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Helping girls thrive: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


Teenagers – and their parents – will know the anxiety around what comes after high school. So imagine those feelings amplified by a global pandemic which means no OEs, job shortages, and disruption to tertiary education courses.

Marina Shearer and Jo Mathieson

 

Enter Thrive for Girls, a coaching organisation designed to help girls navigate their formal education while gaining confidence, set goals, and plan their pathway forward.

And which brought its launch forward a month in April to help ease such Covid-19-related concerns.

“Today girls are under incredible pressure to perform at their best and make the right choices for the rest of their lives. With the additional challenges of a post Covid-19 economic downturn the choices that girls make for their life are more important than ever before,” says co-founder Marina Shearer.

Based in Waiau, Marina and her co-founder Jo Mathieson run job ready, tertiary ready, exam ready and life ready programmes with the help of a host of other coaches.

The women bring a wealth of life experience and qualifications to Thrive: Marina, a hopeful doctor turned clinical psychologist turned motivational speaker, facilitator and coach, and Jo, a commercial pilot turned corporate high flyer.

“We want the girls enrolled in our programme to emerge into the world confident of who they are and what they want, and knowing what they need to do to achieve their study, work and life goals,” says Jo.

The programmes also include parental involvement and support groups, with scholarships and donations for scholarships, available, too.

Find out more at www.thriveforgirls.com.


 

Market-ing the local coffee shop: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


She opened her café amidst a global pandemic, and the community support has been so great for this 18-year-old Christchurch woman, she is now using her profile to promote other small local business.

 

Izzy Leighs opened Izzy’s Café and Coffee Bar on Bealey Avenue in June, after Covid-19 disrupted her plans to travel and work at a summer camp in the US.

Serving barista-made Switch Espresso, Fairlie Bakehouse Pies, Grizzly Baked Goods, Pure Wholefoods and other fare – Izzy’s has been a hot spot for locals.

Now, the teen – who finished secondary school at St Margaret’s College just last year, is opening a Saturday morning market at the site to help other small local businesses, too.

Izzy’s Artisan Market has around 20 local artisan stalls selling pre-loved vintage, thrift and high-end clothing, jewellery, handmade art and wax and soap products, herbal and eco goods and delicious loaves of fresh bread.

Izzy says she wants to create a fun weekend event for the local community.

“There are so many great people who live in our area, and so many talented local people who sell, re-work and make products that we think people will love to see and buy.”

A portion of profits will also be donated to Izzy and her team’s favourite local art producers, SCAPE Public Art.

Visit www.facebook.com/izzyscafe.nz for more information.

 


 

Masking disruption: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


Christchurch-based apparel maker, Cactus Outdoor, has added a new product to its repertoire: Locally made face masks which use bacteria-busting natural wool filters.

 

Originally developed for dust protection before Covid-19 made face masks an essential item, Cactus Outdoors have manufactured tens of thousands of the mouth and nose coverings from its Christchurch factory since February.

Co-founder and director, Ben Kepes says the locally made masks have been snapped up.

“We developed the facemask before Covid-19 for our trade customers,” he says.

“When Covid-19 hit we ramped up production to fulfi l the massive demand.” The masks have a woollen filter which exceeds high N95 testing levels.

“Our masks feature a high-tech fi lter made from a specialised woollen fabric.

“To this we add organically grown cotton fabric to provide another layer of protection.”

Despite supply chain issues, Ben says the durable outdoor clothing, backpack and accessory maker’s Essential Service status meant production could continue during Alert Level 4.

“The fact our filter exceeds N95 levels…is made in New Zealand from natural materials, uses our amazing New Zealand-grown wool and is made with love by Kiwi workers has gone down a treat.”

• Good business story? Nominate a local business innovating to overcome Covid-19 challenges at editor@metros.co.nz.


 

Transitioning to a digital workplace: Ricoh


In 1888, lawyer Thomas de Renzy Harman was busy in central Christchurch when a 50-second long earthquake shook the city, causing the spire of Christchurch Cathedral to collapse.

 

 

 

More than 120 years later, the firm of Harmans Lawyers was even busier, still operating within the central city when the 2011 earthquake struck. Fortunately, Harmans had by then expanded to Papanui, operating out of two offices, and the city staff were able to relocate to the Papanui premises. This enabled colleagues to collaborate within the one site, ensuring Harmans was able to continue its unbroken line of legal service to the greater Canterbury region.

“Working all together in Papanui had enhanced our collegial culture, and we thought hard about Harmans’ location when the city was being rebuilt,” Managing Partner Graeme Riach says.

“We decided to keep the Papanui branch because our clients love the ease of access, but also to move back into the central city because that is our first home and we have corporate clients based there. Proximity to the court is also an advantage for our litigators.”

A 12-year technology partnership with Ricoh aided Harmans in making the transition to a digital workplace an easy one. Their meeting room solutions enabled Harmans to run multiple offices collaboratively. “With our Ricoh system for video conferencing in place, we feel like a firm based in one office, but with the advantages of central and suburban sites.”

The Papanui office features a 55-inch Ricoh Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) and a 75-inch IWB is fitted in the conference room in the city office. Each has a Crestron Sound Bar and the system integrates seamlessly into Harmans’ IT environment. “We have meetings between the two offices and it is almost like an extension of the room. The microphone on the wall is so effective compared to the old way of huddling round a central one,” Graeme says.

 

In fact, Ricoh’s core product, the IWB, takes you far beyond video conferencing. It can be either wall-mounted or set up as a table top. It functions as a traditional Windows PC, while also operating like a traditional whiteboard, enabling you to write with your finger. The whiteboard function allows you to overlay data, plans or images on your screen, enabling you to alter, design, highlight and rearrange with a fingertip. You can save work straight to your computer, print, and email instantly from the screen.

The applications for the IWBs are almost endless. They are ideal for companies where client presentations are integral, perfect for small and large group training and even for standard meetings. Graeme says “From a lawyer’s point of view, we need quality of output, and speed and reliability is key. We always found Ricoh better than their competitors in copying and printing technology, and now have found their IWB plus soundbar set up better than we had hoped for.”

Peter O’Connor of Ricoh says, “We’ve focused on making our meeting room solutions simple – often any more than three steps and staff won’t use the technology, so it’s just point, click and connect. Completely wireless, there’s no messy cables or plugging in, everything is shared over Wi-Fi networks.”

“Our system is completely pre-set to us,” Graeme says. “We can simply send a weblink to clients on email, and that’s time and money saved for everyone.”

 

 


 

A Digital Transformation: Ricoh


Ricoh is a market leader in digital signage and Shake Shed recently tasked the company with assisting them with the relaunch of their business.

 

 

Shake Shed’s transformation has been a phenomenal success due to technological advantages such as the screen wall; the screens can be linked together to display corresponding images. The advantage in using all screens uniformly as a screen wall is effectiveness of communication, as well as the ability to change the screen based on the weather. For Shake Shed, sunny days will feature delicious fresh ice cream while cold days will feature hot dogs and fries. Different channels can also be created so your store in Auckland with sunny weather can run certain products, while your Christchurch store with its stormy weather can run other options.

Everything can be controlled from a central point which can see a signage change occur in five minutes. Ricoh’s platform will save time on approval and courier, with savings on the cost on printing and design. You simply update online and change is instantaneous.
The next advance in this technology coming soon is touch-screen games, linking photo promos to social media, facial recognition to inform the sales assistant of your last order or detect a frowning face and quickly display a ‘smile – you’ll get 20 percent off today’ message.

 

 

Humorous interactions such as these generate more foot traffic to your store and generate more business. Additional information could lead to statistical analyses such as what percentage of your customers are male or female, the average age of your customers, interactive cake design – build it on the touch screen. The technology also reacts to a change of market and can advertise one day specials. Ricoh aims to be as future-proof and as interactive as possible.

If you are ever looking into digital signage, large video walls, outdoor LEDs, transparencies or OLED, everything Ricoh turns its commercial hand to is customisable – it’s never a one size fits all approach. The company also makes things affordable by leasing its products. This makes it easier and more cost effective for you to keep up to play with the latest technology, as it changes so quickly. What you’re after today won’t be what you’re after in 36 months’ time.

For more information, contact Pete today on poconnor@ricoh.co.nz.

Peter O'Connor from Ricoh

A sign of what’s to come: Ricoh gives us the run-down on some seriously cool tech (that you can get in your business now)

If you’re still thinking Ricoh only supplies photocopiers, then you really need to unclog your paper jam. The company’s latest addition to its suite of business technology solutions contributes to the most exciting advances in signage since Claude first mass produced neon.

Peter O'Connor from Ricoh
Peter O’Connor from Ricoh demonstrating on a smart screen

Ricoh’s Peter O’Connor says the company’s electronic signage range offers endless possibilities. “Your electronic signage can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.”
If you’re innovative in business but technology isn’t really your bag; if you don’t know your dongle from your daemon, you can still get into electronic signage in a big way. Ricoh supplies and installs, and Peter can talk you through all the options to find a solution to suit your business needs and level of techno-engagement. The smaller interactive screens operate just like a big iPad on the wall. All the options operate through wireless technology, are cloud-based and require only a wall socket.
At its simplest, electronic signage is an indoor screen, running anything from your latest product range, to staff health and safety procedures in the canteen.
From there the sky really is the limit – there is outdoor signage, you can put a hologram into a shop window or turn a changing room mirror into a sign and touch the screen to overlay different outfits onto yourself. You can have a video wall in your showroom of multiple 98-inch screens banded together seamlessly, and run screens in numerous locations from one spot showing the same or even different information.
Ricoh also supplies OLED flexible glass bent into waves or stunning shapes, with black back colour contrast, so the picture is crystal clear.
A popular option is the interactive touch overlay on a shop window. Real estate agents have found buyers enjoy the ability to swipe a window to view properties of interest, rather than having to wait for old fashioned video to scroll around to a particular house.
For more information or electronic signage tailored to your business, email Peter poconnor@ricoh.co.nz.