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A note from founder

We are proud, grateful and privileged! With over 200 installations and thousands of users, Labworks has been serving the photofinishing and digital imaging industries since the year 2000.  But it didn’t start there!

Fifteen years before, my brother had just started a brand-new custom/commercial photo lab in Hollywood, California. He soon recognized that the manual order forms, and the cash register at the corner of the front counter, were not the proper way to go. His thinking wasn’t so much workflow and process management. The lab had tapped into the local film studios like Paramount and Universal and he sought to make the lab more professional and efficient as far as customer service goes. He also wanted proper invoicing and billing tools. That is when he contacted me to see if anything can be done.

At the time I was pursuing a degree in computer engineering and sciences without much understanding of a lab’s operation. One way to fix that: roll up sleeves, get employed and then … cutting negs, mounting slides, packing proofs, prepping chemicals for film processing, RC and RA, customer service, machine prints, B&W darkroom, dodging & burning … all of this while designing and coding what became the first version of Labworks in 1986, a DOS application running on a Texas Instrument PC with a gigantic tube monitor that hardly fit the depth of the front counter.

More employees and the next-door space were added in. The lab grew and so did Labworks. The multi-user Unix version of Labworks was installed in 1990. Twelve beautiful state-of-the-art Wyse 60 terminals were installed all over the lab. Amber ones … remember them? The new Unix Labworks had the benefit of 3 years of experience, new bells and whistles, customer relations features, a customer rating algorithm, and lots of other cool features that made lab operation a lot easier. It served us well for 10 years. Friends from other labs who saw it were very impressed and asked us how to get it. That made me think!

In year 2000, the Unix Labworks would have had a major problem: Y2K bug. To save space, the database engine was dealing with a two-digit year recognition. Year 2000 would have been confused with 1900. That year we were also worried about the global digital Armageddon but that is a different story altogether. The third version of Labworks, a Windows version this time, was turned on and set to go on Dec 29th 1999 (two days before the end of the world)!

This version was even more mature and experienced. The added features made it so that the system was handling many more facets of the business and it was now a proper hub of central information of the lab. Getting more and more attention from other labs. To test the market, we took it to a mini PMA show in San Diego and before we came to our senses, the first 3 copies of Labworks were sold. Lablogics Inc., a California corporation was created … and the rest is history!

Our latest innovation, Labworks Dot, introduced to the marketplace three years ago has been a great success. It is a hybrid web-based and .Net application.

During the past 18 years I have had the privilege of being part of a great industry and a great community. It has had its own challenges and ups and downs, sailing waves of events, economic and technological changes and transmutations. But it remains a great industry and more importantly, a great community to be a part of. 

I am going to use this note to wholeheartedly thank all of our customers, past and present. And hope to meet many new ones in future.

Alex Ravari

President and Founder

September 2018

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