Cash flow problems can overwhelm a business. Fortunately, you can use the Dun & Bradstreet
D-U-N-S Number, a unique nine-digit identification number for businesses, to access your or another company's business credit file to help you make decisions on managing your cash. Business credit files can contain a wealth of information, from demographics and family-tree data to payment experiences and predictive scoring.
Many companies share business names with other organizations, but when you search for a company using its D-U-N-S Number, rather than by name, you can be sure that you're looking at the correct business credit report. Checking your customers' and vendors' business credit files can allow you to analyze those companies' scores and ratings and gain insight into those companies' potential future behavior. You may be able to anticipate slow or late payments, or even business failure, which can help you avoid working with an unreliable company or help prepare you for a cash flow crunch.
The D-U-N-S Number can link customer files to respective parent companies to provide a view of your total credit exposure within a single corporate family. This insight into your customers' corporate structures means that you can manage credit limits more intelligently and that your collections efforts can be prioritized.
If you were to extend too much credit, you may not have the money you need to pay your own bills. By setting the right credit limits per company you work with, you can help manage your cash flow.
In supply management, the D-U-N-S Number can help give you a better understanding of your supplier base by helping identify duplicate records and by providing information on supplier family trees.
This understanding can help you leverage your purchasing power, cut some of the costs out of the purchasing process, and reduce your number of redundant suppliers worldwide, which can help you keep your cash flow positive.
You can also use your own D-U-N-S Number to help manage your cash flow. Your company's Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number, which can be obtained for free,† creates your business credit file with Dun & Bradstreet. By adding trade references* to your file you can help impact your scores and ratings. Impacting and monitoring your scores and ratings can be just as important as checking other companies' business credit files, because just as you may check others' files, they may be checking yours.
If you can anticipate needing a loan to prevent a cash flow crunch, or to get out of one, you can use your own credit file to help secure capital. Lenders often look at business credit files to help determine risk. If your scores and ratings show that your business isn't likely to pay back its loan, you may struggle to get funding. By building and managing your business credit file, you can help make sure you're always in the best position to secure a loan.
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Make sure what lenders and partners see in your business credit file is accurate.