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D&S Photographic Services

The business's primary service areas are targeted at the commercial and holiday rental elements of the property market.

Learning points

  • Standard broadband connectivity can be sufficient for many business processes.
  • Robustness of connectivity is as important as broadband upload/download speeds.
  • Mobile connectivity can complement fixed-line access, particularly for remote working in rural and remote areas.

Overview of the business

Picture of D&S Photographic logo

D&S Photographic Services (D&S) was established in 2012 to provide commercial photography services to business.The majority of D&S' work is undertaken for overseas property owners, with a small number of contracts in Wales. Its services are advertised via a number of online agencies in the UK, Canada and the USA. These agencies provide access to web platforms which enable photographs to be uploaded for sale.

The business operates in a competitive market, characterised by a large number of global stock photographers. It competes in this market by offering specialised photographic themes, and has recently branched out from its core property services to supply services to the legal and food industry-related sectors.

D&S Photographic Services information flow diagram

Highlighting the internal and external communication flows of the business.

Broadband adoption

D&S receive a broadband download speed of 7Mbps and upload of 0.58 Mbps. It is generally satisfied with the current speeds.

I just tend to upload images and photos, and leave the computer to do it whilst I get on with other things.

Manager, D&S Photographic Services

In addition to fixed line broadband, the business makes use of mobile solutions such as 4G. This allows work to be completed outside of the office while on assignment. The business argues that this is an area where rural parts of Wales, including major tourist routes, could benefit from better connectivity. The restrictions that result from poor connectivity have led the business to purchase mobile phones on two different networks - thus maximising the potential to get a connection.

IT skills capacity

D&S do not employ any staff to deal with IT related issues, relying on in-house digital skills to manage day-to-day activities.

Use of digital technologies

Much of D&S’ business is undertaken online, with the aid of cloud storage. This includes offering photographs for sales on online platforms, and uploading photos for insurance purposes. In addition it also uses services such as Dropbox and WeTransfer for storage and dissemination of images. It has experimented with website analytics, and used Skype and GoToMeeting for contracts in the USA.

The use of these technologies highlights the importance of broadband access, but also reliability. This has been illustrated by recent difficulties in access its broadband, linked to ongoing infrastructure work in the local area.

Around half of the business’s purchases are transacted online. D&S also carries out its banking and accounting online.

Business performance

The importance of access to broadband is illustrated by the infrastructure-related outages. As a business that operates seven days a week, this has caused significant frustration - particularly a few years ago when the network was down on a number of weekends, causing concerns with taking on new contracts or assignments.

D&S do not expect to introduce superfast broadband in the coming years.