Appointment Viewing At AZX

Videos Not Only Educate, But Encourage Camaraderie

AZX SportVideos are serious business at AZX Sport (asi/30250). Take one of its recent efforts. "I ran around yelling 'Shark!' and seeing if people would punch me," says Chris Sunnucks, the company's digital media specialist. The bit was a lighthearted-take on the recent surfer shark attack in the news (Sunnucks wore a cardboard shark cutout over his likeness), part of the daily video posts the company puts on its intranet.

It's just one example of the expanded video efforts that Sunnucks and AZX Sport are putting together, but not everything is just for laughs. Sunnucks helps record training videos to educate employees, something that became essential as the supplier expanded into a new San Diego office. Machines at the company's Burlington, Ontario, facility even have affixed QR codes that employees can scan to learn how to run if they need. "We were able to put more into our training because video was a valuable way to preserve our knowledge," says Rob Kerton, one of the company's co-founders.

Kerton and Grant Gillard were long-time family friends who after college combined their various business ventures. AZX Sport started nearly a quarter-century ago with imprinted sport watches but quickly moved into a variety of products, including lanyards, badge cards, and currently spa products and much more. The supplier is growing rapidly and is now up to 80 employees, which means it's bursting at the seams of its current (and what was originally supposed to be temporary) facility.

In just a few months though, the supplier will move into a glittering new facility that is just 400 yards away and more than double the size of its current building. Employees are looking forward to the move, but they already maintain an upbeat disposition that Human Resources Manager Lauren Hadath says is essential to being at the company. "Personality is our number one quality," says Hadath about what the company looks for in employees. "They have to embody the attitude we have here. We have a very positive attitude." Flexibility is key, as well – employees will pitch in and help in other departments, and account executives (including Hadath and Sunnucks) have transitioned into other roles based on their strengths.

The videos encourage camaraderie too by featuring workers in the bits and even learning about people through a "Faces of AZX" series. "People watch the videos and someone will say 'I didn't know that person liked comic books,' " says Sunnucks. "They have something to talk about, and then they start eating lunch together."