Drew A. Logan
Vice president, corporate treasury management,
Fifth Third Bancorp
A little more than a year ago, Fifth Third purchased the hardware and software to turn our wholesale lockbox processing area into an image- capable arena. We spent the next nine months doing the conversion, including due diligence, installation of the equipment, and converting our roughly 1,200 accounts from a manual process to the image environment.
In a shop as big as ours, we saw benefits going to an automated environment versus the manual arena, which pretty much involves human beings opening up envelopes.
The other benefit was the enhanced customer service and convenience we were going to be able to offer after the conversion. The advantages we saw for our customers were a better product at the end, from the standpoint that, versus a copy, they got a digital image of their checks that came through.
More than anything else, the technology established a platform from which we can automate further. When our customers reengineer a little bit more on their accounts receivable side, and they start to look for a way to take out bodies or pieces of the process, we are already there for them. In an electronic mode, we can transmit that information to them via whatever method they want, versus the old-fashioned way of sending that information the next day via the U.S. Postal Service.
The majority of our customers aren't there yet, but we want them to have the platform. We're trying to be one step ahead.
Barbara J. Frisch
Standard Federal Bank
Standard Federal anticipates very specific benefits from image technology. The management team has put an exorbitant expenditure of energy and intelligence into vendor selection, defining requirements, and development of our workflow process so that we can achieve the maximum results from this project.
While the trials and tribulations of implementation are very present, they will unequivocally be offset by the benefits we will gain in improving workflow.
Specifically, in post-closing compliance reviews, several functions will now occur simultaneously. That will be different from the old mentality of having to share a file or pass it along.
Mary Ellen Baker
Senior vice president,
manager of operations
One of the most significant benefits is our increased efficiency. Another benefit is our ability to provide better service to our customers. And the value-added image products provide increased revenue for the bank.
We are 100% image on proof-of-deposit. We have an image return-item system; we process all of our ATM deposits; and we are in the process of implementing an image archive.
Almost 50% of the items that we process don't need human intervention. Of those that do, our data entry operators are keying them in at twice the rate they could without image technology.
President, Memphis banking group,
First Tennessee National Corp.
In the area of check processing, it has reduced postage costs while giving our customers a more efficient way of storing records.
In the area of records retention, it has allowed our staff to reduce the square footage needed for storage while giving their internal bank customers faster access to those records.
Those same results have been applied in file folder imaging in the areas of loan operations and deposit research. Finally, the corporate cash management customers benefit from having a dial-up capability for digitally stored check records.
Executive vice president, division manager for
Bank of the West
Walnut Creek, Calif.
Imaging presented a neat opportunity for us to offer an alternative service to customers. It's a very nice position to be able to offer them statements with 20 images to a page. It's very easy to skim through those rather than deal with a shoebox full of checks. And they are in sequential order, unlike the checks they get back.
For the bank, it offered benefits from a processing point of view. Checks have to pass through the high-speed reader-sorter only once. The effective capacity of your equipment is significantly increased. And mailing statements with 20 checks images to a sheet of paper requires less postage. It's a positive for the bank and it's a positive for the customer.
Director of transaction
Barnett Banks Inc.
The benefit that we anticipate from image proof-of-deposit is improved productivity, to continue to drive down our costs.
We've converted two out of our three sites - and we're in the third site conversion right now. We haven't seen the complete benefits yet. But we anticipate that by next year we should start seeing some productivity changes that will reduce our operating costs.
We also see that it's going to be a platform that we can use to reengineer our back-room operations and also increase revenue through some products that clients are asking for.
The real power of the image platform will be image archive, which will provide electronic images on display for our customer base and our servicing centers.
That will enable us to automate the research process. It provides an opportunity to create products that can be tailored to customers' needs. From a servicing perspective, it gives you leverage. Reengineering your back room and streamlining your processes also gives you leverage.