E-commerce Case Study: Doubling Production of Fashionphile’s In-House Photography Studio
If you are a follower of my blogs, you’re already aware that I’m an extremely experienced catalog production photographer, food photographer, fashion and architectural interiors photographer. This doesn’t mean that I’m a generalist, but I have been shooting full-time advertising photography for more than 37 years, so have accrued decades of experience in multiple categories of subject matter.
What many of my readers may not know is that for the last several years I’ve also been working as a consultant for corporations that wish to put in their own in-house photography studios. This is been a great symbiotic relationship for me in the Corporation. I solve their problems, train their personnel, increase their productivity, and expand the reach of their photography which in turn, multiplies their productivity, greatly influences warm leads, and positively impacts their profit. The benefits for me are that I get an ongoing retainer, and assist in maintaining quality photography in the marketplace.
This year I’ve been working with www.Fashionphile.com. Fashionphile is an online luxury consignment store. Fashionphile contacted me in 2015 after having read my blog post titled “The Tipping Point ”, which talked about why and when it’s profitable to bring your photography in-house.
Fashionphile was having a productivity issue. Fashionphile management contacted me for an independent evaluation of their photographic procedures.
They had a healthy staff of photographers who were working two shifts, and still running grossly behind in their production of timely post-consignment products on their website. Each photographer was working an eight-hour day, shooting for four hours and post editing their images for four hours.
I reviewed their procedures for both post-production and photography, and concluded that I could cut their post-editing time in half. With a second session I would be able to eliminate 95% of all of their post-editing.
Fashionphile flew me out to San Diego in January 2016 for phase 1 of my proposal which was to eliminate 50% of their editing, changing their shooting/editing ratio to six hours shooting and two hours editing for every photographer. This would increase their units photographed per day by 30% without incurring any extra man-hours.
In July, Fashionphile flew me back to San Diego for phase 2 – the elimination of 95% of their image post-processing by turning their entire processing into an automated procedure. This effectively cut the photographers’ post-editing time from two hours to less than 15 minutes..
The true bonus with phase 2 was in order to eliminate their custom post editing I had to change the way they were creating the original photographs. This photographic procedural change doubled each photographers’ units photographed from 30 units to 70+units per day without increasing any man-hours.
Before the phase 1 consultation, Fashionphile photographers were each producing about 30 units per day using two shifts. Now, with a decrease in man-hours, Fashionphile photographers are each producing 70 to 75 units per day with only one work shift.
Fashionphile has also opened up a second studio and expanded their product line.
If you have an in-house photography studio to accommodate your e-commerce line, please consider having me do an independent evaluation of your procedures.