Background history of SCPS company:
Stellenbosch Centre for Photographic Services cc
Referred to as (SCPS) in documents.
Due to restructuring of BIFO in 1998, the University of Stellenbosch (US) gave the two (2) photographers, PAC Jordaan and A. Carstens, at that stage employed by US the opportunity to open a business. Stellenbosch Centre for Photographic Services (SCPS), a closed corporation was registered on the grounds of US to continue to render a photographic service on the campus. This service included the contract for the graduation ceremony photos during the ceremony (and family photos were available for all photographers). A. Carstens remained a partner until December 1998, when HPD. Rudman replaced him.
Since the conception of the company, the photographers have been working hand in hand with the staff of US, doing photo-shoots for media, websites and advertising. The graduation has been the backbone of the business, allowing the company to offer a comprehensive, reasonably priced package to the departments within US.
As of 1998, SCPS, on a constant basis updates and improvements were made to the product delivered to the client. All improvements have been done with the approval of the Registrar of the university. The following improvements have been implemented from the one (1) photo taken:
- SCPS, was the first company to introduce digital photography in the Boland area.
- Three main photographs with a variety of choices included.
- For the last fifteen years a video/DVD of the whole ceremony have been made available. The video is filmed by a videographer.
- Family photographs, prior to and after the ceremonies. These photographs are taken by local professional photographers.
- Special attention is given to persons with disabilities graduating. A photographer is always available to take photos of the graduate on the lower level if they are unable to mount the stairs to receive their degree.
- In 2011, SCPS established its own website, constantly being upgraded and improved. All graduation photos are loaded up and this gives the candidate the opportunity to view their photos within days of the ceremony. This allows the candidate to select his photographs before blindly ordering, leading to cost saving for all parties involved.
- A window period of ten (10) years is given for orders to be placed. Thereafter, images, in accordance to the agreement signed in 1998, images are handed over to US.
- To improve cost effectiveness and reduce delivery time, the team have implemented a system where the proof photographs are mailed to the graduates. This allows the graduates to view their photographs in their own time on their own person e-mail account. Current, local students are employed on a temporary basis to send out these e-mails.
- Framing is done by the photographers themselves (received professional training in this regard), thus keeping the costs down for the candidate. Unclaimed prints are kept for a period of two (2) years.
- Urgent orders are managed with instant printing on the premises.
All above and ongoing improvements are aimed to keep abreast with the requirements of the students.
In order to promote local job creation and keeping in line with Employment Equity guidelines, SCPS only uses the services of local persons as follows:
- A pool of seven (7) local photographers is used to assist with the family photo-shoots and the graduation ceremony itself.
- Five (5) persons are recruited to assist with the administrative component during the graduation ceremony. Many of these persons recruited are retained for a period after the graduation ceremony to assist with the processing of orders, etc, leading to further job creation.
- A staff of two (2) administration staff on a full time basis.
SCPS, is a small, but highly productive and professional company, offering personal services to the students and their families. Since SCPS began covering the graduation ceremony, very little complaints have been received, thus maintaining the positive image of the university. In the case of the odd complaint, it is addressed personally by one of the members. Furthermore, on many occasions, photos taken by the photographer have been used in local and international publications
Should this contract be allocated to an outside company, the graduation ceremony will lose its uniqueness that SCPS has brought to it over the last twenty (20) years. Furthermore, this company will bring in their own component of staff that is not familiar with the proceedings of US, leading to frustrations and missed golden moments. This will also lead to the work-loss of the above mentioned local persons currently employed.
Being situated on the grounds of US, SCPS render services to all the departments. These assignments are not automatically allocated to SCPS. Services are contracted by the individual departments on a continuous basis, thus reflecting the confidence the rest of US have in the company and the photographers.
SCPS is also the official graduation photographers for:
- Stellenbosch Academy situated in Stellenbosch
- AIMS Academy situated in Muizenberg
Services are also rendered to the general public, local companies as well as to international companies.
Contact numbers of both partners are displayed in business cards, on vehicles and on the website, making them visible and accessible to the general public at all times. Queries are managed per cell phone during non-office hours. Should the photographers be unable to assist over the telephone over week-ends and after hours, the customer is requested to contact the office during office hours for personal assistance.
In conclusion, although SCPS is a private entity, both partners, theirs spouses and children at some stage have studied at Stellenbosch, making all “proudly Maties”.