Digital inventory management systems were a rarity during this period and those offered on the market did not meet the needs of Pièces d’Auto Turcotte. The trifluvian recycling centre hires a firm to develop their own software. Recycling colleagues of Pièces d’Auto Turcotte show an interest in this new initiative.
1990 - ProgiPAC* Is Founded
The developing firm for Pièces d’Auto Turcotte’s software is bought out and the new owner decides to abandon the projet’s development. Eight shareholders, either associates at Pièces d’auto Turcotte or near the organization, unite to buy the code. It’s the creation of a new corporation named ProgiPac. Among the new business partners are legends of the organization such as Gilles Héon, the vizionary, François Paprosky, the technology pro, and Francine Dupont, the administrator. In its beginnings, ProgiPac occupies a small corner of Pièces d’Auto Turcotte’s offices but, rapidly expanding, the young start up moves to Francine’s basement while Pièces d’auto Turcotte continues to test drive the new part inventory management software. The new associates are convinced recycling centres will have a strong interest in their new inventory management system.
At the ProgiPlex, Progi’s headquarters, one of the meeting rooms is named Audeo. It represents the audacity and will to undertake of Progicians such as Gilles Héon, François Paprosky and Francine Dupont. They were the first of a long line of important characters who played a fundamental role at Progi.
At the very start, Progi held the name of its star product: ProgiPAC uses the noun « progiciel » (software package, in French) and the acronym « pièces d’autos et de camions » (cars and pick-ups parts).
1992 - First Victories In The Recycling World
First official sale of Progi-PAC! Pièces d’auto Hamel is the first official client of the business. Not long after, other Quebec recyclers buy the software to manage their inventory.
1995 – Separation and ProgiCom
It’s the end of the road for four of the initial shareholders. This leaves the most active shareholders at the reigns of Progi-Pac. The start up already enjoys modest but significant success. Enough for Francois Paprosky and Gilles Héon to leave their day jobs to dedicate themselves entirely to the business with Francine Dupont.
Back then, it was difficult to make it possible for recyclers to share their inventories together easily. ProgiPac tries to answer this industry need using various solutions that fail to take off in the technological context of the time. Francine, then a university student, has an idea when a professor explains that databases will be the digital future. This idea is ProgiCom (initially named Progi-Comm). The first iteration, working as a computer billboard, doesn’t really work, but the integration to ProgiPac is a success.
1998/1999 - PhautoPak AKA ProgiPix
Taking inspiration from the large scale commercialization of the first digital cameras, the internet revolution and the needs of insurance companies to raise the value of their total loss units, ProgiPac idealizes Phauto-Pak (later renamed ProgiPix). This project symbolizes an idea. Progi is more than software, it’s a network of partners creating value by exchanging data and services. The success of ProgiPix rests not only on Progi but also its recycling and insurance partners who made it possible for this solution to live.
At Progi, we are really proud of business relations we maintain with our partners. It’s why one of the ProgiPlex’s conference rooms is dedicated to them. Progi pulls its strength from its influencial business networks. Today, it’s thanks to these networks, chiefly its network of keepers, that ProgiPix knows so much success.
2005 - Death Of Gilles Héon
In 2005, Gilles Héon dies of an illness, which takes clients and employees by surprise. Insurers and recyclers, not to mention the team, are deeply affected by his departure. The Progi management and every employee rally to bring Progi forward into a new era.
2006 - AOS VISION AKA ProgiParts
ProgiPac conceives a new system inspired by its partnership with ARPAC (Quebec’s auto part recyclers’ association). This new project allows collision shops to buy any type of parts from recyclers while respecting their insurance partners’s needs.
2007 - Progi Up For Sale
Francine Dupont questions herself and decides to prepare for retirement, which implies the sale of ProgiPac. The sale mandate is entrusted to an experimented accountant: Diane Chaîné. She has already known the organization for a few years.
Francine is ready to sell but not at any price. Of course, there are financial stakes but, far above, there are human stakes. She wishes to sell her organization to someone who will ensure the perennity of employees, products and business networks, but also keep ProgiPac a part of the city of Trois-Rivières and of Québec. There were many potential buyers but none who answered Francine Dupont’s expectations.
2009 – ProgiLog AKA ProgiSync Updates
ProgiPac refines a solution for collision shops to publish repair follow-ups online for their clients, with email and text notifications.
2010 - New Ownership
Diane Chaîné is still working hard to find a buyer for ProgiPac. Francine Dupont’s conditions are tough to meet and Diane is saddened to know that one day, Francine will have to let the organization go in unfavourable conditions. One night, while Diane is on an evening stroll with her husband, he suggests that she buy the business, if she believes so much in its potential. This conversation was the first step of a series that brought Diane Chaîné at Progi’s reigns.
Diane calls Francine and indicates she might have found a buyer. They meet at a restaurant to discuss; Diane has Francine repeat her sale objectives. At the end of the interview, Diane reveals her buyer: herself!
The transaction becomes official on November 1, 2010.
2011 – Changes
The morning of a cold January day in 2011, ProgiPac employees are getting ready for an outdoor day with colleagues. When they show up to board the bus that will take them to the outdoor resort, they witness the offices are ablaze. It’s a horrible trial for Francine Dupont and François Paprosky, seeing over two decades of history go up in flammes. Diane insists to relocate immediately. During the weekend, Francine and Diane’s partners get a hand on a commercial space on des Forges street and servers are back online so clients will not miss a beat on Monday. Progicians receive messages during the weekend: Bring your phones, your chairs, your pencils to the new office, everyone gets back to work Monday, don’t worry, ProgiPac is holding well. Most clients learned by press release that a fire occured since there was no interruption of service
This temporary office is not perfect. At the end of August, 2011, ProgiPac moves into the Carrefour Phillips in a 7,000 sq ft space.
ProgiPac renews its branding; it becomes Progi and products adopt new names. ProgiPac remains ProgiPac, Phauto-Pak becomes ProgiPix and AOS Vision is now named ProgiParts.
At Progi, one of the conference rooms is named Phoenix. It’s a wink to the 2011 fire and an ode to the organization’s resilience and its adaptability to change.
2013 – ProgiSync Appointments
A star is born. Canadian collision shops’ most popular appointment booking product is released. Diane comes into the office one day with a set idea to create ProgiSync Appointments. A month later, the first version of the solution is ready to buy.
2016 – ProgiPlex And New Products
On October 31, 2016, Progi moves to the ProgiPlex. The project’s first phase includes a new level of 10,000 sq feet, a rooftop terrace. It’s also in 2016 that the term Progicien appears to designate a member of the Progi team.
On June 7, 2017, the ProgiPlex is inaugurated officially with employees, family and clients. This date is later used a Progi’s aniversary date.
The business launches ProgiSync Feedback and begins the ProgiSync Planning adventure, a collision shop management and capacity tool.
2017 – First Public Appearance Of ProgiMan
2018 – Growth
A new 10,000 sq feet level is finished to accomodate Progi’s constant growth.
Many Progicians hold funky titles such as Happiness Engineer, Solutions Rockstar, Cultural Barista, Innovation Preacher and even Magician!