Allgemeine Beamten Bank lays the foundation for its digitization with d.velop documents.

The ABK Allgemeine Beamten Bank AG, hereinafter referred to as ABK Bank, is a joint-stock bank specializing in credit and deposit business with a focus on customers in the public sector.

ABK Bank was founded in 1980 as a limited liability company. In 2007, it was converted into a joint-stock company. It offers its over 100,000 customers a wide range of classic banking products. In addition to investment products in savings accounts, with passbooks and as call money, the bank also offers installment loans, real estate financing, and works in corporate banking. Through the use of various direct distribution channels (online marketing, comparison portals, mailings, direct response advertisements, and inserts), ABK Bank operates nationwide in consumer credit. Corporate banking and real estate financing are primarily focused on the Berlin/Brandenburg region.

  • 72 Employees
  • 40000 files within 6 months

New requirements and challenges for banking

The requirements for banking have significantly increased over the past 40 years. Legal and especially banking supervisory requirements, such as reporting, capital adequacy, consumer protection, deposit insurance, or data protection, have risen. Other challenges that a modern credit institution must address include market changes, such as an acceleration in the willingness of bank customers to switch due to digital price comparison options.

Nevertheless, until 2021, as stated by the head of the organization, René Weidhaas, the General Civil Servants Bank worked in an analog world of account files. This has led to a strong commitment of personnel and material resources. Working hours were spent carrying files “as file taxis from the first to the third floor”. Files were often searched for because they were not found in their designated place and their circulation cards were missing. “Then there were often emails throughout the building asking if anyone knows where the file went,” describes René Weidhaas the situation. And of course, the whole processing also consumed endless amounts of paper and therefore money, as well as burdened the environment.

For a long time, ABK Bank has wanted to optimize this situation – especially with the aim of deploying employees more purposefully and effectively. So since 2015, there have been repeated attempts to digitize processes. Requirements were recorded, and discussions were held with various providers. However, for various and not always predictable reasons, these approaches were not pursued further.

In addition to the mix of performance and costs, we also noticed in our very first conversation that d.velop is a company that understands us as a bank. And not only in sales but also in project implementation – and that has proven to be true.

René Weidhaas
Head of Organization, ABK Bank

Six months from contract to project implementation

In the summer of 2020, the project was finally reset. Mr. Weidhaas, as project manager, contacted various providers and specified his requirements. When capturing the requirements, the experiences from the previously failed project attempts were drawn upon, but also the specialist departments were involved in their wishes for a digital implementation. “The future digital file structure should be as close as possible to the analog practice so that employees can find their way around from the beginning,” explains Mr. Weidhaas one of the main requirements.

After the “beauty contest,” d.velop emerged as the “winner.” One of the decisive factors was d.velop’s solution spectrum, which goes beyond the initially predominant archiving functionalities. “In addition to the mix of performance and costs, we also noticed in our very first conversation that d.velop is a company that understands us as a bank. And not only in sales but also in project implementation, and that has proven to be true,” says the head of the organization.

The account manager responsible for financial customers, Olaf Drees, emphasizes this. “The ABK Bank is rather one of the smaller financial institutions in Germany. But it is also extremely important to us to act on an equal footing with these customers. And that can only be achieved if you also have the corresponding expertise. That’s why our team consists only of colleagues who either come from the industry themselves or have built up long-standing financial expertise through various customer projects. And as far as the ABK Bank is concerned, working with the bank has been a lot of fun from day one, you could immediately tell that the chemistry was right!”

The ABK Bank’s wish was to digitize almost the entire bank from the outset with its 40,000 files. On the one hand, the relatively document-poor savings business as well as the consumer credit business were to be transferred to a digital form, but also the heavily paper-based area of intensive care/restructuring/liquidation. Corresponding file structures had to be coordinated and established. In addition to the traditional structures, regulatory and data protection requirements also had to be taken into account in the structures. In several workshops with the specialist departments, accompanied by the organization department, the challenges and their feasibility were agilely coordinated with the consulting of d.velop.

An external service provider took over the scanning of the files; the software was installed on servers in an external data center.

And to relieve the IT department of the ABK Bank – or not to burden it additionally with the new software – it was also agreed at an early stage that a specialist team from d.velop would take care of the operation. Thus, from the very beginning, activities such as hotfix or incident management were taken over from the ABK Bank. Occurring error messages or indications of e.g. full storage media are thus recognized early and corrected if possible. This ensures that the ABK Bank can work smoothly. In regular service discussions, the IT department of the ABK Bank is kept up to date and receives advice on possible optimization options.

d.velop documents laid the foundation for the digitalization of ABK Bank. With d.velop’s solutions, we can further develop the bank well – up to a completely digital workaround.

René Weidhaas
Head of Organization, ABK Bank

Goals achieved: The Allgemeine Beamten Bank now operates more efficiently…

The project was completed approximately six months after signing the contract. Have the expectations of the ABK Bank been met? “Definitely,” concludes René Weidhaas. “All employees quickly found their way around d.velop documents when searching for documents, partly because the structures corresponded to the previous paper files.” Thus, there were no major difficulties with the transition, which was of course supported by employee training and the training of key users. “Processes within the company have become faster. You can feel that work is being done more effectively.”

The only issue Mr. Weidhaas has is with the decision on how the documents were scanned. Not every document per file register was scanned individually; instead, for some file registers, correspondence, for example, individual documents were grouped into smaller to medium-sized PDF packets. In practice, it was found that individual pages need to be sorted into other structures and thus the PDF needs to be split. However, even here, with d.velop inbound scan, a solution is now being used that makes the division, reindexing, and filing of the newly created documents a breeze.

… and has more plans ahead

And there’s more to come for the ABK Bank. There are further systems to integrate, including digitalizing the mortgage financing sector and supporting processes with digital workflows. The introduction of electronic signature software is also on the agenda. “With d.velop documents, the foundation for the ABK Bank’s digitization has been laid. With d.velop’s solutions, we can continue to develop the bank well – right up to a completely digital workaround,” summarizes René Weidhaas the collaboration and his experiences with d.velop.

And the days when ABK Bank employees were used as “file taxis” are now definitively over.

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