Download a PDF (English) version of this story.
It’s estimated that trillions of photographic prints exist worldwide. Consumers need a way to turn these analog pictures into digital files.
Provide a cost-effective, secure way for consumers to turn boxes — even thousands — of pictures into digital media, along with safeguarding these images for generations to come.
An innovative Web site, KODAK i1220 Scanner, and KODAK Gold Preservation CDs.
“In my opinion, the KODAK i1220 Scanner is the best. I looked and tried all the competitors, and this has them all beat.”
~ Sam Patel, President/CEO, PhotoScanClub.com
For Sam Patel, the light went on when his father brought back 3,000 digital pictures from a trip to China. “He shot digital, but I then recalled all the traditional photos he’d taken over the years,” says the President and CEO of PhotoScanClub.com. “How could all those photos easily be turned into digital images?” The idea that emerged from Patel’s brainstorm became the genesis of a new online analog-todigital photo conversion service.
Internet insight creates a new business
Before launching PhotoScanClub.com in early 2007, Sam Patel gained extensive online experience working for companies including EarthLink Network, Network Solutions, most recently serving as the VP of Business Development for a Web 2.0 firm. So he knew the kinds of businesses that could best succeed online. “Until recently, there was no costeffective, safe, efficient way to scan and digitize large volumes of photos,” he says. “Yet it’s estimated there are 500 billion to a trillion pictures out there in the U.S alone. Consumers need to feel comfortable and secure in the process, know that their valuable photos will be carefully handled and professionally preserved. And they want this service at a reasonable price. PhotoScanClub.com fulfills all aspects of this desire.”
When Patel talks about an efficient scanning process, he again cites his father as an example. “He had a flatbed scanner and lots of time, so he began scanning photos himself,” Patel recalls. “After about ten pictures, he’d had enough. Most people do not have the patience required to do this on their own.” Today, Patel’s KODAK i1220 Scanner provides a fast, easy way to capture up to 30 prints per minute.
PhotoScanClub.com offers two turn-key levels of pricing: $59 for up to 150 photos or as many as 300 photos for $99. The company sends consumers a pre-paid secure mailing container, including USPS priority mail postage. Both incoming and return postage and handling are included in the price.
Advantages for differentiation
Once consumers have sent off pictures, PhotoScanClub.com offers some valuable features not provided by all online merchants delivering similar services. “We send images back to them on KODAK Gold CDs designed for image preservation,” says Patel. “These use an exceptional data-recording layer dye material for uniform CD creation and are coated with three protective layers to guard against scratches. Kodak projects, with proper storage, that these discs will last 300 years.”
Each disc contains two types of JPEG images: one ideal for on-screen/online use and e-mailing, and the other at 300 dpi that creates better results when printed. “We also include what’s called a Free Digital Locker,” Patel adds. “Their 300 dpi images are stored at a secure, off-site location that only we can access. If they lose their original CDs, it’s easy for them to reorder from us. It’s a safeguard that offers great peace of mind.”
Choosing Kodak for performance and durability
Before launching his new venture, Patel did extensive research on scanners.
“Believe me, I tried out scanners from every well-known manufacturer. In my opinion, the KODAK i1220 Scanner is the best. The way that it straightens images and cleans them up is exactly what we need. It really performs flawlessly and the durability has been great. It handles the various sizes of prints we receive exceptionally well.” ~ Sam Patel
While new competitors are emerging in the Internet space regularly, Patel is optimistic about his venture and the future. “The market is there for consumers and those with specialized interests ... scrapbookers and those making photo books, for instance,” he says. “I’ve noticed that people simply consider their older photos more valuable and treasure them more than the latest pictures they’ve taken. Perhaps because they have historical interest and greater sentimentality to them. Once they dig those pictures out of the shoeboxes, they want to preserve, protect and have easy access to them. And that’s exactly what PhotoScanClub.com delivers.” Patel began the business in Santa Ana, CA and has now moved to larger offices in Irvine. Since going live in March 2007, business has been so overwhelming that Patel is looking to add more Kodak Scanners to his business.
To assist other photofinishers in providing services of this type, Kodak has introduced the KODAK s1220 Photo Scanning System which builds on the success of the i1220 Scanner to include associated software that performs enhancements including sharpening and red-eye reduction.