Business Rule Engine Explained With Examples

Alok Suman
August 29, 2022

Decision-making is a core part of the business. It often involves several considerations:

  • Compliances, legal and regulatory aspects
  • Stakeholders
  • Budget, taxation, and finances
  • Approvals, documentation

Other aspects also govern the decision-making process at an organization.

In a situation where the rule and process flow are clearly defined, there are no problems. However, certain unique cases sometimes fall out of the scope of these defined processes. The standard operating procedure can’t be followed in such situations; different rule need to be specified for the decision to move to the next steps.

Business rule engines (BREs) are designed to maintain the continuation of information and process flows so as to facilitate decision-making even in unique and complex situations.

Organizations worldwide are realizing the significance of business rule management systems because of their potential to automate decision-making. In fact, a report highlights that the current market value of BREs is $1.3 billion and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% (2022 to 2032).

Business rule engines help organizations save a lot of time and hassle that would otherwise be wasted in communication and waiting times. Let’s understand the concept of business rule engines and how they can help your business.

What is a Business Rule Engine?

A business rule engine is a rule management system or software whose major function is to automate decisions involved in the various processes of a business.

It is necessary to facilitate decision-making at any organization, especially at a granular level. For example, a delay in procurement approvals because of the unavailability of the organization’s administration staff tends to delay the tasks further down the pipeline (for example, invoicing).

Automating such approvals based on pre-specified rule that respond to the organization’s standard operating procedures helps reduce unnecessary delays. Quick decision-making also helps organizations improve the productivity of their staff.

Let’s now look at a few more benefits of business rule management systems.

Benefits of Business Rule Engines

Business rule engines have four major benefits that no business can afford to ignore today. It is essential to accelerate the internal process through efficient and speedy decision-making that isn’t riddled with delays on account of avoidable reasons.

Better Compliance

A business must keep track of internal policies and external regulations that apply to the business processes.

For example, for consumer privacy protection, there is the GDPR and perhaps a corresponding company policy regarding the flow of sensitive consumer information inside the organization.

An automated business rule engine ensures that the internal processes are compliant with the stipulated regulations, laws, and policies that apply to it. It thus saves you from severe penalties.

Elimination of Manual Involvement

The cost of repetitive tasks for a company can be as high as $5 trillion annually. Things being so, it makes sense to eliminate manual decision-making to the extent possible by introducing business rule engines for automation.

Business rule engines handle the repetitive tasks involved in decision making, such as document routing, application screening, confirmations, rejections, etc., to spare human resources for better tasks.

Elimination of Middlemen

The process of decision-making involves a lot of back and forth between the authorized personnel and mostly happens between separate departments.

It also often involves a middleman who acts as the connector between the professionals involved in passing a decision. This process is cumbersome and inefficient.

With a business rule engine, routing is automated, eliminating the need for a middleman. The software automatically relays the information/documents to the right person at the right time for accelerated decision-making.

Enhanced Quality

Machines don’t make errors. Manual routing of information and documents may cause delays or errors. With the use of a business rule engine, this risk is eliminated.

By defining clear rule and conditions for each step in a decision process, this software gives teams the confidence to operate without any problems.

When employees have confidence, their speed of work improves. This helps improve the quality of the outcome. It also helps save the time and cost that a business incurs due to manual errors.

Examples of Business Rule Engines

Business rule engines run on specified rule and logic to automate thousands of decisions for a business on a daily basis. However, the business logic and rule that apply to one organization cannot be applied to another because each company has its own unique processes.

Here are a few examples of business rule engines:

  • In the health insurance sector, companies can apply business rule engines to screen and qualify clients for insurance eligibility. Since each health condition changes the terms of the insurance, automating this aspect of decision-making helps save a lot of time
  • In the retail sector, business rule engines can keep track of customer eligibility for various levels of discounts. For example, if your store runs a discount of 30% on a purchase of ₹3,000 but a discount of only 5% for purchases below that amount, you can easily set up eligibility rule and let the engine do the rest
  • Another good example is the financing sector. For various loan categories and amounts, the documents required are separate. Business rule engines can easily automate the eligibility and form completeness assessments instead of burdening the human resources over clerical tasks

How do Business Rule Engines Deliver Business Value?

Business growth is a function of quick and informed decisions in addition to sound strategies and efficient resource allocation.

Business rule engines help you automate your clerical decision-making tasks (and even some of the complicated decisions), which allows you better visibility into your processes.

Here are a few key aspects through which business rule engines add value to your business:

  • Stay in tune with the market dynamics
  • Better customer service
  • Explore new avenues for creating additional revenue streams
  • Enhance productivity and efficiency
  • Always stay compliant with regulations, laws, and policies

At the microscopic level, every automated decision adds accuracy to the process on the whole.

Types of Business Rule Engines

There are three major types of business rule engines:

  • Workflow-based
  • Logic-based
  • Coding-based

Workflow-Based Business Rule Engine

If you are looking to set up a basic decision automation system at your company, this is your best option. This business rule engine works based on a simple yes/no decisions and doesn’t deal with anything more complex than that.

There can be any number of users on the system, with a few selected administrators who design the workflows. These engines can auto-populate fields, route information, tasks, and messages, and send emails.

This business rule engine can be applied to tasks like automatically sending welcome messages to a new subscriber to your email newsletters. It can also be used for other yes/no decisions around your office.

Logic-Based Business Rule Engine

You can think of using a logic-based business rule engine as something like using Excel. The formulae used in Excel are quite intuitive and based completely on logic – the same concept applies to these business rule engines.

These BREs are designed to handle a certain level of complexity in the decision-making process without having to involve too much coding. Regular employees can still make use of this software and create their own rule by simply entering logic into the rule-builder.

This business rule engine is a great solution for automating parallel processes or creating digital forms.

Coding-Based Business Rule Engine

Coding-based BRE is something akin to Robotic Process Automation (RPA). By using programming languages, advanced codes are written, which determine the complex rule that a BRE system should follow to automate any decision.

These are more like bots that quickly scan the database for information and can aid with a decision. These business rule engines aren’t for a regular employee to build.

You need to hire a skilled developer and discuss the objectives of this robot with them to create a BRE that can handle complex decisions.

Such BREs are a great help in the finance department, where scanning multiple invoices by multiple vendors is manually taxing.

Wrapping Up

Business rule engines assist an organization with offloading repetitive tasks, specifically for decision-making. The good news is that with no-code platforms like Hubbler, you can now create your own business rule engines without writing any code at all.

Even if it is a complex BRE that you need to streamline your accounting operations, you can build the solution yourself using the simple drag-and-drop functionality of Hubbler's no-code platform.

To learn more, visit Hubbler - A no code DIY Platform