Gulf Bank Moves from Paper to Digital Records with Help of Kodak Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business

Leading bank in Kuwait digitizes 50 million documents using scanners from Kodak Alaris and expertise of Kodak Alaris’ partner Ashraf & Co Ltd.

Gulf Bank had a large number of old documents available in paper format and microfilm and the Bank was using various disparate solutions for document management, including scanning & storage. Storing these documents in paper format was very expensive and there was risk of damage and loss, as well as unsecured paper handling. Retrieving documents was difficult and timeconsuming. Microfilm made retrieval of documents tedious & time consuming, requiring manual effort to go through the complete film roll to locate a particular document since there was no indexing

To scan various types of documents, archive them into the repository and retrieve through readable file formats. The goal was simple: dramatically reduce the cost of document storage and make the task of retrieving documents easier, more efficient and cost effective.

50 million documents have been scanned so far using production, departmental and desktop document scanners from Kodak Alaris (i1420/ i3500/ i4200/i5250). Ashraf & Co ltd. Kuwait, an Kodak Alaris partner, has developed & implemented the DocSearch tool in-house for the Bank which helps users to retrieve any document type in minutes.

The bank has dramatically reduced physical storage space which has resulted in huge cost savings, thanks to the digitization of documents. Document retrieval now takes just a few clicks. Processes that once took weeks are now completed in a few minutes.

Digitization of Documents - the First Step on the Road to Digital Transformation

Gulf Bank is one of the leading banks in Kuwait with a broad offering of consumer banking, wholesale banking, treasury, and financial services.

Gulf Bank has a large network of branches. The Bank currently has an ‘A’ ranking by the three leading international credit rating agencies. Gulf Bank has been recognized with numerous awards, spread over different sectors of its work, including consumer banking, wholesale banking, products, performance, marketing, human resources, and its corporate social responsibility program.

Gulf Bank decided a few years ago that in this digital age, to maintain its position as the leading financial institution in the country, it needed to embrace digital transformation. The perfect starting point would be the digitization of documents and establishment of an enterprise document management system in order to manage information with greater efficiency, facilitate better sharing and collaboration, reduce costs, enhance security and compliance, boost productivity and improve the bottom line.

... the Kodak Alaris scanners were running around the clock for scanning millions of documents with not a single breakdown. Mohammad Rashed Ashraf & Co Ltd.

“We had millions of documents that were stored across various branches and had to be retained as per regulatory requirements. Besides the huge costs involved in storing the mountains of documents, there was also the risk of damage and loss due to fire, theft etc. We also believed that our staff used to spend a major part of their working hours filing, organizing, storing and retrieving documents related to various processes. And when a document was misplaced, the amount of time spent on retrieval increased exponentially. Digitizing these documents and implementing a DocSearch Retrieval tool was imperative.”

Calling in the Specialists

i5250Gulf Bank contracted Ashraf & Co ltd. Kuwait, an Kodak Alaris partner and a leading IT solutions company specializing in document management, archival, business process management, and the outsourcing of end-to-end digitization projects.

Backlog and daily scanning takes place at a central location utilizing six scanners from Kodak Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business, in total. The bank is using 3 scanners with model numbers i5250, i4200, & i1420 for backlog scanning and 3 scanners with model numbers i5250, i4200 & i3500 for daily scanning.

For backlog scanning, documents are sent by branches and various departments to a central scanning location. The documents are then sorted, scanned, indexed, quality checked and uploaded into the document storage and retrieval system. The physical documents are then either sent back to the branch / department or to the archival unit as per the process agreed for each type of document. Approximately 50,000 pages are processed daily with a total number of around 15 million documents per year. The digitized data are stored in an SQL database. The scanning and capture solution integrates with other business systems. Ashraf & Co. has developed a document retrieval tool and made it available to the bank for indexing and quick retrieval of documents.

So far, Ashraf & Co. Ltd. and the bank have scanned more than 50 million documents and the majority of document retrieval requests are now self-serviced by bank employees using the tool provided by Ashraf & Co. Mohammad Rashed at Ashraf & Co Ltd. says, “We are an Kodak Alaris Elite partner and are committed to promoting the company’s solutions in Kuwait because the company’s solutions consistently exceed our expectations and the requirements of our customers. High volume scanners from Kodak Alaris provide faster scanning, reliable performance with accurate output and our service team is well trained on operating and maintaining these machines.”

“With regard to the Gulf Bank project, the scanners from Kodak Alaris were running around the clock for scanning millions of documents with not a single breakdown. This is a testament to the world class quality and durability of products from Kodak Alaris.”

Ashraf & Co has completed the backlog scanning project and now is handling daily document scanning for which the company has been contracted by the Bank for the next three years.

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