IŞBANK streamlines loans processing

Accelerating loan applications, boosting productivity and improving customer service with an IBM Enterprise Content Management solution

Published on 24-Apr-2012

Validated on 07 Oct 2013

"This solution will fundamentally change the way we work. It is a more efficient and more productive approach, allowing IŞBANK to deliver better service to our customers in less time. I would consider this project as a quantum leap for the company." - Ali Şimşek, Subject Matter Expert and Project Contact, IŞBANK GmbH



Deployment country:

Digital Workflow Transformation , Enterprise Content Management, Information Lifecycle Governance (ILG), Optimizing IT


IŞBANK GmbH is the European subsidiary of one of the leading banks in Turkey – Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş., which employs more than 22,000 people, runs more than 1,200 domestic branches, generates €1.1 billion in annual net profit, and was the first Turkish bank to establish subsidiaries abroad. Headquartered in the German banking capital Frankfurt, IŞBANK GmbH operates 12 branches in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Bulgaria and Switzerland, employs about 220 people across Europe, and generated a profit of €6.1 million in 2011.

Business need:
IŞBANK wanted to expand its central loans business and needed to improve its loan application and management processes, which were completely paper-based. Due to compliance requirements, the company needed to change the way it archived loan-related files. Moreover, as a small and growing bank, IŞBANK also wanted to accelerate its processes to become more efficient, reduce costs, and improve competitiveness in this important business area.

IBM® Global Business Services® helped IŞBANK to redesign the entire loans workflow and implemented a completely digital archiving and workflow solution based on IBM ECM and IBM DB2® technologies. The solution complies with all regulations, providing a digital and audit-proof archive, and also increases transparency and speed of loans processing.

Cuts down creation of loans application from three hours to one with electronic forms and workflows. Improves customer service significantly through redesigned transparent and monitored digital workflows eliminating paperwork-related losses and delays. Boosts productivity by making all documents easily searchable and available, eliminating time-consuming searches in paper-based archives.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, click here.

IŞBANK GmbH is the European subsidiary of one of the leading banks in Turkey – Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş., which employs more than 22,000 people, runs more than 1,200 domestic branches, generates €1.1 billion in annual net profit, and was the first Turkish bank to establish subsidiaries abroad. Headquartered in the German banking capital Frankfurt, IŞBANK GmbH operates 12 branches in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Bulgaria and Switzerland, employs about 220 people across Europe, and generated a profit of €6.1 million in 2011.

Since its foundation in 1992, IŞBANK relied solely on paper-based processes for its loans business. Over time, as new regulations were introduced, it became increasingly difficult for IŞBANK to comply with all archiving requirements for its existing processes. In addition to these stricter data retention policies, IŞBANK itself was also growing, expanding the business and winning new customers.

It became obvious that the bank’s old paper-based processes would not scale to support future growth. For example, in the loans department, storing, retrieving and managing loan-related paperwork were all time-consuming processes, and it was difficult to advise customers about the current status of their applications. Generally, several phone calls were required before the bank could answer its customers’ requests.

To be able to pursue a successful growth strategy in its loans business, IŞBANK needed to resolve the data retention issues and also optimize its loans management processes. The bank asked IBM Global Business Services for advice on how to deal with this situation, and the IBM consultants suggested implementing an electronic archive in combination with a workflow management system. Several competitors’ solutions were considered, but only the IBM solution featured the important capability of exchanging data with the bank’s customized core banking system, which runs on the IBM i operating system.

Getting the processes right and implementing the solution
When IŞBANK chose IBM for this comprehensive business transformation project, IBM Global Business Services began by analysing the entire loans management process and proposed a full redesign of the existing business processes. The goal was to create processes that would allow IŞBANK to grow efficiently, so automation was an important aspect. The choice of the most appropriate IT systems to support efficient automated workflows was therefore critical.

IBM proposed a combination of IBM ECM and IBM DB2 technologies. IBM FileNet® Content Manager would provide the foundation for enterprise content management, including audit-proof archiving of loans records.

To enable even more sophisticated workflow management and monitoring, IBM FileNet eForms was integrated to provide electronic form processing. IBM FileNet Business Process Manager was also deployed to improve process performance and reduce cycle times.

The extensive project management experience of the teams from IBM Global Business Services and IBM Software Group Services, as well as their efficient collaboration with IŞBANK employees, kept the project on track and helped IŞBANK to complete the project on time and within budget. In the end, including all additional change requests that emerged during the implementation, the project was completed in approximately 90 man-days.

Overall, IŞBANK was very satisfied with IBM’s collaboration during this project. Ali Şimşek, employee in the loans department at IŞBANK and subject matter expert and contact for this project, comments: “All parties worked very intensely and were fully committed to delivering this project within a relatively short time-frame. We were very happy with the project management and can count this project as a very good experience. The agility of the approach was particularly impressive: the consultant from IBM managed to realize every idea for further improvements and customization, even when they weren’t in the original project scope.”

When the development stage was complete and the new functionality had been comprehensively tested, IBM Global Business Services integrated the FileNet solution into IŞBANK’s existing IT landscape, and educated the bank staff to enable them to work with the new tools productively.

Leveraging digital workflows
With the new end-to-end digitized loans processes, IŞBANK is ready for business growth in compliance with all regulations for the banking sector.

Ali Şimşek explains: “The whole process is now started with just one click in the web-based FileNet Workplace XT user interface. This interface is very user-friendly and hides all complexity from the user, which provides very good usability. At the back-end, it offers a powerful toolset with a lot of options for designing and editing complex and customized processes.”

To tackle data-retention issues, the first step after any loans-related document arrives at the bank is to add it to the electronic archive. “For audit-proof storage, all relevant documents are scanned and uploaded into the enterprise content management solution,” reports Ali Şimşek.

To meet compliance regulations, employees just need to scan the relevant documents, which will then be automatically processed and uploaded to the IBM ECM solution. Notes can be added to the archived documents without actually changing the original document, providing a full audit trail.

Other documents can also be added to a customer record, so that all relevant information and correspondence can be found in the central FileNet system, no matter if it is a letter, a fax, or an email.

“This solution boosts productivity, as documents only need to be scanned and uploaded once. They can easily be searched and accessed from anywhere at any time, so people can actually work productively instead of wasting time looking for documents,” says Ali Şimşek. “It is great how seamlessly the different components - from the scanner, via the capturing application to the FileNet enterprise content management system - integrate with each other.”

By digitizing and streamlining its loans management processes, IŞBANK will be able to realize enormous time-savings. For example, the creation of a loan application previously took about three hours, and now can be completed in just one hour. Since the bank handles approximately 2,000 loan applications per year, the resulting time savings are substantial. Moreover, the management team now has an instant overview over how many applications are being processed in each bank, and how many are higher-risk applications that need to be approved by the management in Frankfurt. Besides accelerating the whole process, this solution also offers previously unmatched transparency.

IBM has also helped the bank to integrate a signature pad solution, which allows managers and executives to approve applications with a signature, just as they used to do in the paper-based process. This feature helps to establish user acceptance by adding a widely-respected authentication element to the new processes. Keeping hand-written sign-offs for loans applications makes the digitized process more tangible, and the image of a real hand-written signature is an expression of trust and reliability which is central in the loans business.

Another major advantage of the digitized processes at IŞBANK is that managers and customer service staff now have a full overview of all loan requests and their corresponding status. While previously customer requests could often not be answered immediately, now the account manager can always tell the customer exactly where their application is, and can provide a much better estimate of when the application will be processed. This not only improves customer service significantly, but is also a huge time saver.

Furthermore, the Process Analyzer component of IBM FileNet Business Process Manager allows IŞBANK to monitor the new workflows with real-time Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) analyses. Based on these insights, the company can locate bottlenecks and optimize the workflows.

“This solution will fundamentally change the way we work,” says Ali Şimşek. “It is a more efficient and productive approach, allowing IŞBANK to deliver better service to our customers in less time. I would consider this project as a quantum leap for the company. Changing from a slow, paper-based process to an environment where everything is digital will enable us to grow and realize our corporate strategy.”

Spreading the word of success
Following its success in the loans business, the IŞBANK team presented this solution to several other business units. As a result, the team is now working with the accounting department to implement a similar solution to help them to improve productivity. The goal is to build up a consistent and standardized solution across a number of IŞBANK departments to increase efficiency and overall business performance throughout the whole company. Additionally, the bank is also considering implementing an IBM ILOG® solution to take the next step and automate loans decisions.

Ali Şimşek concludes: “We actively promote our IBM ECM based document management and workflow solution within IŞBANK. We think that most other departments would also benefit from a similar approach to optimize their processes, increase efficiency and boost business performance across IŞBANK as a whole.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

BladeCenter, Storage: N3300

FileNet Content Manager, FileNet Workplace XT, Content Collector for Email, FileNet Business Process Manager, FileNet eForms, DB2 Enterprise 9

GBS BAO: Enterprise Content Management, Software Services for ECM

Legal Information

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