The company's Web site offered trade credit products and credit information to mid-size companies in many of the 130 countries in which it did business. This combination of insurance products and real-time access to customer credit information allowed these mid-size companies to manage their risk and credit exposure. Although the system worked, it required custom coding for each new country added. This coding was complex because it involved international law, risk models, and business conditions that weren't easy for programmers to understand. Adding a country took several months and many IT resources, which slowed the rollout to new countries. Policy updates could take several weeks, increasing the risk to the organization when there were sudden changes in an industry's creditworthiness.
A decision service provides trade credit calculations, combining business rules and algorithms developed by using predictive analytic techniques. Business experts interact directly with trade credit rules by using rule templates to ensure that rules match the underlying object model, without business users having to understand the object model's technicalities. Effective repository design means the rules for each country share common algorithms yet can be customized easily. Almost all the work in adding a country or changing a policy is carried out directly by business users, and the system doesn't have to be taken offline to bring new countries online. Business users conduct what-if analysis by trying out new rules in a preproduction environment.