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Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, Cargill helps people thrive by applying insights and more than 150 years of experience. 143,000 employees in 67 countries are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work.

The Challenge

As a global provider of products and services, Cargill needed a way to assess if they were working with different customers in various parts of the world or if they were the same entities. Gunther Smets, the European Counterparty Risk Manager at Cargill was looking for a way to efficiently see a full overview of each customer.

Cargill’s international business organization is made up of business units that operate independently. The structure was causing Cargill to take a fragmented approach with their customers since they had a lot of the same customers divided over different business units. Each business unit had its own risk approach using various IT solutions. The net result was a lack of customer insight at the Cargill enterprise level. Because they were analyzing customers by business unit, some tasks were carried out twice or even more often for the same customer. That’s when Smets turned to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) for help in accessing the insight they needed to get a single customer view.

The Solution

Dun & Bradstreet has been our data provider for years. In the past, we only ordered reports. Today, after active engagement with our Dun & Bradstreet Relationship Manager on the solutions needed, their involvement in our business has increased.
The team from Dun & Bradstreet thought dynamically with us about the solutions our organization needed to accomplish our goals. The advantage of Dun & Bradstreet is global data coverage and the D&B D-U-N-S Number – a unique business identifier for each customer with online tools that can be easily linked with SAP.

How It Works

On the advice of the Dun & Bradstreet team, we are using DNBi with DecisionMaker and Portfolio Manager – all in one platform. With these tools, we are able to manage the entire client process, from input to output in this way:

  • We perform a credit check on every new client.
  • The credit check considers their assets, geographic location and how long the company has existed.
  • To make a decision, we use a basic “traffic light criteria” – red, green, or yellow.

The information in DNBi plays an important role in helping us determine whether clients should be accepted, but in the end the decision is ours. It is possible that DecisionMaker gives a red code, but we can decide to override the guidance and accept the client if we have additional information or insight. We rely on our own experience with clients, too. These credit checks ensure that the number of losses is declining.

We are also using Portfolio Manager and the “Monitor” application to help us prioritize and best manage our workload. This solution helps us see where the risks are and when changes occur in the risk profile we are notified. Portfolio Manager provides us with an insight into annual figures and creditworthiness on each D-U-N-S number or customer we are doing business with.


We’ve made a financial investment to give all of our European business units access to Dun & Bradstreet data and it is paying back in ROI and business results. We can now see where our biggest risks are and take action to put more focus on them. This has lightened our organization-wide workload because we now have better insight into the specific risks in our portfolio - geographically, per industry branch, in the hierarchy of customers and trends

For example, when a customer’s Financial Stress Score drops, we are notified so we can proactively take action. On the basis of this information, we decide whether or not to deliver to a customer and the appropriate credit limit. The data maintenance ensures that we have the internal reference in one system. We can consolidate customers by their D&B D-U-N-S Number to eliminate duplicate records – giving us clear line of sight on the overall exposure of any one customer.

Now we can convert a plethora of data to see our customers more clearly across our enterprise and predict their behavior more precisely. We are also better positioned to scale our business while controlling risk.