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IBML announces that Communisis, an OSG company, is delivering a range of strategic BPO projects for flagship clients with dramatic results for cheque processing. 

Capitalising on its expertise and investment in ultra-high volume IBML scanning and capture software solutions, Communisis has reached several milestones.

Increase in daily cheque processing and associated documents

  • First anniversary processing 40,000 cheques and associated documents every day for a UK bank which meet tight SLAs, even though volumes exceed expectations by 200%
  • Total refresh of IBML equipment used to capture 4.5 million images per month at another major UK retail bank – part of a digital mailroom and scanning FM contract

IBML’s technology is used in two ways:

  1. A number of IBML scanners are at the core of Communisis’ centralised scanning facility in Leeds which opened in November 2017, along with other machines located at its DR site in Liverpool. Operational 24/7 and ISO 27001 compliant, the Leeds centre has the capacity to process 300 million pages per annum for customers equating to 600 million images. This is primarily achieved through the use of IBML’s SoftTrac Capture Suite (SCS) software and ImageTrac scanners which each output 292 A4 documents per minute. The scanners and software were supplied by IBML partner, Alaris, who also delivers ongoing service and support.
  2. Communisis’ staff operate a fleet of nine customer-owned IBML scanners to fulfil a significant outsourced digital mailroom and scanning FM contract for a major high street bank. Located on the bank’s premises, the latest installed models are faster and have more image processing features.

Alex Morris, Communisis’ Head of Enterprise Content Management says, “Our team has over 20 years expertise using IBML scanners so they’re our weapon of choice when it comes to digitising paper.

“We’ve benchmarked them against similar production scanners and they’ve always come out top in terms of image quality, throughput and scalability.”


First year of cheque processing successfully completed

The Leeds bureau was created to scan all cheques and inbound customer correspondence for a UK high street bank deal.

Now celebrating the first anniversary of the substantial contract, up to 40,000 cheques and associated documents are processed every day. The documents arrive in Leeds at around midnight, delivered by couriers from Milton Keynes and Edinburgh.

This is 200% over the initial volume of cheque processing first expected, yet the tight Service Level Agreements (SLA) – a four hour window to digitise them – has still been met.

This is due in part to SCS software, which comes with features like Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) reading to automate and enhance read-rates.

Once the cheques have been digitised, Communisis uses bespoke written software to collate the images produced. These are then forwarded to an imaging and workflow platform. OCR is used to extract data (date, amount, recipient and signature presence) from each image.

This information is then released and integrated with the bank’s bank end systems for further action.

Morris explains, “We think this is one of the quickest turnaround SLAs in the UK for the volume processed with the highest accuracy and quality standards maintained.

“While the majority of cheques are automatically read and processed after scanning, any exceptions are auto routed to our offshore partner in the Philippines.

“They have over 300 staff available, across 6 locations, who read and manually correct any individual fields that require validation.”


IBML scanner fleet upgraded at another UK bank

Communisis also works for another major British Bank providing large-scale, onsite digital mailroom and scanning services.

Following the signing of a long-term contract, 460 people TUPE transferred to Communisis across 3 UK locations.

Six IBML ImageTrac and three desktop DS scanners are in use at three main UK operational centres of excellence. The equipment is owned by the bank, with support by Alaris. Communisis staff configure, operate and manage it as part of the FM contract.

With guidance from Communisis, the scanners have recently been upgraded to the latest models to replace end of life equipment. They process 3 million inbound customer communications per month creating around 4.5 million images.

This includes letters, application forms and so on related to the bank’s financial products. Over the next 20 months, the scanners will also process ‘goneaways’ (undeliverable customer mail). This is achieved by scanning a barcode through the window of each envelope.

Morris adds, “Since starting the contract five years ago, mail handling efficiency has improved by 30%.

“This has been achieved through a combination of technology to reduce manual intervention and the standardisation of business processes so that operators all work in the same way. This improves accuracy and consistency.”

The next opportunity

Communisis is focused on being a trusted partner: to deliver outsourced billing, critical communications and payment solutions.

Ashley Keil, IBML’s sales director, Northern & Western Europe, Africa & India, says, “Typically these are organisations who operate in highly regulated industries with lots of customers.

“Our scanners are designed to operate faultlessness even when paper volumes are high and different document types – cheques, letters, forms and so on – have to be handled.

“This is crucial for a FM business like Communisis who offer BPO solutions to agreed SLAs which just have to be met.”

About Communisis
With a proven track record providing end-to-end omni channel communications for big brands in financial services, retail, utilities, insurance and the public sector, Communisis delivers Customer Communication Management services at scale which are tailored to meet its customers’ specific commercial requirements.

Communisis is an integrated business services company which drives client value through the provision of increasingly digitally enabled solutions for regulated communication and marketing execution.

The organisation is built on a unique combination of market and consumer insight, customer communications strategy, technology and transformational expertise. For more information, visit

About IBML
Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Imaging Business Machines L.L.C (IBML) is a global provider of high volume intelligent information capture solutions operating in over 48 countries.

IBML’s solutions transform paper documents into actionable data with increased efficiency and quality at reduced cost. IBML’s portfolio includes ImageTrac and DS scanners, IBML Capture Suite software, along with business and support services.

IBML’s solutions are used by a wide variety of service bureaus, outsourcing specialists, systems integrators and end-user organisations, deployed in the most demanding document capture environments.

The company has a track record of customer success with industry leading customer retention rates of over 95% in banking financial services, healthcare, government services, outsourcing and more. For more information, visit

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