a comprehensive system of product customization, pick and pack, invoicing, direct-to-store logistics, and returns management. Synergex was on the leading edge of enhancing the value of the supply chain through centralizing responsibility. No more finger pointing. Just always think about the customer.
Having revenue in Canada that would quickly approach $200,000,000 per year, the business expanded to commercial centers in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. The Latin American business were all started from scratch, and became profitable in year 2 or 3 after start-up. The LatAm workgroup attained sales approaching $40,000,000 in the year prior to disposition.
Premier supplier/clients for the national logistics services of Synergex included Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation, Incomm, for its stored value cards, Cintas, for its uniforms, and a large number of video game publishers. Either Synergex provided enhanced third-party logistics and electronic communication support to clients, or Synergex shipped to but also invoiced nearly every major retailer in Canada, the major retail systems in Latin America, and hundreds of sub-distributors and independent retailers. Synergex localized products through translation and digital layout of marketing literature and manuals into bilingual formats, printing, and physical rework, and insulated multinational organizations from exposure to the complexities of foreign currencies, taxes, accounting practices, languages, packaging regulations, and trade credit risks.
Synergex created a Technology workgroup to operate its payment processing and digital signage businesses, and a Business Services workgroup to operate its credit bureau and accounts receivable management operations.
Ultimately, Synergex "the Conglomerate" adapted to the restructuring of the trade credit insurance and banking systems that began in 2009. A private equity group bought the highly profitable Canadian logistics business in 2011. The remaining assets in the Technology, Business Services, and Latin America workgroups were restructured through various deals.
Hundreds of people fondly remember Synergex as the company that gave a tremendous boost to their careers. Synergex taught innovative problem solving methodology that created opportunity for employees, larger and more profitable markets for suppliers, and greater satisfaction for consumers.
Throughout each chapter in its history, Synergex has been known for transformative strategies that create value and opportunity for each participant in the supply chain. Synergex created amazing value for so many people through its multinational capabilities and world-class talent because David Aiello ensured that every team member was constantly focused on operational excellence that was measured daily, a persistent process of innovation, and an unmatched commitment to customer service.
The diversified companies that Synergex spawned continue in various forms, and will always be warmly remembered by its customers, and by Synergex employees and their families, as important parts of their history.