Imagine that you’re an insurance broker for corporate clients.
You make daily visits to several clients and need to present proposals for the most diverse types of claims, for companies of various sizes and industries.
Have you ever thought, every time an opportunity arises to close a sale, to go back to the office, consult manuals and write a complex proposal?
This could certainly be prejudicial to closing negotiations.
What if you could rely on a well-defined and automated business rule system that could quickly and even preliminarily provide the key parameters of the proposal before the legal department’s “acceptance”?
Surely your sales would increase.
That’s what business rules are about: making your company’s results better and adding value to the solutions they deliver to customers through agile, reliable, and assertive decision-making.
Why do companies need business rules?
The implementation of process improvements in business is a constant concern of every manager.
But, a very common mistake in companies is to forget about a key part of any organization: its business rules.
This oversight can generate great losses and even slow down a company’s performance.
That’s why you need to be aware of implementing a truly effective business rules system in your business.
But how do you accomplish this task?
Find out below!
What are the business rules?
Business rules are statements that will guide the proper functioning of your business.
They may be simple, or more complex, even involving rules of logic.
But they have the function of basically defining what, where, when, why, and how something must be done within an organization.
For example: if your company provides 10% discounts on purchases made through your website on a customer’s birthday, that’s a business rule.
This benefit (what) should be applied on the customer’s birthday (when), needs to happen in purchases through the site (where), with a value of 10% (how) to please the customer on their day – and, who knows, maybe persuade them (why).
But you must understand that the rules are as varied as possible and must always be in accordance with the policies, objectives, and specificities of each company.
They may create advantages associated with:
- Reducing costs
- Making company strategies stronger;
- Assisting in decision-making processes;
- Providing greater process control;
- Providing benefits to customers in a controlled and well-planned manner;
- Increasing process agility;
- Reducing problems with customer defaults.
Definition, storage and access to business rules
Business rules can be defined and stored by the organization in several ways:
And, preferably, they do this with the aid of a good business rules system.
This is the ideal choice for any business owner who takes their company’s processes seriously.
Because: consider the way businesses informally handle statements that determine business behavior, such as sending this information out on sheets of paper or e-mails.
Imagine an insurance company.
There are a multitude of insurance possibilities to offer, determined by the particular information profile of each client.
In order for the company to be able to establish values and conditions that suit the situation and each buyer, it will need to establish well-defined business rules.
For example, a 40-year-old male driver, a customer for 15 years, with two occurrences in his history is priced at $ 100.00.
Another, single, 20 years old, a client for 1 year and with three occurrences, will have his insurance approved in the amount of R $ 300.00.
Certainly, the difference in the application of the insurance would not have the same value charged to both, due to the particularities considered by the company in relation to their profiles and histories.
Now, think about the confusion that would exist if there were no such guidelines and if the values were determined on a case-by-case basis by the business analysts themselves.
Or if you had rules written in large manuals that employees had to leaf through to find the right choice and relate to each of their customers?
Or even the wasted time and the great possibility of errors when working if you stored data in Excel tables or used unfriendly tools?
Certainly, the insurance company would collapse quickly, or, at best, it would still work in the short term, but far from its potential.
And without any competitive advantage in relation to its competitors.
This is because the amount of information to record, compare, analyze, and share regarding customer profiles is gigantic.
Keeping business rules can even happen on paper, or in not-so-specialized computer tools, but it would be very difficult to access and use them effectively.
Imagine, furthermore, if there is an increase in inflation or a new law established and the rules need to be updated manually.
To write new manuals, print them and send them to every employee – it’s something unimaginable!
And even if there is a digital repository, such as a Shared Drive, the security, reliability, and agility of data access is infinitely less than in the case of using a business rule engine.
And these external factors are not only common but frequent, which ends up demanding updates of the rules in a simple and agile way, through an intuitive interface.
In this context, a business rules engine will be the best way for this information to be shared in the right way, with the necessary speed and security.
Check out this infographic with an overview on Business Rules Systems:
Business Rules System (BRMS)
The answer to this question is precisely to encode information and automate this process through the use of a business rules system.
Known as the Business Rules Management System (BRMS), these are applications that provide the necessary conditions to:
- Manage the life cycle of business rules.
In summary, it’s necessary to look for software capable of storing such information, making it possible to share it, easy to access, perform rule modeling and access data.
But which one?
However, it is not the most appropriate option for the business rules case: they can be a very expensive and slow software option to maintain.
But what should you look for in an ideal business rules system?
When choosing a business rules engine, you may come across various options available in the SaaS market.
But, how do you choose the best option?
To implement an efficient business rules system in your company, look for software alternatives that have:
1 – An Integrated Development Environment
It’s important to have an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
The configuration environment must be friendly so that a person with little or no technical knowledge can do all the rule settings. Ideally, it should be done by a business or process analyst.
2- A centralized repository of business rules and their documentation
It’s a centralized database where all business rules are maintained. It should include the business rule logic configuration, documentation, and authorizations.
3- Integration with development tools
In order for the rules to be automatic, it’s essential that there are integrations with information systems and BPMS.
This will ensure they are always adhered to and no compliance errors occur.
4- Creation, implementation and logical tests
When we create or modify a business rule we need to make sure that it doesn’t introduce any errors in the operating environment.
For this, the BRMS must provide test and workflow resources between development, homologation and production environments.
5- Business logic open for reuse
Sometimes you can reuse the same business rule in different situations.
For example: Consider a company which sells several financial products. It’s important that it standardizes its credit granting business rule, and incorporates it into all the information systems involved.
The environment should allow several people to be able to contribute to the creation, maintenance, and evolution of business rules.
It’s also important to point out that a system for business rules should not be immutable.
Since, like the demands, there are elements internal and external to the company in constant change that influences the rules.
Do you want to learn about BPM software for modeling, documentation and the automation of processes and their business rules?
Check out this video:
Do you already use a business rules system in your company?
Tell us in the comments.