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In 1980, Normand Pinard and his associates pooled all of their savings to buy two delivery trucks. Today, Nationex has more than 400 delivery employees in Quebec and Ontario and is one of the largest Quebec-owned shipping companies. Normand’s daughter, Catryn Pinard, learned from an early age that taking risks can pay off in a big way!

Catryn Pinard’s childhood dreams did not include taking over the company. She now laughs when she remembers how package delivery did not seem like a desirable prospect to her back then. When she finally accepted a job in the family business, she discovered a passion for delivery and for entrepreneurship. Her pride in growing her family’s legacy remains stronger than ever. Today, she is responsible for maintaining her employees’ motivation to work for Nationex and to bring joy to their clients—one package at a time! 

The pandemic as a catalyst for diversification

Before the pandemic, Nationex made deliveries almost exclusively to businesses: office furniture, tires, hairstyling products, medical supplies and so on. It delivered very few products directly to individuals. In 2020, demand for home deliveries skyrocketed and the company had to reassess its business model. Nationex currently knocks on the doors of individual customers across the country.

The team has always cared deeply about improving its services in order to ensure a pleasant customer experience. This is why Nationex recently broke new ground by implementing a new optimization system to manage packages and delivery routes. This initiative has allowed the company’s clients to more easily track their packages, thus avoiding a common industry irritant. Catryn Pinard believes that the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for the team to meet the challenges of innovating toward more productive technologies and increasing the company’s capacity. The results could hardly be better!

“We had already started to shift toward home deliveries, but the pandemic sped this process up. Suddenly, our clients wanted to deliver to individual consumers, which gave us the opportunity to take a step back and look at our options. We have been collaborating with our network even more closely since then, and home deliveries now represent an important share of our business model. I was really impressed to see how the entire team adjusted.”  – Catryn Pinard, President and CEO, Nationex

The team is front and centre

Now that she is at the helm of Nationex, Catryn Pinard is more aware than ever of the importance of being surrounded by a strong management team. She is also involved with several organizations, where she has met industry peers who will be able to help her and provide advice to sustain the company’s growth. 

Scotiabank, one of her key partners, has been her trusted financial institution since she took the reins of the company. In Scotiabank, she has found a partner who has always stood by her through the company’s ups and downs. 

“Nationex has grown quickly since 1980, and Scotiabank is proud to witness this growth first hand. It is inspirational to see a family business make its name through its adaptability and its willingness to improve in order to meet the needs of its clients.” – Lucia Mendoza, Senior Relationship Manager, Scotiabank

Given her focus on collaboration, Catryn Pinard wants to establish an engaging work environment that encourages every team member to get actively involved. The current labour shortage is her greatest challenge. Nationex has recently set up an academy to further help employees grow and to create a friendly work environment where team members are always ready to take care of each other and assist the company’s clients. 

Nationex has been working with Scotiabank since 2018. Thanks to its attentiveness and advice, the financial institution has helped Catryn Pinard continue to develop the family business and integrate new business lines. Nationex is well known in Canada’s delivery industry and has become an inspiration to dream big, with the understanding that employees are essential to a successful transformation and to meeting client needs.

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