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A couple of questions for the owners of full digital labs.

1st. how many digital prints to be economical and does not include 35mm.

2.In up gradeing did it increase your debt loading in a large way.

3.Did digital work flow increase because of this.

At the moment we run 2 kiosks and a canon 6400 large format

and canon copier and are looking at the next step and are trying to weigh up the

costs against the debt and the profit that it may or not generate.

Your wise veiws would be apprecated.

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We've recently been working with an organisation that is considering adding a digital lab to their store. It was an interesting experience to consider the best course of action for someone else's money.

Your first question about the number of prints required really depends on the investment in equipment. If you buy new there is a significant volume required. If you buy second hand the payback will be quicker - but you have also bought yourself more risks. 6x4's are the main volume but enlargements and novelty prints are also increasing so perhaps the way of the future should be to measure is by square metres like our suppliers do.

The machines are expensive and it's not just the base unit you need to consider. It's accessories, networks, software licences etc, that all add toward the capital cost of installing a digital lab. Often it's these extra components that really push the budget. You would need to provide a watertight business plan for a Bank or Finance House at the moment as our industry is not their favourite.

Digital volume will increase because you'll have more flexibility to deal on larger orders, will be able to do bigger prints and have a faster service. Depending where you are situated will determine just how much new work you will pick up. It would also be helpful to know the volumes, strengths and weaknesses of your nearest competitors in determining the potential out there.

Good luck!

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There are many benefits to upgrading to a fully blown digital minilab, in fact there are cost savings to be made in other areas of the business. If your paying for a service contract at this time you will not need to continue with it as new kit has a warranty.

Reconditioned Digital minilabs that we get also have up to 12 months warranty on.

Any digital minilab will increase your business as long as you tell your customers what your doing you must have a customer kiosk and good clear branding. If you want to know a company that is doing all the above post a meaasge and I will give you the details.

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Dont know how you are doing passports. We used Polaroid before we got the digital lab many years ago. The saving in both cost and time gave us quite a help towards the monthly payments. Most people I speak to has also seen a huge increase in passports due to the extra load for ID and the quantity of rejections with the booths. Cecil

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