Suncoast's Electronic Repository A Boost To Service

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Suncoast Schools FCU began moving all its paper documents from the metal file cabinet to the electronic repository more than four years ago.

Today, Suncoast's members are reaping the rewards, according to Wanda Chambers, vice president of document services at the $4-billion CU. "The electronic repository changes the scope of member service tremendously," said Chambers.

The majority of Suncoast's documents is now stored and retrieved electronically via Onbase, Hyland Software's content management solution. "Onbase is our main document repository," said Chambers. "The software stores all of the documents that we bring into our systems."

Suncoast's 850 employees use Onbase to work with more than 2,000 document types, including COLD reports, electronic forms, selected e-mail, Microsoft Word and Excel documents, and all images, including checks.

Onbase processed more than 8.6-million pages of COLD reports and nearly 1.9 million image documents during July alone for Suncoast.

In contrast, the CU used about 300,000 paper pages in July, which represents only about 3% of the CU's documents. Those paper pages are later scanned into Onbase, said Chambers.

"Onbase has literally changed the way we do business on a daily basis," Chambers said. "We no longer have to rely on the records office to pull documents from film. Instead, we have records at our fingertips immediately."

Member service representatives can instantly access check copies for members at any of the CU's 36 branches, for example. And call center representatives can supply members with loan information on the first call.

"And when a signature was needed, the front office used to have to call the back office," Chambers continued. "Now all of our signature cards for all account types are stored online."

Previously, records requests took from 24 to 48 hours to complete, she said.

1,800 Reports-Little Paper

Suncoast produces more than 1,800 reports every month, Chambers continued. However, the CU's Data Center estimates that less than 1% of Suncoast's reports ever hit paper.

"And we're slowly moving those users away from paper," Chambers added.

Onbase has taken care of Suncoast's long-term business needs, said Chambers. The software is compatible with the many file types Suncoast uses or would ever dream of using, including TIF, PDF and WAV, she said.

In addition, document storage is integrated with document routing through Onbase's Workflow module. Workflow helps Suncoast design workflow for back-office collaborative projects, Chambers said.

Onbase's Application Program Interface (API) allows Suncoast to adapt the software to each new business process as it arises, she said.

"Onbase has an open architecture with an API that allows us to program internally," she explained. "So far, I haven't encountered any problem I couldn't solve. There's always at least two or three different ways to get data into and out of the system."

Soon to come is an automated workflow for journal vouchers, in which the back office completes and balances a journal voucher through an online form and then automatically pushes the voucher through the appropriate chain of command for approvals.

Suncoast is also building an interface to its mortgage financing system so that mortgage documents are captured electronically at loan origination instead of after the mortgage closes. The interface will allow Suncoast to easily monitor and update loan documents.

The 350,000-member credit union also plans to make Onbase part of a front-end portal of integrated systems, including core processing, lending and member management platforms.

Credit unions planning to implement content management technology should set realistic goals, Chambers advised. As a first step, an enterprise should integrate COLD reports, and follow-up with a document imaging system that will help transform the paper trail to an automated electronic workflow.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Hyland Software, Inc. provides integrated document management solutions to nearly 300 CUs nationwide.

CUJ Resources

For more information on this story:

* Suncoast Schools FCU at www.suncoastfcu.org

* Onbase at www.onbase.com

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