The Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company, also known as Philamlife, is the largest life insurance company in the Philippines, with more than 150 offices. It is a member company of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). Philamlife chose imaging technology in to make paper documents housed in its storage system more accessible to lay underwriters, policy owners, administration personnel and customer service representatives. To convert the paper-based library into an electronic retrieval system, Philamlife enlisted the services of the Kodak Imaging Center (KIC). The KIC used the Kodak Digital Science® Document Scanner 5500, Kodak Digital Science High-Volume Capture Software, and Kodak Recordable CD Media to convert 7.5 million pages in 14 months.
Capturing and digitizing life insurance policy documents
As the largest life insurer in the Philippines, Philamlife must share an expansive collection of policy documents among many departments. Philamlife operated a library-like storage system that spanned an entire floor, covering more than 12,000 square feet of space, to manage its paper files. "When a department needed a document, locating it could be time-consuming and inefficient, especially if the physical documents were out in the user areas," said Jun San Juan, Philamlife vice president. "If more than one department required a document set, it became a paper chase. While losing documents was a rarity, the amount of time needed to find and route them to the next user was substantial."
Philamlife investigated service bureaus capable of electronically capturing and storing the more than 7 million pages in its policy documents. The Kodak Imaging Center (KIC) won the contract because of its competitive bid to scan, to index, and to convert the documents into digital format.
To handle the conversion, four operators, working two shifts from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., six days per week, used two Kodak Digital Science Document Scanner 5500's to capture approximately 30,000 images daily. Kodak Digital Science High-Volume Capture Software was used to manage the captured images. The team indexed the documents and burned the data onto Kodak Recordable CD Media. The KIC sent the CDs to Philamlife for quality control assurance and acceptance. Philamlife then migrated the images into an OD-based Optika Workflow system, allowing network-wide access to the documents.
While preparing documents for the imaging center to scan, Philamlife embarked on a cleanup process to purge its files of duplicates and unnecessary documents. "Because the Philippine legal system does not accept electronic documents as evidence, Philamlife is still required to store originals," San Juan said. "However, the housecleaning opened up some 1,800 square feet, or 15 percent of the space formerly required for storing our policy documents. This enabled us to bring in documents that were in outlying offices and speed up retrieval and delivery for all users."
Fourteen months after beginning the project, KIC completed the capture process, converting approximately 7.5 million document pages. "Kodak helped us leverage imaging technology to improve service to policyholders and Philamlife personnel," San Juan said. "Numerous departments, including underwriting, new business, policy owner service and claims, benefited from the solution by being able to retrieve documents more quickly then ever before. We find the real payback is in the workflow, with imaging used as one of the primary tools to make this process more efficient."
San Juan said Kodak's services and strong imaging experience were key in Philamlife's decision to use the imaging center. "Kodak offered comprehensive services and had experience in other bulk document imaging projects," San Juan said. "They also had the discipline to ensure that documents were scanned, indexed and stored in the proper electronic format, as well as a trained team to support our staff during the process."