UPS: now go do, that voodoo, that you do, so well.

We knew before we launched ScanCafe that the care and safety of customer orders would be paramount to success. Therefore, we spent the better part of a year (2006) and a couple of hundred thousand dollars of our own money investing in the logistics and support processes that are so critical to our success. We put this in place and heavily tested it prior to taking a single customer order. We have built a phenomenal back end infrastructure that allows us to physically track thousands of packages on a daily basis. On top of this, we created a set of database management tools that can tell me, at a moment’s notice, where every single ScanCafe customer order is located, anywhere on the globe.

It was also important to us to tie our name to a global leader in shipping – so we have fully integrated our logistics and database management with that of UPS. After placing your order at you simply print out a fully completed UPS label from your computer – you will notice that there are several barcodes on the label. The one at the bottom is the ScanCafe barcode – it is this barcode that provides the platform for our logistical triumph. Everywhere that your order goes inside of either UPS or ScanCafe, we track your order by that barcode. Automation is key to logistical achievement.

Anyway, we thought we had a pretty phenomenal system – and our track record of 10,000,000 images processed without a single order loss supports this – but compared with the magicians at UPS, we are still neophytes. Check out this story about a typical day in the Worldport UPS facility where over one million packages a day are sorted. It is my goal to have tens of thousands of ScanCafe packages coming through this amazing facility every night. Towards this goal, we will continue to make logistical expertise and the laser focus of customer care pillars of ScanCafe.

ScanCafe UPS Label

5 thoughts on “UPS: now go do, that voodoo, that you do, so well.”

  1. I’m a first time customer and overall I’ve been impressed with the operation and the results that I’ve seen on the web.

    But there’s always room for improvement. One suggestion I’d make is to give customers how long before scanning starts. My order spent a long time in the queue and it would have been nice to see it make some progress in that time.

    Another suggestion is to allow me to download the results while I’m waiting on them or to get the DVD before I get the original slides back.

    In my case, I’m hoping to use some in a book, but that now seems unlikely since the DVD won’t get back in time. I assume that’s because you’re waiting on the source slides to come back from India. I’m happy to get the DVD now and wait a week longer for the original media and I’ll bet I’m not alone.

  2. Hi Bernard,

    Thanks for the post. You are correct, there is always room for improvement. Let me take each of your suggestions individually:

    1) Better communication: since we deal with some very precious assets, there is probably no such thing as communication overload. Our systems are designed to provided automated updates as an order runs through the system. Under normal demand conditions, this works out to a customer seeing progress on a daily and weekly basis. However, when we find ourselves in a backlog situation like we have today, then you will see no movement on an order sitting in the que because it is waiting its turn to get into production. We are actually working on an “out of process” notification tool that will notify us when a particular order sits in one stage of the process outside the norm.
    2) We are actively investigating the capability of high resolution download. As these files are about 5-7 MB, that can be a daunting task for many customers. However, we understand that there are lots of folks who would like this feature so keep reading our newsletters – we will let you know if we roll out this service.
    3) The DVD is burned within a day of the customer checking out. The DVD will actually travel in the same box as your originals. Along with what I mention in #2 above, we are also investigating a “for fee” option where the DVD can get sent directly the customer via FedEx.

    We appreciate your business – and your comments. All of our best innovations and improvements originate with customer comments so feel free to let us know of any other comments/concerns.


  3. I ordered last night and didn’t want to print out my label and risk waking the kids and now I can’t figure out how to do it. I logged in while I still had the print screen up (last night) and it was very easy to find the ‘reprint label’ button, but now on a different computer I can’t find it!!!….
    So under ‘easier use’ it would be great if I could find the button and if not if it was one of the FAQ’s or would come up under a search term like “reprint” “label” “shipping” I’m sure I tried more(-; I came to the blog and searched too and this was the one thing I got to come up.
    This is my 2nd order so if I can’t find it I’lll call customer service- I’m not expecting a problem, just a little glitch… but we are packing to move so- yikes I want to get the box out tomorrow!
    Oh, and do you have a Facebook page in the works?
    Thanks so much!

  4. Ok, went back and finally saw it below on the My Accounts page, even though I LOOKED so many times, LOL…. phew.
    But is probably would be pretty helpful to include the link on the “how it works” and “What is the process? What do I have to do? How should I package and ship my pictures?” and “packing tips” pages(-;

    Thanks, will be looking forward to digital pictures in a couple months!!!

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