Cisco Systems had 29%--far too many--of its sales orders going on credit hold because credit limits were being applied to a specific bill-to address, not the ultimate economic buyer, which may have exhausted its credit under one address but often had plenty of available credit under a different address. The result was delayed orders, grumpy customers and sagging productivity as a result of a lot of manual intervention.
So the credit pros at San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco embarked on a two-stage project to fix the problem. The first step was to modify the ERP system to apply credit orders to the consolidated availability of the parent company, not the bill-to entity. "This allowed us to reduce customer credit limits from over 10,000 to under 2,000," reports Tom Braida, director of global credit.