Based in Seattle, WA, and empowered with a strong entrepreneur spirit, Zonar Systems, simply called Zonar internally, has grown at an impressive pace. Beginning with five founders working in the back of a garage in 2001, Zonar grew to a 350-employee company by 2017!!
I had the opportunity to stay seven months with Zonar following Continental’s major investment in October 2016 (BU CVAM – Interior Division). During my stay I was exposed to the leading HR practices North of Silicon Valley. An entrepreneurial culture, a customer first mentality and a first class working environment keep the company agile and responsive to the demands of one of the most volatile tech markets alongside Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and Boeing!
What does Zonar make?
Zonar aims at providing customers with smart fleet management solutions. In a nutshell, Zonar creates hardware and software solutions to connect commercial vehicles (trucks and buses) to the cloud and creates connected services that help Zonar’s customers to operate more safely, save fuel and better manage their other expenses as well! Here is a news report of a Zonar customer using the Zonar services effectively.
Zonar has two campuses, their headquarters are based in South Seattle (Tukwila) and the TDC “Tech Development Center” is located in the heart of Seattle. The TDC provides an open working environment which promotes collaboration and creativity. With open spaces, desks organized in pods, few telephones, stand up meetings and biweekly “lunch and learns” everyone is involved and up to date on the products map, management and delivery. Diversity provides Zonar with a strong foundation to build on.
It is clear why the team is so proud to call themselves “Zonarians” and it all starts with the incredible on-boarding experience I have been through myself. All leaders welcome new employees personally during the Zonar 101 in a comfortable lounge design meeting space, where each new team member has the opportunity to communicate with the leaders and gain an understanding of the company culture. During my Zonar 101, one of the founder was here and said to the new employees: “Be bold. Take risks. You can fail, it is ok, but fail once and learn from it!”
The values at Zonar and Continental are very much aligned. With change come new challenges for both companies. The leaders at Zonar have been successful in making a smooth transition. Continental’s challenges lie in not disrupting the success of the company by implementing heavy processes but instead in providing it with the right tools and support its needs so that both can leverage opportunities and develop world class innovative products together.
On a more personal note, yes it rains most of the time in Seattle, but the summer consists of ten ceaseless sunny weeks. Furthermore hiking trails are endless along the North West Pacific coast or in the breathtaking Mont Rainier National Park!
I want to thank all the Senior Leadership Team and every single talented employee I have met in Zonar for having trusted me and taking the time to share with me all the Zonar recipes for success!
Wishing all the Zonarians a lot of success and happiness within our Continental family!
To know more about it: https://www.zonarsystems.com/