from a posting on the bestphotolist…
"You will find that with a computer and
your inkjet printer you will be able to make prints at home that are just as
good as those you get from the local one-hour minilab."
did those words come from? Was it from Epson or Lexmark or HP? Did
that kernel of wisdom come from Office Depot or Best Buy or Circuit City?
No, those words come from Kodak - and hey, Kodak
makes ink and inkjet paper and there might be times that those words are
appropriate. It sounds like something that the inkjet division of Kodak should
say - in an Office Depot/Best Buy atmosphere.
But it wasn't the Kodak inkjet division that
claims inkjet printing is as good as minilab developing. No, the words
above are a cut and paste from the CD titled "Higher Education in Picture
Taking" that is distributed by the Kodak PHOTO SPECIALTY channel.
But wait - there's more.
Kodak sends these CD's to you, the minilab owner, for
FREE. The CD's are to be given out by YOU to every customer who
purchases six rolls of Kodak film.
Isn't that nice? Kodak is using you and me,
the high end photo finishers, to distribute literature to OUR customers,
telling them that they are just as well off printing at home on inkjet instead
of developing at our photo lab on silver halide. Delving a little
further into the CD, you will see where Kodak recommends their inkjet paper
and Kodak software. But if you aren't a do-it-yourselfer, the CD
suggests that you use Ofoto.com to develop your photos from a digital camera!
So Kodak - please forgive me if I take your latest
promotion and chunk it into the trash. I read in all the financial
reports that you [Kodak] are losing your butt - you have to lay off another
6,000 people. How much did it cost you to develop, manufacture, burn and
distribute these CD's to labs around the country? On one hand you are
losing money and on the other hand you are sending out these CD's to labs that
will do just what I did - throw them away. I'm sure that the cost of
this program exceeds the annual salary of more than just a few of the 6,000
people you are going to fire.
Or did you think that not one single dealer would
notice? And have you not figured out that we talk to each other
regularly? I was getting ready to pass out my CD's when another IPI
member posted something on The IPI Forum. Sure enough, I read his words
and then looked at the CD myself. Thanks for the heads up Brian.
Kodak - We want to work with you. We
understand that Walmart will always be able to sell film at retail for less
than we pay wholesale. We understand that you have different divisions
and some of them are not in the best interest of Photo Specialty. We can
live with that.
But why does it seem that you always try to
shaft Photo Specialty at every turn? Can't you be satisfied making
a few pennies in the paper and chemistry division when I purchase from you
instead of trying to make an extra penny by selling your inkjet paper to
Office Depot? Are you so desperate for inkjet sales and Ofoto orders
that you want me pass out literature for them? On the CD there is
actually a hyperlink to Ofoto - one click is all it takes for my customer to
get to your Ofoto home page. And you want me, the Photo Specialty
high end photofinisher, to pass these out to my customers?
Think outside of the box for a second here - what
if you [Kodak] made a full out blitz to persuade people to NOT print at home?
Spend all your time, effort and money teaching people that they are better off
going to a real photo lab. Imagine if every consumer in America was to
hear "Are your photographs developed on REAL Kodak Photographic
Paper?" Take the loss on the inkjet department. Let the
people who really want to print at home purchase Epson or Lexmark or HP
ink. Spend you marketing and advertising dollars on getting consumers to
ask their photo lab "Do you use Kodak paper?" again.
You, Kodak, have to rethink your business model just like I
need to rethink mine. D&P won't cut it for me anymore just like film
sales won't cut it for you. I wonder if you have larger margins on RA4
paper or on inkjet paper? I would guess RA4, since you have to sell
inkjet to every big box in the world and they go for the throat. Why
aren't you doing anything that might increase your silver halide sales?
Many of the great Kodak products have started their life in
the Photo Specialty channel. Ektar Film, Royal Paper, Royal Gold Film;
and of course The CopyPrint Station. Photo Specialty might only be 3% of
Kodak sales, but Photo Specialty brought you to the dance on many of your big
I look at my lab's history - always on Kodak paper, Kodak
chemistry, one of the first 50 KICS stores in the country, one of the first
DLS software users. The blood in my lab runs yellow and you [Kodak] have
the gall to not only manufacture these CD's to pull customers away from my
store, but you want me to pass them out for you!
It is interesting to compare that attitude to the current
Agfa Success Seminars. Agfa is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars
putting on seminars. These great seminars are open to every lab
owner regardless of equipment, paper or chemistry usage. There are no
Agfa sales pitches, Agfa just wants every small independent Photo Specialty
lab to do more business and increase sales. That's better than a box of
Agfa is trying to help us increase our business and Kodak
is trying to take our business. That is pretty sad and speaks volumes.
So, if anybody on BestPhotoList has read all the way to the
end of this missive I have two suggestions:
Do not pass out the Kodak University
CD's - they are not in your best interest.
And also send an email to your Kodak rep
expressing your displeasure with the Kodak University CD that they want you to
distribute. Maybe, just maybe, if enough Kodak reps get enough
emails, they will start forwarding them up the chain and Kodak corporate will
Jim's Photo Lab
6600 North Mesa
El Paso, Texas 79912
five days later: feedback