In today’s ever-evolving business environment, efficient decision-making is critical to stay competitive. However, with the massive amounts of data organizations have to handle, ensuring consistent business logic is becoming more challenging.
Here’s where automation comes to save the day, letting businesses effectively manage decision-making. One of the latest advancements widely adopted to streamline decision-making processes is a business rules engine, such as the .NET rules engine by Code Effects.
What is a business rules engine? How does it work? How can your business benefit from it? We asked our friends from Code Effects to answer some questions concerning rules engines, so let’s jump right in!
What is a business rules engine?
A business rules engine, or a BRE, is a software application designed to define, execute, and manage business rules. These rules, in their turn, automate decision-making processes, empowering businesses to promptly address changes and make decisions based on real-time data.
Two primary components of a business rules engine are the engine itself and a rule management system. The latter provides a user interface for creating, testing, and modifying rules. In addition, most BREs feature an easy-to-use visual interface that allows non-technical staff members to manage business rules without involving IT specialists.
How do BREs work?
To put it simply, a business rules engine works as follows:
The engine receives a request and the data needed to make a decision → it checks the request and data against predetermined business rules → it provides a decision, triggering a specific action.
Still looks like rocket science? Here’s an example to help you get a better understanding of how a BRE works.
Let’s say you run an insurance company and need to handle various claims and apply specific business rules to determine the appropriate actions. Here’s how a business rules engine can be used in this scenario:
- Claim validation. When a new insurance claim is submitted, the BRE can perform validation checks to ensure it meets specific criteria, for example, whether all the required information is provided.
- Claim assessment. Once the claim passes the initial validation, the BRE can apply a set of rules to assess the claim based on predefined criteria, such as the type of insurance, nature of the claim, previous claim history, and policy terms. This way, the engine can determine if the claim is valid, requires further investigation, or should be rejected.
- Claim processing. Depending on the assessment result, the BRE can trigger appropriate actions. It can automatically approve a valid claim and initiate the payment process. If the claim requires further investigation, the engine can route it to a specialized team for manual review. In cases where the claim is rejected, the engine can generate a rejection letter or email, providing a clear explanation to the claimant.
- Fraud detection. A BRE can also help identify potential fraud or suspicious activities. By applying fraud detection rules, the engine can flag claims that feature patterns or behaviors indicative of fraudulent activity. These flagged claims can be prioritized for further investigation or placed on hold until additional information is obtained.
What are the benefits of using a BRE?
Besides automating business rules execution, BREs offer a range of other indisputable benefits, including:
Business rules engines automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks, allowing staff members to focus on higher-value activities.
Business rules engines allow organizations to save costs by automating decision-making processes and minimizing errors.
BREs help consistently apply business rules across different functions and departments, ensuring that every decision aligns with the company’s goals and policies.
Business rules engines are beneficial when organizations must promptly adapt to changing business conditions. As a result, companies can address new opportunities and challenges more efficiently.
Rules engines help ensure that each and every business decision complies with regulatory requirements and industry standards.
By automating decision-making processes with a BRE, businesses can respond to evolving customer needs more swiftly, which results in greater customer satisfaction.
What are some use cases for a BRE?
With such an impressive range of benefits they offer, there’s little surprise that business rules engines are growing in popularity. Below are some most common use cases for BREs.
Banks use business rules engines to detect fraud. Business rules engines analyze data in real-time to identify suspicious behavior and trigger alerts.
BREs can go a long way toward streamlining different HR processes, such as recruitment, onboarding, scheduling training sessions, and more. In addition, a BRE can be used to ensure compliance with employment regulations.
Organizations can make the most of BREs to automate customer service processes, for instance, channeling customer requests to the appropriate departments.
Supply chain management
A BRE can also automate decision-making processes in supply chain management, for example, manage inventory by applying rules for reordering items based on sales data.
With a business rules engine, you can also personalize marketing campaigns automatically, for instance, by applying the rules to recommend products based on a customer’s purchase history.
To sum up
A business rules engine is an effective tool that can help businesses achieve greater productivity and efficiency, thus helping them stay competitive. Besides automating decision-making processes, improving efficiency, and taking customer service to the next level, adopting a BRE brings many other benefits that allow organizations of all sizes and industries to boost their bottom line.