We have used D&B as part of the decision to grant credit (or not) to business customers. Anyone have insight into other good alternatives to consider?
Best source for business credit information?
I am anti-D&B especially when it comes to private entities. They will accept any info, and their own business ethics leave a lot to be desired.
There are many industry groups where credit info can be garnered, as well as having an intelligent credit application created.
Asking who the bank is, given todays privacy act, is a waste. But asking other companies in your same sphere where the client may have accounts is much better.
I agree with Wayne, we participate in an industry specific credit service which provides excellent information. The data is contributed by ourselves and other firms we're familiar with so we know it is reliable and if we do see something that doesn't make sense, most likely we have a contact at that firm to call and discuss it with.
Having spent a number of years working with NACM, I think there is no substitute for spreading the numbers and doing your own research, including on site "kick the tires" reviews. Of course, this approach takes time and money, but if the account is a big one, the effort is worth the spend.
D&B is a first check, but not an answer to due diligence. Even when I worked for a big energy company and submitted information duly checked and monitored, D&B got "it wrong".
It pays to repeat, D&B is the wrong answer!
Maybe in the 1960's, but not for at least the last 20 or so years...
They are still upset that the Feds didn't accept their DUNS numbers as the de facto FIN number...