Simplex: 100 Years of History
Simplex, a Quebec family business, enjoyed a successful succession for four generations. The process of passing the torch from the 4th to the 5th generation has been underway for several years now.
The success story began at the beginning of the twentieth century when Louis Henry Véronneau invented a floor sander. In 1907, he decided to create his company to market his product "Simplex Floor Finishing and Appliance Ltd" (now "Simplex Equipment Rental SEC"). A few years later, the company decided to enhance its offer – from selling floor sanders it now also offered floor sanding services.
World War II led to a revival in the economy. Simplex took the upswing in stride and began leasing part of its floor sander fleet.
The year 1957 was a pivotal year in the evolution of the company. The 3rd Véronneau generation was at the helm. They decided to focus solely on leasing tools such as sanders, buffing machines, circular saws and terrazzo machines. With the success they had experienced in this niche, the company decided to consolidate its gains by diversifying its tool line.
In 1965, Simplex moved from its Jean-Talon Street location to its still current headquarters on l'Acadie Blvd. In 1967, Simplex acquired it first forklift truck. In the late 70s, Simplex invested in its first worker baskets and hydraulic platforms.
On May 7, 1979, Location d'équipement Jalon opened its doors in Montreal's East End. André and Louis Véronneau, the fourth generation, entered the business community.
On May 2, 1986, after Guy bought out his brothers' shares, André left Location d'équipement Jalon to take become CEO at Simplex. The business then computerized its operations, and bought equipment in bulk to take over market leadership.
In 1990, Simplex opened a branch in Quebec City. Later, in 1992, Simplex merged with Jalon. Louis joined his brother André at the head office on l'Acadie Blvd.
During the 1992-1993 recession, Simplex associated with rental centres outside the Montreal region in order to lease its inventory surplus.
1995 brought forth another major shift in the company's operations: Simplex turned away from dealing with regional associates, and opened its own branches. Establishing a network of branches in Quebec became the management team's primary objective. In order to meet its business goals, Simplex invested important financial resources in state-of-the-art equipment.
Simplex is part of a select group of the 50 Best Managed Private Companies in Canada. The company continues to grow with, in 2016, over 500 employees, 35 branches and 4 mechanical workshops across the province of Quebec and to a lesser extent in Ontario.