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.
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
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.
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.
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.