By Edward Isaack, Director- Enterprise Content Management and Debra Twining, Director-Enterprise Content Management Operations, Radian
The furious pace of technological advancement has allowed organizations to implement creative solutions for reducing their dependency on static and unstructured information. Even signing on the dotted line is easier, as online and mobile technology have made digital signatures and customer acceptance of companies’ terms and conditions more prevalent in recent years.
“When key information is buried in documents the answer, in many cases, is very little”
But what about companies that are highly regulated and require compliance? It is essential for these companies to rely on non-digital information for many of their core business functions. For this reason, mortgage, financial services, and insurance companies are some of the biggest contributors to the document landfill.
Companies in these industries are constantly corresponding with other businesses and have made investments in both time and automation to optimize the communication. While this has improved the process for highly structured communications, when it comes to documents, it is a free-for-all with limited standards, consistency or control.
The Indexing Dilemma
Radian Guaranty, a private mortgage insurer, has been working to tackle these challenges. The Philadelphia, PA-based company deals directly with thousands of lenders, community banks, credit unions, and servicers across the U.S., each with its own unique way of processing documents. Like many organizations, Radian has sought to optimize document handling by use of a central repository to enable sharing, and through the use of technology-enabled Business Process Management (BPM) and workflow capabilities to track and facilitate the documents as they move through the back-office business functions. This approach relies heavily on indexing and assembling documents into a pre-defined list of types that are used to complement the workflow and business process.
But indexing documents is costly, time-consuming, and adds little value to the company’s bottom line. By the time Radian receives the documents from its customers they have gone through at least two different agencies, each organization having its own processes for how the documents are assembled, distributed, and delivered. Now multiply that by the thousands of combinations of lenders and agencies before the loan file reaches Radian.
A Different Look at the Problem
Radian needed to think about the problem differently. It can take several hours to prep files and index the documents before they are sent to a specialist for review. So where are the opportunities? In today’s world the same files are sent over and over again due to the lack of certainty around what information was sent by the customer, misclassification and/or documents lost as a result of being indexed into a broad group of document types, and repeated requests back to the customer from separate business processes each with their own set of guidelines. Think about how many times the same documents go through the process of underwriting. Getting acceptance on a loan or paying a claim should not take days, weeks, even months to process. How much does your company know about its customers? When key information is buried in documents the answer, in many cases, is very little.
Radian is looking to change the norm of the industry by solving the complexities around working with documents. The organization has embraced this change as a core competency in its portfolio because unlocking its potential will change the landscape for how business is conducted. Embedding intelligent capture recognition not only provides new prospects for how information will be collected, it drives greater efficiencies in productivity by reducing turn times, rework, and promotes downstream process improvements in sales and customer service. Unlocking information only found in static documents opens the door for prescriptive analytics and new services.
A Smart Team Builds a Smart System
Gaining all the benefits that intelligent capture recognition provide cannot be done with technology alone. One of the keys to the program’s success is a team of specialists who have in-depth knowledge about the purpose behind every document Radian receives. In many organizations, indexing validation and quality controls are focused on structured policies, procedures, and practices. Radian employs a collaborative approach, according to Debra Twining, Director of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Operations. “The work we do is much more than indexing documents.” Twining said. “The team has comprehensive knowledge of the document inventory, and has embraced a combination of agile and six-sigma lean practices to drive continuous improvement. They work in small project teams where they use data analysis and problem solving skills to train the system to become smarter. We are creating an Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine to process documents.”
Edward Isaack, Director of ECM, agreed. “The collaborative support between IT and Operations allows the teams to effectively work as a single unit to optimize the processing of documents,” he said. “Benefits by training the system to become more intelligent on the variations of documents received help gather and repurpose detailed information about our customers without manual data entry and provide endless opportunities for business process efficiencies.”
According to Mr. Isaack, in its first year of adoption Radian’s Loss Management business cut it document processing turn times in half and improved document classification quality by more than 200 percent. The future is a bright one for Radian in its effort to lessen its dependency on unstructured information and bring order to information in ways that will no longer be a burden on processing time and service. Radian’s ability to extract insightful information from the process will be a key driver in growing its business.