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FormScan and the Insurance Industry

American Family Insurance of Madison, Wisconsin, has automated its policy writing and printing process through the form scanning, data dictionary and mainframe screen capture facilities of FormScan by Graphics Development International (GDI). More than 2,000 forms are now processed electronically. By entering a policy number and a form name, a user can enter, retrieve or print a policy on any number of pages, printed double-sided, with multipart copies. American Family is now printing 100,000 policies a month with this electronic forms, which makes around 1 million pages a month.

The system was developed with FormScan, GDI's data dictionary and mainframe capture system. Paper forms are scanned into the computer; then a template is made which links the form to a data file on the mainframe. The data dictionary manages an average of 6,000 fields. As the user types policy information on the screen, data files are automatically updated, and the information is printed directly onto the form. The paper forms and the computer data files are thus managed in a single operation. Information stored in the computer, such as agent name or the address of the insured, is filled in automatically when the user selects a record key.

The FormScan Spooler prints all the forms with Lasermaster boards and HP LaserJet II D printers on print servers connected to the file server. The 2,000 forms occupy 250 megabytes of space on each print server.

Accounting Equipment of Madison, WI, supplies and services hardware for American Family. They installed FormScan and three Novell networks of 150 users connected to American Family's IBM mainframe with Attachmate 3270 boards. Scanned forms are linked to data files and then made available to users for one-step form filling, data file update, and forms printing. "We have chosen GDI among several vendors, including IBM, Wang, and Lanier. The capabilities of FormScan and its portability made it the product of choice," said Kay Gritzmacker, project manager. "A number of departments are already planning to use FormScan for other applications."

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