Magazine Article | August 1, 2003

Content Management Solution Helps Beat The Government's Clock

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, August 2003

A government mandated timeline and an inefficient workflow system forced one government agency to call for backup. Bank One (Chicago), a major U.S. bank, wanted to help one of its biggest clients, a federal government agency, find a solution to help process applications and fees from its constituents. The federal government agency was legally mandated to begin accepting and collecting this data within a 120-day time period. The problem was the agency already had a backlog of these applications, so it could not take on this mandated work alone. That is when the agency approached Bank One for a solution.

Finding A Total Solution In 120 Days
Bank One had only 120 days to find and implement a system to scan the enveloped documents that came in, extract the data, and implement an electronic document management system. With the government agency's current system, it was impossible to accomplish these objectives. "The agency couldn't respond to legal mandates using their manual data entry system within that time frame. It would have resulted in the creation of a tremendous backlog of applications waiting to be processed," says Lori Nelson, first VP of Bank One. Using its previous system, the agency could take up to six weeks to process an application and the fees. Not only were constituents upset about the time it would take to process an application, but also the agency was losing money because of the delay in check processing. Since the procedure was so lengthy, by the time checks were cashed, many times the funds were no longer available. Using its former way of processing, the amount of time consumed made it impossible to process applications and fees any faster.

With the new mandate to take on additional work from more constituents, the agency was forced to improve its data capture and workflow processes. With a limited amount of time to find a solution, Bank One had to decide on a system very quickly. It chose components that it believed would integrate to accomplish the agency's goals in the scheduled time frame.

Integrate Scanning, Workflow, And Document Management
To give a total solution, Bank One installed a system with three components to meet all of the agency's needs. The first is Open Scan Technologies, Inc.'s (Denver) Mail Scan software system. This component scans all of the documents that come in each envelope. From there the document moves into the data extraction system. Here Cardiff Inc.'s TELEform automatically extracts data off the forms based on forms templates and business rules built into the templates that Bank One developed. "In the final stage of the process we used OnBase from Hyland Software. The software application imports the extracted data along with images of the applications themselves. At this time, the business rules are applied to the data, and a decision is made about exception or rejection of the application. Then a single stream of the data collected is transported into the government agency's back office system," says Nelson.

Since these three products had never been pulled together before, the system required data integration among the three. There was programming involved to track the forms process, extract data appropriately, and move images and data through the system efficiently. Bank One was able to complete integration and have the system working in time to meet the agency's deadline.

Process Documents 25 Times Faster
By implementing this system, the amount of time it takes to process an application and fees has been significantly reduced. Before, it would take up to six weeks to process the information and deposit the fees. Now, once an envelope is received it can be processed within 24 hours. This has eliminated the problem related to cashing extinguished checks, and has helped improve customer service because the agency can respond to constituents up to six weeks faster. Also, because of labor and time savings the agency is spending 50% less than before to process this data. For Bank One the new technology has helped it to expand its customer base. The bank is presently looking at other government agencies with similar types of needs.