Chase Manhattan Mortgage has helped millions of Americans realize the dream of home ownership. The company is one of the largest mortgage originators and servicers and is a key component of JP Morgan Chase, the nation's third-largest bank. Chase Manhattan Mortgage manages thousands of paper documents each day. Charged with the task of updating the company's document management system, Rick Duff, Chase Manhattan Mortgage's manager of software development and imaging, put together a combination of hardware and software products to meet the company's growing content management requirements. Chase now scans over 2.5 million documents per month with Kofax hardware and software.
Chase Manhattan Mortgage developed Quest, its first document management system, internally in 1992. Their toolkit included C and Visual Basic application development software, the Informix database application and Plexus' Optical/Storage Management product for storing and retrieving multimedia data objects. In 1999 the company added ImageFIRST Office, Plexus' integrated software solution providing document image processing, Computer Output to Laser Disk (COLD), workflow, and document management. The system supported the company's loan default divisions and converted customer financial documents into images, enabling customer service representatives to access account information immediately.
"This system used ICR [hand printing recognition] for automated indexing, but its lack of image cleanup features led to high error rates, which required a lot of costly manual intervention. Skewed documents were the biggest issue," Duff said. "Our bar codes were also obscuring important information. It was obvious that changes had to be made because we were scanning 100,000 new mortgage documents per day and growing fast."
Chase Manhattan Mortgage chose Kofax Ascent Capture software and Adrenaline scanner controller boards for their second-generation system. Ascent Capture offers fast, accurate document deskew and a wide range of other image enhancement options. Its production-oriented architecture, user interface and stability made it well suited for Chase's large and rapidly growing operation.
The Adrenaline scanner controllers provided reliable high-speed scanning operation, additional image enhancement features, plus fast, accurate bar code recognition. They worked so well that Duff changed his automated indexing method from hand printing recognition to Adrenaline bar code recognition. The enhancements dropped the manual correction rate from 45 percent to less than one percent.
The Kofax products also gave Chase the flexibility to meet its future needs without forfeiting its initial investment. For example, Ascent Capture enables users to index, validate and release to back-end systems not only scanned paper, but also electronic documents, Web forms and other digital data streams, such as XML.
Chase recently began taking advantage of Ascent Capture 5's electronic data capture capabilities. The company now captures mainframe print streams using Ascent's Import Controller, converts them to image (Group IV TIFF) files, and then extracts index values from the images with Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Ascent Capture 5 permits Chase to run the same workflow process used on scanned paper-based documents. No additional applications or programming were required.
By applying consistent indexing and validation processes to all data as well as using a single user interface for all media, Ascent Capture minimizes capture errors and streamlines the capture process. Since Chase buys and services a high volume of mortgages from other financial institutions, this integrated process means Chase can quickly and easily assign loan numbers to mortgages from any source.
Ascent Capture has not only integrated the validation process for multiple data types, it has also eliminated the need to program the lookup and validation of index data acquired from external databases. "Prior to the implementation of Ascent Capture 5, it was necessary for Chase to write a custom validation module which took a considerable amount of time and added to the overall processing of loan documents," Duff said. "Since the database validation module is now embedded in Ascent Capture, it took Chase only minutes to get the system up and running and we no longer require custom programming to maintain the validation process."
Chase has also begun to take advantage of Ascent Capture 5's ability to integrate simultaneously with more than one document or content management system. Kofax offers free, fully tested and supported integration modules for dozens of the leading back-end systems. Each one sends images and index data in the native formats and to the appropriate fields of the chosen data repository.
The Bottom Line
"The cost improvements are significant. Chase has lowered the company's software and hardware costs and reduced scanning costs from 10 cents to 6 cents per page," Duff said. "The company also reduced its staffing requirements due to the system's ease of use. Chase Manhattan Mortgage staff can now prep documents for scanning quicker and spend less time on manual indexing. In addition, system errors are now less than one percent."