Success Stories
Case Study: Credit Card
Bank of America Card Services

Bank of America Card Services located in Norfolk, Virginia, provides the customer service aspect of handling customer credit card transaction dispute claims. For each item on a customer's statement that is placed into dispute, an electronic case of document images is kept for all correspondence between the bank associate, the customer and the merchant involved with the claim. Documents consist of emails, mailed-in letters, system-generated letters, card holder statements, images from VISA and MasterCard, and incoming and outgoing faxes.

Business Challenge
Bank America was merging two geographically separate departments onto one application system. The incoming mail processing function was being centralized to one location. Due to the increased volume of documents, additional scanning workstations would be required. The existing scanning application used IWPM integrated with three Bell & Howell 6338 scanners. The bank needed a solution to handle the higher volume without increasing the scanning resources.

Additionally, the existing scanning process was distributed in two physical locations so integration was required to leave one scanning location as it was with no changes.

The Solution
Two Bell & Howell standard VRS capable machines replaced two of the existing scanning workstations. Ascent Capture was added to process the new department as well as the existing documents from the existing department. Document separator sheets were added in addition to other document separation techniques to speed up the scanning process. Custom validation and release scripts were added to integrate the new scanning process with the existing scanning process and control files.

One of the existing Bell & Howell scanning stations was kept as a backup machine and to handle peak volume periods.

Why VirtualReScan?
The current document scanning process had a "re-scan" procedure. IWPM did not always do a good job of despeckling, deskewing, automatic contrast and automatic brightness adjustments. After documents were scanned, they are shipped to offsite storage. No quality control was being performed by the scan operators due to the volume of documents they were required to capture each day. If the indexers could not index the document due to the quality of the scanned image or even later in the process, if an associate could not read a certain portion of the document, then a Re-Scan would be requested. This would require the document to be retrieved from off site storage and re-scanned. This process was a time consuming and expensive.

A viable solution had to be able to scan all kinds of documents, not just the easy ones. Merchant multi-part carbon forms are the worst. Standard document scanners often turn these forms too dark to read. Faxes were another problem category.

The new Kofax VirtualReScan (VRS) enabled Bell & Howell scanners is software that provides an intelligent, automated scanner controller and image processing system. VRS automatically and continuously corrects scanner exposure, straightens, cleans up and sharpens document scans without slowing the Bell & Howell 8080D scanner.

Kofax VRS earned Imaging and Document Solutions Magazine's Best of Show Award at the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) annual conference in 1999. VRS is now available for a broad range of mid- to high-speed production scanners from Bell & Howell, Fujitsu and Ricoh.

The Cost of ReScanning
Typically, poor image quality requires rescanning from two to eight percent of all pages. The process is tedious and expensive. The scanner operator must stop scanning new documents, locate the pages that require rescanning, adjust scanner settings, then reload and rescan these pages. The process may have to be repeated many times to generate a readable image. The operator must then replace the rescanned pages in the correct locations in their batches -- in hard copy and electronically. Research has shown it costs six times more than the original scan to rescan a page.

VRS not only eliminates this slow, expensive process, it ensures that even the toughest documents may be captured. And even the most inexperienced scanner operator can obtain the same results.

Smartfish's proposal included VRS-equipped scanners. This would permit Bank America scan operators to scan the wide range of document types and qualities required by the solution. The solution utilizes two Bell & Howell 8080D VRS scanners. The scanned documents were released to the IBM Content Management WAF/400 repository for indexing and further workflow processing.

How Has it Worked?
Bank of America discovered that VRS can consistently obtain clear, readable on-screen images -- sometimes even more readable than the originals. Even better, VRS could produce these results without rescanning documents and without manual readjustment of scanner exposure settings. The new document capture solution was a success.

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