FRETSNCF is using ILOG’s JRules software to create a new pricing system as part of a major IT modernisation programme, which aims to increase sales flexibility and billing transparency while reducing costs.

JRules is being used to automate and streamline pricing for freight traffic worth around €1·82bn a year, and ILOG says it has cut bill processing costs by 20%. ’Tens of thousands’ of pricing rules are needed to account for factors including seasonality, wagon type, geography, type of goods and lead times for 13000 clients.

Flexibility has been improved with the introduction of JRules, which makes updates and changes easier. It does not require the use of spreadsheet-like tables which created a high potential for error when using the previous system based on 15-year-old mainframe computers. Users can write and manage the pricing rules in natural language, and keep tariff policies in an easily-maintained central repository.

’This strategic project provides us with the means to adapt to our market, and to remain competitive,’ said Idriss Elasri, Back Office Programme Manager at Fret SNCF. ’The business rules technology, deployed in just six months, provides us with better agility and transparency.’

ILOG, France