United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: UBSI), is a $12.1 billion regional banking company with dual headquarters in Charleston, WV and Washington, DC. The bank's lending portfolio tops $6 billion.
With 131 full service offices in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. originating commercial and consumer loans, UBSI was challenged to find the best way to capture and centrally store loan documentation files.
Since 2012, UBSI had centrally scanned all of its commercial and consumer loan documents using a low-speed desktop scanning solution originally implemented by a bank that UBSI acquired.
UBSI's low-speed scanning solution presented several problems:
- Poor image quality: UBSI had to manually manipulate the settings on its old scanners to ensure optimum image quality for each document type it processed, including insurance certificates, titles, appraisals, and computer-generated forms. Manually manipulating the scanner settings for different types of documents resulted in inconsistent image quality.
- Slow scanner throughput: Stopping the scanning process to manually manipulate scanner settings took a lot of time. Making matters worse, the bank's old scanners were not built to handle a wide range of inter-mixed document types, resulting in frequent jams. The poor performance of the bank's old scanners required UBSI to rescan up to 20 percent of its work.
- Time-consuming document preparation: UBSI's old desktop scanning solution required the bank to physically sort each document type and manually generate a "slip sheet" for each document to facilitate loading into the back-end system. When you consider that a single commercial loan file can encompass 1,000 pages, it's easy to see how much time and money the bank spent sorting documents and generating single-use slip sheets.
Backed by support from senior management, in 2013 UBSI began evaluating alternative image capture solutions. Later that year, UBSI selected a scanning and document capture solution that included ibml's ImageTracDS 1085 high-production desktop scanner and ibml's SoftTrac Capture Suite software, including ibml's new SoftTrac Synergetics intelligent capture solution for classifying documents and automatically extracting metadata.
ibml stood apart for its ability to deliver a complete solution. Steve Stone, Executive Vice President of Operations for UBSI said, "ibml has a reputation as being experts in image capture and hard copy paper conversion. What we didn't know is that they had invested in software and recognition technology. That was a revelation for us. They are more than a hardware company. ibml's expertise was critical to the success of the project. We knew what we wanted to do, but we didn't know how to do it," Stone continued. "ibml brought expertise to the table to help us accomplish our objectives."
UBSI began implementing the ibml scanning and document capture platform in January 2014. The regional bank currently uses the ibml platform to process paper documents for 15 loan types, including car loans and commercial loans. The size of the loan package varies from 10 pages to a thousand or more, depending on the loan type. UBSI fully converted to the ibml solution in June 2014.
ibml's scanning and document capture platform has provided UBSI with a range of benefits:
- 15 percent reduction in staff: UBSI achieved its anticipated productivity improvements within six months of implementing the ibml solution. For instance, UBSI's old scanning solution required an FTE to do nothing but scan consumer loan documents for 9 hours each business day. With the ibml solution, it takes the same individual approximately 3 hours to scan all of the bank's consumer, as well as commercial, loan documents. Additionally, UBSI reduced the staff required to prep documents and generate slip sheets from 1¾ FTEs to a fraction of an FTE. The ibml scanning and document solution reduced the time required to prep documents and generate slip sheets from an average of 30 minutes to less than a minute. ibml's SoftTrac Synergetics automatically classifies and separates documents from within batches, extracts data elements from various document types, and routes document images and the extracted data to the bank's back-end document management repository.
- 80 percent faster image capture cycle times: ibml's ImageTracDS 1085 scanner and SoftTrac Capture Suite software delivers superior image quality regardless of the document type, eliminating the need for UBSI to manipulate scanner settings. Additionally, the ImageTracDS 1085 was designed to process inter-mixed document types in the same batch, streamlining document prep and virtually eliminating the jams that were common with the bank's old scanners. The ImageTracDS 1085's throughput also enabled UBSI to replace five old desktop scanners with two ibml scanners, one for disaster recovery.
- Improved data capture: Compared to UBSI's old image system, ibml's SoftTrac Synergetics captures much more information from each loan file, including the dollar amount, date, address, and other relevant descriptors. The bank uses this information to index the files, providing easier access to stored documents and data. "The data was always there; but ibml makes it easier to capture and use for our downstream business needs," Stone said, noting that the additional information could prove invaluable when examiners review the bank's loan portfolio.
- Reduced paper storage: Lacking confidence in the image quality, completeness and accessibility provided by its old scanning solution, UBSI retained virtually all the paper documents that were imaged on its old system to ensure that a usable record could be retrieved. "It was the worst of both worlds," Stone recalled. Now with ibml's imaging system, UBSI has the confidence to destroy most paper loan documents 60 days after they have been processed. This frees up space in UBSI's banking offices where files were previously stored.
- Less wasted paper: The ibml scanning and document capture platform eliminates the need for UBSI to physically sort document types and create a single-use slip sheet for every document. On average, the ibml system requires only two slip sheets for an entire lending file.
- Improved morale: "The ibml scanning and document capture solution changed the nature of our loan processing jobs from heads-down clerical positions with repetitive tasks to heads-up information management/knowledge worker positions," Stone said. "Staff are now focused on value-added functions such as document inspection and quality control." ibml's SoftTrac Synergetics captures much more information from each loan file, including the dollar amount, date, address, and other relevant descriptors. The bank uses this information to index the files, providing easier access to stored documents and data.
- Foundation for future initiatives: While lending remains a largely paper- based function today, ibml's Synergetics platform creates a foundation for future automation. "SoftTrac Synergetics will allow us to process paper and electronic documents from multiple channels. We are now looking at technology to create commercial loan documents electronically and have them electronically signed to reduce the amount of documents we have to print, scan, index and upload."
UBSI expects to achieve payback on its ibml platform in 2½ to 3 years. The project was "self-funding," a key consideration with capital so tight for bank automation projects.
The Bottom Line
"ibml's scanning and document capture platform has enabled UBSI to reduce its labor costs, streamline operations, accelerate the posting of image items, and ensure that highly usable, high quality images are readily accessible to lenders," Stone said. "Impressively, ibml helped us improve the efficiency for both our commercial and consumer loans, which have very different workflows."