Sunday, April 09, 2006

Printing at Kodak machines at CVS and the process

I used to be a fan of using the kodak machines at CVS pharmacy to print my pictures at 29 cents each, until 1 year back. It takes about 3 minuts for 2 pictures to print. I used to print copies from my digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 3100 and stayed in CVS for an hour waiting for the prints sometime.

So, I switched to this mode of "let me upload the pictures from home and pick it up at the store. I tried to upload the pictures to keep it printed for me to pickup and it had problems. The other alternative was and thats how I ended up where I started my day today.

So, I went back to CVS and got the bookmark pictures printed and am cutting it to bookmark size by the side now :-)

Interesting enough, this afternoon, as my print was waiting at walmart store (so I believed), having selected the store-pickup option, I was wondering how folks must have implemented this.

Does my purchase from trigger a remote printing to be spooled at the photo shop at Walmart store I selected or was it an intermediate stage of process change at walmart that made the web site email the store and they would continue their process of printing manually?

This thinking might appear crazy if you are reading this as a fellow consumer. But, I derive my web product building experience from going through this exercise with many brick and mortar companies who used the web to improve processes for efficiencies and it usually takes one step at a time in a large company. Its ok as long as the end experience for the customer is seamless. offers the choice of 1 hour photo print, store pickup and home delivery (at no extra charge). Why would I, the consumer select a store pickup (after a week) option at 15 cents a print while they offer home delivery at no extra charge at 12 cents a print.

Is it the typical business myopia of thinking from inside the company and not from the customer perspective? I can understand how it will benefit Walmart by bringing people to the store if they picked the "store pickup"option, but whats in it for me, the consumer?

I am a big believer of extension of printing and lot other processes into remote machines across the web, lets hope these sites get better in understanding our needs.

BTW, Walmart has the same kodak machine that CVS has, that one can used for self-prints, but it was 35 minutes before the walmart store was closing for the day and the lady at the photo store had decided to shut it down for the day.

I had to call my husband to surf and find the nearest CVS that was open late. Another of my dreams is to be able to use my phone and find that store option from my cell. Better would be to send my photo from my cell to spool at the store printer.

We don't have to start the discussion of upload speeds and storage and resolution of cell camera photots. A hosted photo solution company like Yahoo or Shutterfly can still allow me today to store my photos online from my digital camera and just click and purchase prints from a remote store like CVS or Walmart for pickup or for delivery in I can afford the extra few days time.
It technically doable today. I am waiting ...


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