Regensdorf, June 2007 — Since October 2006, Photo Dose of Bremen, Germany, has enjoyed the many benefits obtained by been using state-of-the-art high-speed systems in its central lab that supplies all its 60 outlets with digital prints. Through efficient in-house production, they plan to continue growing in the ever-changing print market using the added flexibility and capacity of their high speed production lines. Photo Dose has partnered with Imaging Solutions to ensure smooth operation as they implement the new wholesale lab technology at their facility.
Nick Dose, who manages the retailing chain with his father and Heino Kaiser, fully appreciates the outstanding expertise of the Swiss wholesale lab equipment specialist. "With the changeover to modern central lab systems, we have invested in highly efficient solutions," explained Photo Dose's Managing Director. "Imaging Solutions has proved a highly competent partner for us. They have wide-ranging experience with central lab setup, and their technicians were an enormous help in enabling us to enter the field of centralized high-speed processing without any problems."
Photo Dose prints many images received on customer storage media. For this they use fastEntry input stations, equipped with integrated Image Enhancement software, to automatically correct the image data. Standard format prints are made with two fastPrint high-speed printers from Imaging Solutions, directly connected to a variable-speed VSP paper processor. At the end of the processing section are the cutters and packing stations. Large-format prints are currently produced on a Laser lab PLL. Several minilabs are also on hand to deal with special orders.
"The high-speed units with their efficient workflow offer significant advantages over our former solution with lots of minilabs," explained Nick Dose. "Through steady, continuous production, we attain a consistent high quality level with a minimum amount of maintenance. We now also have very much higher productivity per employee."
Photo Dose's central lab uses the new high-speed units to process all the digital photofinishing orders the company receives from its branches and from the Internet. Photo prints from films and negatives and some photo fun products are produced externally.
Flexibility is key
The primary reason Photo Dose established its own central lab was the greater efficiency, flexibility and market response that can be gained by in-house processing. In the opinion of Nick Dose, this is especially relevant in view of the tough competition from other photofinishing service providers such as drugstore chains.
Wide-ranging promotion activities
The Photo Dose outlets are characterized by a stylish, sophisticated look that immediately makes consumers feel they are at the right place for premium products delivered by a knowledgeable staff. But attractive print prices are also an important part of their marketing strategy.
The company also stimulates its print business with special seasonal offers and promotion campaigns. Late last year, a special price promotion on 50 x 75 cm (19.7" x 29.5") posters significantly increased the number of people visiting the Photo Dose shops and adding many new customers to their clientele. "Convincing quality at reasonable prices is a key factor for customer loyalty," said Nick Dose. "This also applies to our Internet site, which is at present our fastest-growing channel. There, we sell only imaging products, because we don't want to start up a mail order business with cameras and the like."
Internet customers can choose to pick up their photofinishing orders in a nearby Photo Dose shop, or have them sent to their home by post (plus postal charges).
Added value with photo gifts
Photo Dose also has a comprehensive range of products to satisfy the growing demand for personal photo products and fun articles. They include photo books, greetings cards and calendars as well as a wide range of photo gifts such as coffee mugs, T-shirts, mousepads, puzzles, teddy bears etc. Special displays have been designed to draw customer attention to these popular items. Fun articles are also used to increase traffic on the Internet site.
After the smooth start to the central lab project, Photo Dose is delighted to have made the decision to implement the high-speed print line. The nearly 20 employees enjoy a smooth running operation with absolutely reliable new laboratory machines. The speed and flexibility gained with in-house processing and the high quality of the photo prints has brought many new customers to the company's outlets.
About Imaging Solutions:
Imaging Solutions AG, Regensdorf, Switzerland, is an independently operating company of the British Photo-Me Group. Starting out from its core competence in digital high-speed printing and scanning systems, the company focuses on the innovative development of technologically leading and practice-proven digital production solutions for the production of prints and value added photo products on true photo paper.
At present, a special focus point is the development of innovative concepts for the production of purePhoto™ value added products such as photo postcards, photo greeting cards, photo calendars and photo books.
With its subsidiary Imaging Postprocessing Solutions, Imaging Solutions also offers professional post-processing solutions.