At UniCredit Leasing Austria, the rapid processing of incoming paper documents is a high priority. More and more in recent years, the idiosyncrasies of the leasing business have increased the effort required to provide this service. In the incoming mailroom, ever-increasing manual labor was required to look through, sort, and forward the growing correspondence of approximately 180 various project companies, all with different names. Kofax technology has played an outstanding role in the company-wide document management solution.
UniCredit Leasing Austria receives more than 120,000 pieces of mail each year, some of which have to be processed by different employees in several steps. In addition, before the introduction of the company-wide document management system (DMS), countless copies had to be made and distributed internally. Therefore, the goal was to archive all documents centrally so that as little search effort as possible is required when documents are needed. Easier said than done, for in 2006, the archive for the active contract inventory already occupied approximately 2.5 kilometers of shelf space.
“Therefore, we decided to introduce an electronic document management system for our core leasing business,” remembers Harald Krouza, Project Manager at UniCredit Leasing. “Our foremost concerns were to scan the documents even before their incorporation into our workflows and to achieve a high degree of automation for the distribution.”
Together with system integrator RR Donnelly, a design was created and implemented step by step, with Kofax technology at its core. The design follows the “scan before process” approach, in which all documents are scanned as early as possible and then integrated into the workflows in electronic form.
About three-quarters of the incoming paper documents from the approximately 180 project companies of UniCredit Leasing Austria are addressed to UniCredit Kfz Leasing GmbH and UniCredit Fuhrparkmanagement GmbH. These documents include leasing agreements, shop invoices, and notices from vehicle insurance companies, all of which have similar properties and can therefore be processed in a largely standardized manner. All of the mail for these two companies is filtered out by an external service provider – Scanpoint, a company of the Österreichische Post AG.
Documents are scanned directly and transmitted to UniCredit Leasing as electronic images. The remaining correspondence is collected in the central mailroom at company headquarters in Vienna, pre-sorted manually, and then scanned. This process uses Kofax Capture™ in combination with Kofax VRS Elite™, which ensures high-quality images even if documents are crumpled or soiled.
In the next step, images delivered by Scanpoint and those created by the company itself are then channeled into Kofax for additional processing. Using Kofax Capture and Kofax Transformation™, the images are classified and relevant data is extracted. Each document to be returned – such as signed contracts, handover protocols, or filled-out forms – has a barcode, that determines its further path. The bar code contains an individual serial number, information for which is stored in a table. The responsible team does not just receive documents in its in-box; these have already been indexed and stored in the electronic archive so that employees can retrieve the documents they need directly and without administrative effort. WeWebU’s OpenWorkDesk serves as the front end for the employees.
However, a large part of the incoming mail arrives without bar codes and must first be classified for further processing, then checked for relevant data. Kofax Transformation also do this job. The following example explains the procedure. A considerable portion of the documents in the vehicle sector comes from insurance companies. The Kofax Transformation Modules not only detect the type of document from its wording, they also automatically read vehicle-relevant data such as the VIN number and the vehicle’s license plate. A query to the leasing system with this information identifies the relevant contract; the letter is indexed accordingly, stored, and assigned to a processing team. Only ambiguous, unvalidated information is checked manually by employees and corrected, if necessary, before the data is handed over to the core system.
Last of all, the file format of the images is converted to PDF/A. The Kofax PDF Image + Text module was introduced into Kofax Capture to do this. Previously, the images were stored in TIFF format, but with the switch to PDF/A, full-text recognition and search of the archived documents is possible and the size of the stored files is smaller.
A paper archive is no longer needed for daily work since all documents relevant to the core business are stored in the Kofax archive system. The after-the-fact scanning of the archive and consistent digitization have resulted in an impressive reduction of the paper archive. Today, only original contracts and contract-like documents – including correspondence, handover protocols, and invoices – are stored in paper form for security reasons, and they are destroyed after a short storage term of six months. Of the former 2.5 kilometers of shelf space, only a few meters remain today.