Business Environment Challenges
Compared to other zoos in the United States, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical
Garden is unique. It is one of the top-rated zoos for animal exhibits, live births
and research. It has a center for endangered species, a veterinary hospital and a
cryogenics unit. The Zoo is a non-profit that operates without government funding
and has grown as a matter of need. The current systems in place did not reflect its
growing requisite for better technology. For instance, the hospital collaborates with
other zoos from around the world, so it would benefit from a modernized system to
manage and share all of its documentation. A full-scale enterprise-wide document
management program was pitched in the past, but the Zoo was wary of this all-ornothing
The Cincinnati Zoo director of purchasing was three days away from renewing
an office equipment lease when he was approached by Sharp Business Systems
(SBS). The Zoo had no intentions of leaving its longtime vendor, but the director
of purchasing took one last look and found that service and sales support had
declined over the years. Faulty copiers and slow service had taken a toll on
productivity, especially when tackling a big project like a mass mailing on a tight
deadline. High-speed multifunction printers (MFPs) were not placed in appropriate
work areas leaving units overworked or in some cases underutilized. This was
causing the Zoo to spend more money than necessary to operate its fleet.
Business Technology Solutions
The Zoo’s staff was interviewed by SBS to determine if the current copiers met
their requirements. Based on the analysis and feedback, SBS right-sized the fleet
to place copiers where it made most sense. Workgroup needs were matched to
the right MFP by relocating existing copiers and replacing outdated devices with
better-suited Sharp MFPs. The Zoo created a new mini print shop in the purchasing
department by adding a high-speed color MFP with a Pantone® matching system and a light production monochrome MFP.
SBS proposed a more accommodating document management plan that was embraced by the Zoo. The idea was to start with the purchasing department
and gradually expand into other areas at the Zoo’s pace. A secure, cloud-based application called MaxxVault® is set to become the central digital library
for all of the Zoo’s documents. By leveraging the Sharp OSA® platform, MaxxVault was integrated into the Sharp MFPs. This will allow the staff to easily
convert hardcopies into searchable digital files by scanning directly into the application. The staff can also access the central digital library directly on the
user interface and print any file on the spot.
Zoo decision makers were intrigued that only Sharp could offer professional displays as a part of a total office equipment package. Reba Dysart, the
Zoo Corporate Development Director said, “The AQUOS BOARDTM interactive display is a nice tool for our Welcome Center. Everyday, visitors see
what’s happening and find activities not listed on the map. When the Africa exhibit was under construction, we used the interactive display to announce
the giraffe deck was closed.” It was also used as an “interactive usher” at Zoofari, an annual black tie gala, to direct 2,500 guests to their seats. Six
professional monitors were used at the gala to showcase sponsors, display a real-time picture slide show and remind guests to drink responsibly.
The Zoo went from having 9 unreliable large MFPs to a dependable mix of 15
MFPs. The number of units in the fleet increased; yet, the Zoo is spending less on
the new lease payments and operating expenses. Productivity improved by having
a more reliable fleet and faster service response times as well as strategically
placing MFPs throughout the organization and making units more accessible to
the staff. The Zoo has reduced the cost of bulk printing and has brought more
print jobs in-house by leveraging its new mini print shop.
The document management launch was a success in the purchasing department,
so the Zoo decided to roll it out to the hospital. The cloud technology works well
with the IT infrastructure and has freed up server space. File cabinets have been
removed and the staff can easily find and share files on the fly.
The Sharp professional displays have added a touch of sophistication and are
part of the team on event days. The Zoo is pleased it can thank sponsors using
professional monitors throughout an entire event. Plus, seating 2,500 guests was
made easy at the gala using the AQUOS BOARD interactive display, so the Zoo
did the same at its golf tournament.
Aside from bringing office technology up-to-speed, Dysart was impressed by
SBS’s genuine commitment to support the Zoo’s philanthropic efforts. She said,
“As one of the oldest non-profits in Cincinnati, we do a lot to stay competitive
and remain one of our city’s top-rated attractions. We look to our different
partners to be aligned with our cause. SBS of Ohio had created a strong presence
in Cincinnati and sponsored some well-known institutions. We really appreciate
its guiding principles to ‘seek first to serve’ and to ‘give back to the community
because it’s the right thing to do’, because it wasn’t your average transaction but
more like a relationship.”
60" AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display System, Wireless Communication Method
Sharp Electronics Corp.
60" AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display System
Sharp Electronics Corp.
60" AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display System with Windows PC and Floor Stand