BROOMALL, Pa. -- Asking members to wait a couple of days for copies of statements just wasn't cutting it anymore.
So Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union has deployed a system that combines COLD (computer output to laser disk) and enterprise content management (ECM) to eliminate $2,000 a month in microfiche costs and allow staff to quickly produce member information from their desks instead of relying on hard
copy and couriers.
The $430 million CU is using the MetaViewer system from Metafile Information Systems Inc. of Rochester, Minn., a vendor recommended by Fiserv Inc., the parent company of Franklin Mint FCU's core processor, GalaxyPlus Credit Union Systems.
"One of the good things about the new system is that it gives us the ability to put statements and reports in the hands of every employee at his or her desk," John Hargrove, Franklin Mint FCU's vice president of marketing and technology, said in a case study.
The MetaViewer system automatically downloads member statements from the credit union's IBM RS 6000 computer, full-text indexes them and stores them on a hard drive for 30 days, after which they are copied to CD. A CD jukebox then stores them for automatic access when needed after that.
Internal reports also are captured and stored and are searchable by such terms as a specific dollar amount or member number.
"Rather than paging through reports to find the relevant information, we can perform a text search and zero in to any section of interest in a few seconds," Hargrove said.
In addition to saving staff time and providing quicker member service, the new system has eliminated the need for an outside vendor's microfiche services and solved the problem of where to store all those tapes and hard copies.
"We were almost at the point of needing to expand the storage room, which would have been very expensive," Hargrove said.
Improved data security is another benefit, the Franklin Mint FCU vice president said, since each CD is copied for storage at another location.
Hargrove said the system has paid for itself in its first year simply by eliminating microfiche storage costs. Less staff time spent hunting down, copying and delivering hard copies of statements and other records adds to that return, he said, as does improved member service.
Storage remains an issue, however.
Franklin Mint FCU now is considering an imaging system from Metafile that would integrate with the COLD/ECM solutions and eliminate the need to store such things as loan documents and signature cards.
"That would save a great deal of space and make it possible to retrieve this information at the branch level, similar to the way statements are available now," Hargrove said.