Wild Cash Tamed

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Nebraska


Cast Automation Excellence At Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo And Aquarium

Jeremy Eddie, Chief Financial Officer, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium:  "Hi, I'm Jeremy Eddie. I'm the Chief Financial Officer at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is ranked number one by Trip Advisor last year for the number one zoo in the world. We're also the number one tourist attraction in the state of Nebraska. We see approximately 1.6 to 1.7 million visitors on an annual basis."

Dustin Olson, Revenue Control Officer, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium:  "For cashier till points, we have anywhere between 150 to upwards of 180 on a busy summer day. When I actually started, none of this automated process was in place."

Jeremy Eddie: "It was a completely manual process. We had one room where cashiers would come in at the end of their day to countdown, followed up by our audit tellers. The larger the zoo grew, the more inefficient that process became."

Dustin Olson: "The process, many will say, was chaotic."

Lynn Smith, Gift Shop Lead Supervisor, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium:  "The end of the day, the cash process was, we're like, "oh, no."

Krista Dickey, Guest Services Supervisor, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium:  "Bringing all the cashiers over there, which means all the rides' cashiers were over there, and all the guests' services cashiers were over there. So, we probably stood in about an hour line to count our money every single night."

Al Johnson, IMAX Cashier, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium :"You didn't know for sure what time you'd be leaving."

Krista Dickey: "Then, you'd hope your bag would match the number of the total at the end of every day, but if it didn't, then you'd have to start all over and count it by hand again."

Kelly Paxton, Guest Services Senior Manager, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium: :"You'd have not only just them, with the labor hours, but you'd have the supervisor labor hours, you'd have the audit people. They would be here til eight or nine o'clock at night."

Krista Dickey:  "You'd have to train every person to do that. We have 200 new concession employees every year."

Dustin Olson: "That's when they really started looking for a different way to do it."

Jeremy Eddie: "I actually found out about the ARCA system from another zoo CFO. I visited their zoo and saw how they utilized the equipment and that's what began the process."

Dustin Olson: "I remember when they first came to install the CM18 here at the zoo. When they brought it in, you would have thought we had a new Christmas present. When we first opened up that safe and we saw the amount of cassettes, and how highly assignable everything was, to be able to really narrow down how many ones, fives, tens, twenties cassettes we really needed. When we saw all that, we were in awe. We have a two set of bags system. So, basically, we have one set of bags that we're currently working on for the day and another set that's out being used. So, the bags that are out being used were issued out the previous day. We will have them here and ready for our supervisors in different areas to be able to come and pick up, so they'll have their cash bags set and ready and everything they need to begin their day. While they're going out there and using the bags, we're in here processing everything they had done on a previous day."

Lynn Smith: "And, at night, what they do is take and empty their drawer with all their money and we just go in the back room and we drop it. Then, audit and security come and pick it up."

Krista Dickey: Now I can just take down my register, drop the bag and I'm done. That's it, you know. None of the hard work, none of the big, long process and man hours that we had to train people on. We don't have to do any of that."

Lynn Smith:: "We get to spend a lot more time doing things that we should in the gift shop than to be over in the audit room."

Al Johnson: "You know when you quit, you're going to be going home soon. My wife, she says, "Oh, you're home so soon now." She's glad when I'm gone. No, I'm just kidding. [laughs]"