From the moment Gary White’s Image Operations team arrives at work at Regions’ sprawling Lakeshore campus, the clock is running.
For the next nine hours, the Image Ops team is responsible for recording, scanning, indexing and retrieving documents of loans from across the 16 states Regions Bank serves. That works out to about 500 loans a day and an average of 600,000 documents a month, when you take into account the team’s responsibilities.
“We have a scorecard,” White said. “But, really, the best measure for us is noise level. As long as we’re getting documents in, scanned and getting them out, all is good.”
The Image Ops teams consists of 37 full-time associates who work in close quarters at the Lakeshore facility in Metropolitan Birmingham, Alabama.
Rakisha Fells, a Birmingham native, heads the scan team and is in charge of indexing and document requests. Milwaukee native Mariluz Perez leads the loan receiving, prep and de-prep teams.
Instead of passing paper from one team to the next – the Image Ops team’s assignment is to make electronic records of new loans, modifications, renewals and lines of credit from the consumer, business banking and commercial banking groups. The team is also responsible for ensuring that exception clearing documents get imaged timely in order to limit any negative impact to the branches’ scorecards. In other words, when an exception clearing document or loan documents arrive at Lakeshore missing critical information such as the Document Generation Application (DGA)/coversheet, the team must resolve by locating the correct information, creating the DGA and scanning the documents so the workflow process can start.
The morning starts when huge bags and envelopes of documents arrive from the Riverchase facility. The team immediately goes to work, separating the documents from their FedEx packages and red/white loan envelopes by type. The first question each team member must ask: Is there a DGA? If not, the document is set aside to create one.
After the documents have been sorted by the Loan Receiving team, the files are handed off to the loan Prep team where checks are separated, given to the Booking team for processing and the remaining documents prepared to be scanned.
The action then moves into the adjoining scan room where the documents are imaged. Two large IBML scanners are used to record the documents. Collateral documents, such as a power of attorney and mortgages, are kicked out.
While the action continues throughout the day, the next step occurs a day later in de-prep. A list of all documents scanned the previous day must be verified and accounted for. Using barcoded labels the loan documents are checked into a tracking database, this serves as the team’s check and balance.
After that, documents are retained for five business days before they are delivered for off-site storage.
“Things happen that can be frustrating,” White said. “We continuously review our processes and procedures to ensure we have checks and balances in place to make sure we can account for every document we touch. So, it’s frustrating when we get that email or call from a branch saying they sent a file or a document but it hasn’t been imaged.”
In addition to be being the first step in the Loan Operations’ front-end Imaging workflow, the Image Ops team is responsible for indexing 100 percent of the loan documents sent in via the iSCAN process. The indexing team serves Regions’ entire footprint and has four full-time associates reviewing every loan document sent via iSCAN and confirming that the documents are named correctly before they are moved into iVIEW.
Finally, Loan Operations also has a Document Request team that fulfills requests from the branch and line of business associates seeking originals. Their service-level agreement is to have all requested documents sent out within 72 hours of receipt. However, the team works diligently to try and exceed those expectations.
Rakisha Fells believes the strength of her fellow associates is their willingness to pull together, day after day.
“I try to have a family atmosphere,” Fells said. “My team is very independent. Even when I’m not there, they thrive. It’s all about engaging, letting people know you care. Our teams gets that.”
Mariluz Perez likes the professionalism exhibited in Image Ops. The average experience of the Image Ops team members is six years.
“What I enjoy most is how everyone comes in, every day, knowing what to do,” Perez said. “If one team struggles (finishing the task) another team pitches in.”
The team approach works. Output is logged by the hour. The goal from a regular Imaging Quality Review is to limit errors during the laborious process to 2 percent. For the past six months, the Image Ops team hasn’t come close to reaching that threshold, typically recording an error rate average below 1.3 percent.
“I love having a high -performing team, a department where everyone comes in, knows their job and performs consistently,” White said. “I love the challenge, day after day, month after month.”
And in Image Ops, the challenge is met consistently.