Photo Processing Lab Is A Picture Of Efficiency
Software developer/VAR helps photo lab owner eliminate bookkeeping staff and add customized service by installing a POS system featuring specialty retail software.
Business Solutions, March 1998
Moving From Retail To Software Development
ProphetLine has 25 employees at the Fort Smith office and also subcontracts with software developers in Rochester, New York. According to Kirkham, the company has grown at a rate of 200% per year for the last five years.
As ProphetLine began moving its product on the market, the Process One photo labs were sold off. Wayne Fox purchased the Process One store in Shreveport, Louisiana. The store he bought did not have the ProphetLine system, or any computerized POS system, in place.
Accounting Functions Too Time-Consuming For New Owner
Fox preferred working in the photo lab, processing film with four of his six employees. The store offers one-hour color film processing, as well as black and white film developing. The company processes more than 100 rolls of color film a day for amateur and professional photographers. In addition to processing film, the store sells film and related photography supplies, such as frames. Fox also operated an on-site photography studio, which he wanted to expand. But, with a steady business, Fox soon found himself spending too much time and money on accounting functions, including payroll. With revenues of $300,000 Fox knew he needed a computerized system to manage his sales, inventory, accounting and payroll functions.
According to Kirkham, Fox evaluated the ProphetLine software, as well as the POS hardware Kirkham recommended. Satisfied that the system would help streamline his bookkeeping functions, Fox spent approximately $5,000 to have the system installed.
In addition to the Windows-based ProphetLine software, Fox uses a back office PC, a front office PC, an APG cash drawer, an Epson single-line receipt printer, OptoElectronics laser scanner, and a Star NX 1001 dot matrix printer. Kirkham notes Fox wanted components that were fast, reliable and easy-to-use. The Epson receipt printer, for example, was chosen because the paper is easy to load. The receipt printer's speed helps Fox move customers quickly through the payment process, Kirkham explains.
ProphetLine software features a core System Manager module that provides all cash register functions, including sales and returns. The system also tracks retail inventory, produces bar-code labels, includes a time and attendance feature, accounts payable and receivable, and payroll.
System Benefits Include Reduced Staff
Kirkham says that the feedback from Wayne Fox has been positive. Since installing the system, Fox has been able to eliminate two full-time bookkeeping positions, spend more time in the photo lab, and better track his inventory and sales. Fox is able to track customers by name and purchase. He uses this information to create customized mailings to advertise studio portrait specials, for example.
ProphetLine's cost savings and functionality have freed up Wayne Fox's time to concentrate on developing his business. He's building a custom darkroom for custom black and white portraits. This will expand Process One's services for professional photographers and add to the studio's capabilities.
Lisa Strunin is founder of Sphere Marketing Company, a public relations firm specializing in technology.