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A business built on helping protect people and property, Tyco’s Fire Protection division designs, sells, installs and maintains fire detection, sprinkler and suppression solutions to a huge range of clients worldwide.

The Challenge

Tyco understands risk. In fact, they’ve built a successful global business around helping customers manage and reduce it. However, Tyco is aware of its own risk – namely, the financial consequences of late or non-payment from clients. To strike the right balance between reducing their risk and retaining loyal customers, the Tyco credit management team does all it can to support late paying clients -- working with their customers and the Tyco sales team to set the right credit limits, and ensure communication channels are open in the case of business changes.

However with such a global and diverse client base, and in such a fast moving environment, credit managers were under pressure. Existing processes were considered ‘laborious’ and ‘bureaucratic’. Managers were forced to spend too much about signing off figures, and not enough addressing the needs of the customer base and the business.

The Solution

When it was time to transform the credit management function, Tyco choose longstanding partner, Dun and Bradstreet, to help.

How It Works

Dun & Bradstreet devised a tailored system called TDM, or Tyco Decision-Making tool, to dramatically streamline Tyco’s credit management processes. The system was built from the ground-up using Dun & Bradstreet’s innovative software development tools that allow applications to be built, tested and rolled out quickly and easily.

Information entered into TDM includes, for example, relevant product groups, past and predicted turnover of clients, margins, payment histories and so on. TDM works on the basis of tailor-made scorecards developed by Dun & Bradstreet and Tyco for determining credit limits.

The scorecards are specific to the culture of a region where the client is located, building on findings obtained when historic data from a number of past years was fed into the system. While initially just five or six were envisaged for the Europe, Middle East and Africa area, in the end no less than 13 different scorecards were needed.

The TDM user interface consists of an easy-to-read dashboard featuring ‘traffic lights’. All relevant data and communications are stored in the system and the entire decision-making process is automated, providing workflows for automatic approval by the correct person. It can be viewed by everyone and is fully compliant.


The entire design, development and implementation went without a hitch. The system is now fully operational and has enabled the business to undergo a considerable increase in setting limits. This is good for business, but since careful consideration is applied it does not damage client relations.

Among credit controllers and salespeople there is now a better understanding of the relationship between commerce and awarding credit. That improves the decision-making process and strengthens support for the decisions that are taken. And by having a clearer, common tool for the setting of limits, Tyco’s credit and sales functions can function as a single team serving the interests of the business.