U.S. Homebuilding Company Reduces Product Rules Development Time by 25%

A residential construction company prides itself as a market leader in building quality homes. The company has developed a reputation for stability and responsibility over the course of its lengthy history.

The Challenge
The company builds a variety of different types of residential homes for its customers and provides them with upgradable features and options. From features to finishes, customers can choose from many different products depending upon the type of community. This vast range of features drove the company’s need for a sales application that would allow sales reps to quickly model a home that fit customers’ requirements, while also verifying the buildability of the home with the requested features.

Project Overview
The homebuilding company wanted to ensure that the sales application they developed would empower the sales team with speed and accuracy when creating and delivering quotes. The team determined that a business rules management system (BRMS) would play a key role in the new sales application.

An important consideration for the new sales application was that it had to integrate with the builder’s existing .NET sales systems. This would ensure a seamless user experience for the sales reps who would be accessing the InRule® BRMS application through the builder’s sales system.

The application would be powered by business rules authored and implemented by the company’s subject matter experts. The rules would tell the system the required components for each house and any other conditions that apply based on the elected options.

Finally, the company wanted the sales application to include a rule verification element built on business rules that would alleviate the pressure of manually checking every detail of an already sold home. In the past, this was a very tedious process that required manual reviews to avoid mistakes.

Solution
After reviewing the capabilities of several BRMSs, the team decided to move forward with deploying InRule. In addition to its seamless integration with their sales system, the homebuilding company felt that InRule fulfilled their needs.

By utilizing irVerify®, InRule’s testing tool, the homebuilding company was able to validate every rule and calculation to ensure they were firing as desired. The tracing functionality within irVerify proved to be especially helpful when troubleshooting complex rule processing discrepancies during the testing phase of the implementation.

Finally, InRule’s irCatalog® allowed the homebuilding company to store and manage over 100,000 business rules. By managing many of these rules as groups in a central location, and not individually, the company was able to define and apply business rules that applied to all of their product lines. Additionally, this helped the company build out a system of auto-sequencing the rules, making it easy to determine the order in which the business rules should be executed. Through the use of irCatalog, the company has been able to realize the benefits of greater transparency into business rules.

Results
By selecting InRule as the BRMS provider for its sales application, the homebuilding company experienced a range of benefits across the sales and architecture teams.

One of the largest benefits was realized by using the auto-sequencing process that determines the order of which business rules would fire. It saved roughly two hours per each new house– allowing the new product rules to be written approximately 25 percent faster. With thousands of houses built each year, a significant amount of time is saved each year thanks to InRule.

Additionally, the homebuilding company was able to gain greater accuracy in their home modeling and building process. Thanks to the irVerify component, the team was able to ensure accuracy and eliminate the risk of errors.

Lastly, the homebuilding company’s sales representatives can now create a custom model of a home and deliver an accurate quote to their clients in seconds, as opposed to days. Each quote involves the rules engine processing over 400 business rules in mere seconds.

Lessons Learned
Throughout the process of selecting a BRMS vendor and implementing InRule into their current technology stack, the team learned numerous lessons. According to a Sr. Project Manager involved in the creation of the sales application, “The development and implementation process was so seamless with InRule.” He added, “At times we felt we were testing the boundaries of InRule, but we were consistently and pleasantly surprised with the power of the product, as well as the commitment of the support staff.”

“The application development and implementation process was so seamless with InRule… at times we felt we were testing the boundaries of InRule, but we were consistently and pleasantly surprised with the power of the product as well as the commitment of the support staff.”

 

Sr. Project Manager,
U.S. Homebuilding Company