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philspectrum

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  1. When I opened my first minilab in Newcastle in 1987 there were about a dozen indi photo shops, as the market shrank, one or two closed each year, and the remainder survived by taking up the slack..... I closed Spectrum Imaging in july 2010, and willingly passed my accounts and contacts to the two remaining indi shops, Bonsers, and Digilab. Sinces then, Jacobs (the BEST hardware national chain ..... ???) closed its door, - and pre xmas, I wanted a camera for my daughter, so I went to Bonsers, which looked sooooo empty, I HAD to buy at John Lewis. this year, Bonsers has closed, and just 2 days later, Jessops shut up shop. I wonder if Bonsers had known, they might have had another year or two, just because the big J was going..... There is a great Lancashire saying: "There is nothing, so good, for so long...." technology gave birth to my (commercial) interest in photo imaging ( my 1st minilab in 1987) - and technology moved on, - and hopefully, so did I The 'Killer Ap' for photo printing, - the lifeblood of the trade for generations was Facebook. Photos are meant to be shared, and FB does that better than anything. And what about kit? - well in the past, we all needed to be able to take great photos, we needed kit, we needed great processing, we needed film from 50asa to 3200asa and beyond, we wanted wide angle and zoooooom, we wanted creative effects, filters, and more....... And NOW, - my phone can do all that, and more, and best(or worst) still, I get a new one every 24 months, weather I want one or not. Instant (digital) imaging has made photos accessable to everyone, my car has more cameras than I do ! And yet, it is still a tragedy that Bonsers, and Jessops (both family firms) have gone. . . . . I loved my minilab years, and valued Minilab forum beyond £'s (hope you have stuck all them pics in albums Neil!) I wish all the survivors the greatest of luck in adapting to our everchanging future. And warm wishes to all those made redundant in their next choice or direction. Phil (logobear) Spectrum x
  2. I have sold it as is. I think the buyer knows about these things. Thanks for your help. Phil
  3. philspectrum

    g4 monitor elo

    I am after one too. I am in Newcastle upon Tyne in UK. Any suggestions ? Thanks.
  4. My Kodak G4 touchscreen has stopped displaying - the head is ok when I plug another screen in. Power is getting in fine but nothing at all appears on screen. It was a little intermittent, - and no nothing at all. Can anyone point me towards anyone who can repair or replace the screen assembly ? Is it something a computer shop can handle, - the pc is based on IBM thinkpad, - but no idea about the screen assembly. Any suggestions much appreciated. Thanks
  5. I think there is a genuine lack of gifts for men........ We now have at least eight different sublimation mugs, but it is a what goes insides that will interest dads.we don't do personalised photo beer........yet
  6. I have never used an EPOS or any other system to 'manage' my clients/contacts, and as a consequence, I have a poor and irregular history of direct marketing, and maintaining ralationships by newsletters, emails etc. I wonder if any minilabhelpers use CRM (Client Relationship Management) software ? We have a cupboard full of customer information, but no single place that gathers their contact info, purchase history, (and payment history), it could group clients for appropriate marketing campaigns, tie in with emails, artwork and image databases, and allow monitoring of who is doing what so we can make the most of the clients we have. I know most large organisations are hot with this, and large salesforces can be monitored by management, but can it work for very small organisations, heck, - we know all our customers, but somtimes it takes several months to realise we havn't seen somone for a while, ..... where have they gone? It would be great if software could flag up somone we havn't seen for a few months, or send me a memo just before a certain client has their busy season so we can make contact, and do all we can to ensure we get the work. maybe even auto diary events like anniversaries etc. I know most of this can be done with bits of separate software, but can it all be done with a single tool? CRM can be based on your own hardware, or run from the 'cloud' - which is best? My business only has 1 email address, and we all share it, but ideally the CRM could be accessed from my shop, from my home office, and from a mobile device too. Google reviels thousands of supplier solutions, some free for small users, but which is best? Many offer first month free, but the main investment is lurning curve and time to enter data. I would appreciate any tips, suggestions etc. thanks Phil
  7. Has anyone tried any of these products? On this day in history, babies names etc, it sounds like it could be a great little earner if the database is good, and the certificate is well designed; enter a name/date, printout to A3, pop into a frame and Ker-Ching goes the till. Any experiences ? Phil
  8. Don't behave like teams from The Aprentice this week. They started selling merchandise instead of services, and got small margins sitting on stock instead of huge margins that you get on services. I hate retailing, and love on site services. 40% or 600% or more. You decide! P
  9. There is a wisdom that you should always have more than one kiosk, so they have presence and give theatre to your operation. People often shop in groups and each can use at the same time. I have a couple of G4 kiosks with printers and cabinets that I have from my old shop, they dint gave the very latest software but work great and print 4x6, 5x7, and 6x8 You could have them both for less than the price if a single unit quoted above. PM me if interested. Phil
  10. I think the most important factor in the pussible success of your venture will be your enthusiasm and passion. The photo printing industry has experiences about 5 years of contraction, technology has replaced much of the traditional skill, and the product is now a commodity sold very much on price, if your competition is Asda then price must not be your carrot, or you loose! I agree with the above comments about targeting female shoppers, and disagree about professionals! If you set up in a prosperous small market town, have great technical skills, can offer pro photography services through an in house studio plus weddings etc, and you run as a husband and wife team, have lots of local connections: school, church, etc And, you have deeeeeeeep pockets, and are proper geeky when it comes to creating websites, fixing kit and getting everything to talk to each other, then you might have a business..... If it is just an idea , then I suggest you have a few more long baths and see what other ideas you have. Good luck whatever you decide! Phil
  11. Hi Tony, You seem to have had a catalogue of errors, and feel that you should have labelled the thread "issues with veritek" maybe, it is hardly surprising that most members have not read a thread on a lab brand they don't personally use. As you know, this company have taken over service contracts for noritsu and others. We retained the same engineers, so their skill base was strong, but their admin resulted in a number of invoice errors. Lab reliability was a key to my success in over 20 years wetlab, and also a factor in helping me to exit the industry. If service agents do not realise this then they face an ever shrinking customer base and no future. I would seriously think of a spare lab to cannibalise, or backup capacity. Good luck P
  12. the Idevice compatable HP wireless printers are brilliant, we can all print, even from the bottom of the big garden..... kids using all my ink and posh paper...... I guess that any decent APP developer could produce a plug-in I'd buy a licence! Phil
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