Questions and Answers: Species360 actions during COVID-19
Answers to questions regarding how Species360 is responding to the pandemic, and steps taken to protect service levels on behalf of our members. Some of this information is also reflected in a 4 May 2020 letter from the Chairman of the Species360 Board of Trustees to members.
How long will Species360 staff work from their homes?
Species360 staff will continue to work from home until it is safe to return to the office. We are monitoring guidance from the Minnesota State Government and Department of Health (MDH), where many of our staff are located, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the policies and practices of our global membership to define the plan for Species360.
Will members see a change in their support?
No, members will not see a change in support from Species360 as we work remotely.
- We equipped staff to work remotely, and are sustaining our key service levels across all areas.
- Our response to member inquiries remains the same; we are experiencing about the same volume of requests from members and our full member support team continues to respond to these.
- Species360 training and product teams introduced virtual learning opportunities and Open Office Hours for ZIMS for Husbandry, ZIMS for Medical, and ZIMS for Studbooks.
We do anticipate that members will experience some delayed response when staff are reduced to 80 percent schedules for 12 weeks during July, August, and September. This reduction is part of actions taken to reduce costs (see below).
To minimize the impact on members, our member support team will adjust their schedules to maximize staffing during peak hours.
Will members’ Support Rep be changed?
No, your Support Representative will not change.
How will ZIMS product roadmaps be impacted?
The roadmaps for ZIMS for Husbandry, ZIMS for Medical, and ZIMS for Studbooks area remain on schedule. However, we expect to delay some new feature development when staff go to 80 percent for 12 weeks starting in July. During that time, we will reduce development time on features that are part of the long-term roadmap, and will dedicate staff time to those roadmap items and activities which provide members the most immediate benefits to support changes they have made in response to COVID-19. For example, we have added ZIMS administrative operations, improvements to provisional data, and other expanded offerings.
Will enhancements still be made and bugs fixed?
Yes, Species360 the ZIMS product development group continues to release fix and enhancement updates on schedule. New release updates are issued every two weeks, with additional releases when needed.
What steps is Species360 taking to strengthen their financial stability during this crisis?
We anticipate a potential 30 to 50 percent reduction in revenue due to the financial constraints that our members are facing. The Species360 leadership team has already taken several measures to ensure that the organization remains in a strong financial position.
- Species360 senior leadership have voluntarily taken a 20 to 30 percent reduction in salary, effective immediately.
- We temporarily suspended the 4% annual renewal fee increase that was initiated by our board 4 years ago. This same percentage discount is available upon renewal by all of our 1,200 members.
- Species360 is participating in the CARES Act Loan to Grant program and receiving financial support from other U.S. federal government COVID response resources.
- Similar to many members, Species360 eliminated all travel and other non-essential expenses.
- Beginning in July, most of the Species360 team will move to 80 percent hours and salary for 12 weeks.
Will Species360 staff be cut?
At this time, we expect to retain all Species360 staff during this crisis.
We acted quickly to protect our financial health, and we believe these steps will help us to retain Species360 staff.
As we go forward, Species360 will evaluate additional budget cuts which could impact pay or staffing levels, but any actions will continue to be made with a focus on prioritizing key service levels and support.
What steps is Species360 taking to assist members in financial problems?
Species360 has temporarily suspended the 4% annual renewal fee increase that was initiated by our board 4 years ago. This same percentage discount is available upon renewal by all of our 1,200 members. We are evaluating additional measures and are talking with our board of trustees to assess whether, and how, we can assist members in other ways.
Are member fee discounts available?
Unfortunately, we do not have member fee discounts available.
As a non-profit organization, Species360 member fees are lower than similar costs associated with proprietary and for-profit software providers. Fees are based on the size and revenue of each institutional member, so that smaller organizations benefit by paying lower fees and larger institutions are able to help support the global member community.
How long will the 4% renewal fee increase be suspended?
The Species360 Board of Trustees has approved the suspension of the 4 percent renewal increase for 12 months, so that all members will have the benefit of this. We are asking members in a better financial position to help to support the global community by providing additional funds at their discretion.
If a member has significant financial problems, who should they talk with to retain their membership?
Please contact us at Support@Species360.org if you are facing significant financial challenges that will either delay or affect your institution’s ability to pay its member renewal fees.
If a member has not had as significant a financial impact from the virus, what can they do to help other members in greater financial need?
We are asking members in a better financial position to help to support the global community by providing additional funds at their discretion. Please let us know if you are able to do so, by speaking directly with your Member Support Representative or by sending us a note at Support@Species360.org.
Where can I go to get up-to-date information from Species360?
We are updating information at a dedicated resource page on our Web site. Go to https://bit.ly/Species360COVID for updates.
Also, check our events page for new Webinars, Zoom calls, etc. https://bit.ly/Species360Events