by Tom Lee Published 01/06/2007
Lee and Oldfield venture north of the border in search of colour
Intrepid explorers, Tom Lee and Aled Oldfield ventured away from the relative comfort of the north west to cross the border into Scotland and review the new facilities of Loxley Colour, to see for themselves the ROES operation and range of products currently available. Although both photographers have in-house facilities for producing a wide range of products, the pressure and time constraints of having to do-itall with little or no gain in cost and time benefits, made it sensible to look outside the studio and outsource their lab requirements.
Arriving after an early start, it dawned on our reporters why the Scots love their job so much. Although the factory has moved less than a mile from its old location, it appeared that the current location was chosen due to its proximity to the adjacent whisky distillery. (A fact that was fiercely denied by their sales manager, Chris Kay, who claims they didn't want to move too far from the 'bacon-butty' shop.)
The new premises were taken over as an empty shell, which made it ideal for setting out workflow, offices and machine layouts correctly, from the start. The entire facility was painted top to bottom and fitted with carpet throughout. The impression one gets is of an open, airy and comfortable atmosphere to work in, the family-run firm was working efficiently, like the slick operation we expected.
From the large open reception area, we were escorted to the upper part of the factory which houses a second display area, lecture room and main boardroom. This has commanding views over the city of Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Chris went through various aspects of the products that are currently available from Loxley but took care to explain that although the utmost attention to detail is paid to their products, customer care is always given the highest priority.
Loxley have been operating the Remote Order Entry System (ROES) for some time now and the system is well bedded in. We asked to see the system in action and provided some work examples to see for ourselves the workflow that they employ and to follow the job through to conclusion.
The studio/photographer can download ROES free of charge from the Loxley website (www.loxleycolour.com) and register themselves as a 'new user'. Setting up is a five-minute affair and intuitive, so there should be no problems in getting going. Once running, the client studio has access to all the products and variations available, with the prices displayed for each item ordered. This includes the Bellisimo range of albums, which are ordered in the same fashion, and prints, mounting, lamination and acrylic work. It's worth noting that only the options available for the product being offered will be available to view. One option offered by Loxley is to colour calibrate images, free of charge, taking another operation out of the photographer's time-consuming workflow. This preference is optional, and studios can still colour-correct themselves, if preferred.
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