- How do I log in to Blue Book Online Services (BBOS) for the first time?
The answer to “how to log in” for the FIRST time depends slightly on your situation. Please carefully review the following two situations and see which one best describes you. Then use the login instructions that immediately follow. A few minutes invested in reading the following will save you time in the long run.
Your firm is a Blue Book Member: Yes
Please contact a Customer Service Associate for quick and easy access: 630-668-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Your firm is a Blue Book Member: No
To register for access to restricted BBOS functionality or to sign up for membership, please click on the "Register here"
link on the home page. We also encourage you to contact a Sales Representative for quick and easy access: 630-668-6800 or email@example.com
Note: If you are confident that you correctly answered the above questions and you still cannot log in, you might not yet have been assigned a user license. To receive your user license, simply contact a Service representative at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 630 668-3500.
Blue Book Membership
- What is the difference between a Registered User and a Blue Book Member?
A Registered User is a company that is currently not a Blue Book Member but has an e-mail address and a password for restricted access to Blue Book Online Services (BBOS) in order to perform company searches, purchase Marketing Lists and Business Reports.
A Blue Book Member is a company that has purchased any level of Blue Book membership and can see in-depth credit and marketing information on companies throughout the supply chain.
Members also have significantly more features and functions offered within their service level. For a description of features included with each membership, refer to question 6.
- How do I become a Registered User?
To become a Registered User, simply click on the “Register here” link on the right-hand side of the BBOS home page and submit your registration information. You will then be able to perform limited company searches, purchase Marketing Lists and Business Reports.
- How do I become a Blue Book Member?
Becoming a Blue Book Member is easy: You can call or e-mail our Sales Team or purchase your membership online. If you are a Registered User, simply log in to BBOS and visit the “My Account” area to review the membership options available. If you are not yet a Registered User, simply click on the “Register here” link on the right-hand side of the BBOS home page and submit your registration information. After registration, visit the “My Account” area to review the membership options available.
- What benefits do I receive for becoming a Registered User?
As a Registered User, you will be able to perform free company searches. You can view restricted contact information including company name, address and phone number. A Registered User can also purchase Marketing Lists and Business Reports for more in-depth information. Marketing Lists can be contact or non-contact oriented and include information on classifications, commodities and annual volume handled.
- What benefits do I receive for becoming a Blue Book Member?
Blue Book Members see the most in-depth and accurate information available. The Blue Book database is updated every day; monitoring
your accounts has never been easier with a variety of tools available to Members. Additionally, as a member, you can perform company searches, by location, commodities, rating, etc.
A Blue Book membership is your key to make informed business and credit decisions.
For a more detailed description of membership levels, see question 6, contact a Sales Representative, or log in and refer to the “Purchase Membership” section in the “My Account” area.
- What membership options does Blue Book Services offer?
Blue Book Services offers one print-based membership and numerous web-based
memberships. All memberships include access to Business Reports and Marketing Lists, Credit Sheet Updates on company and personnel changes, Trading Assistance services (collection, arbitration & mediation),
Blueprints Quarterly Journals, and the online Reference Guide.
Series 100: Our exclusive offering for the print user includes one April and one October print book, one user license to Blue Book Online Services and five (5) in-depth Business Reports annually. With this membership you receive semi-annually updated listing and rating information on produce, transportation and supply firms within the printed book, and real-time listing and rating information online.
Series 150: Our basic level of access to Blue Book Online Services provides you with standard access to the Blue Book search engine. You will have two (2) user licenses and seven (7) annual Business Reports. With this membership level you receive real-time information allowing you to monitor key business connections and document viable business information.
Series 200: Geared towards our professional Blue Book Online Services user, this membership gives you advanced access to the Blue Book search engine as well as the ability to review personnel information on each listed Blue Book company. It includes five (5) user licenses and twelve (12) Business Reports.
Series 300: Our premium package is designed for the business dedicated to credit risk management with access to all benefits Blue Book Online Services offers. In addition to having the trusted Blue Book rating on trading partners, you can also review the predictive Blue Book Score. This membership level includes, ten (10) user licenses and eighty (80) annual
Business Reports. Confidently identify profitable business connections by using the full portfolio of rating tools Blue Book Services offers: Business Reports, Ratings and Blue Book Scores.
Series 350: Our highest standard membership package is created for larger companies. In addition to all the services that the lower levels of service offer, this level
provides twenty (20) user licenses and one hundred thirteen (113) annual Business Reports.
If your company needs more than twenty (20) licenses for our service, there are higher levels of service with the availability of volume discounting. Please contact a Sales Representative for more information.
- What is an Access License?
A BBOS Access License or user license allows you to log in to our website and use certain features and functions of our website. Each membership level includes a certain number of Access Licenses. The higher the membership level, the more functionality and access to Blue Book information is provided with the Access Licenses included in that membership level.
- Can I buy additional Access Licenses?
Additional Access Licenses are available for purchase.
Additional Access Licenses purchased cannot exceed the license level included with the current membership.
- Can I buy an Access License of a higher level than the licenses provided with my membership?
No. Additional Access Licenses purchased cannot exceed the license level included with the current membership.
- Can I make changes to who in my company has an Access License?
In order to re-assign user licenses, please contact our Service representatives at 630 668-3500.
- What is the cost of being a Blue Book Member?
Please log in and refer to “Manage Membership” in the “My Account” area to obtain a list of service pricing.
- What specific features are included in each membership level?
Please log in and refer to the “Membership Comparison Chart” in the “Manage Membership” area for a detailed list of features included with each service level.
- Can I buy additional services?
Additional services to complement your membership can be purchased and include
the Blueprints – The Produce Professionals’ Quarterly Journal, an additional Blue Book copy, additional Credit Sheets and additional unit packs.
- What types of services do I get charged units for?
Units are charged for requesting verbal and written Business Reports.
- Can I buy additional units?
Additional unit packs are available for purchase.
- Where do I send my international wire bank transfer to?
Wheaton Bank & Trust, 211 S. Wheaton Ave., Wheaton, IL USA 60187; ABA #071925389; Swift ID WBTCUS44; to the account of
Blue Book Services, 845 E. Geneva Rd., Carol Stream, IL USA 60188-3520; Account #000750 7516. Please confirm the bank transfer to
Blue Book Services by phone or fax.
Blue Book Listing
Blue Book Rating
- What is a Blue Book rating?
A Blue Book rating consists of a Credit Worth Estimate, an Integrity/Ability rating and a Pay Description. The rating reflects the overall financial strength of a company, its trading practices and reputation in the industry and the average number of days within which vendors and suppliers are paid.
- What is a Credit Worth Estimate?
A Credit Worth Estimate reflects the overall financial strength of a business and is based on the company’s equity and working capital positions as reflected on a current financial statement.
- What is an Integrity/Ability rating?
An Integrity/Ability rating reflects a company’s overall integrity when dealing with customers, vendors, transportation companies and supply firms. The Integrity/Ability rating scale ranges from “poor” (X) to “excellent” (XXXX). This rating is based on the aggregate trade feedback received on a company from their customers, vendors, transportation companies and supply firms.
- What is a Pay Description?
A Pay Description reflects within how many days on average a company will pay its vendors and suppliers. It is based on aggregate trade feedback submitted by those vendors and suppliers a company buys from.
- How do I establish a Blue Book rating?
Contact your Rating Analyst to discuss what is needed to establish your Blue Book rating.
- How do I keep my rating information current?
In order to keep your currently assigned rating, it is important to keep your financial statements and your Connection List current with the Blue Book.
Year-to-year financial statements need to be comparable to maintain a Credit Worth Estimate. In order to maintain your Integrity/Ability and Pay Rating, it is essential to keep your Connection List current and to have stable and consistent dealings with the trade.
- Will you advise me if there is a need to change my rating?
It is our policy to review any necessary changes to the rating with the principals/officers of the company. Prior to making a rating change your Rating Analyst will correspond with your firm to discuss the updated rating.
- How do I improve my rating?
Improving your rating is something you have complete control over. When you execute fair and honest business dealings and pay consistently, within terms, you should see that practice reflected in your current rating. Updating your current list of customers, vendors, transportation and supply firms will ensure that we have a list of companies you have current dealings with. If you feel your rating does not reflect your firm’s current trading practices speak to your Rating Analyst to discuss the current rating and trade feedback received.
- My financial statement will not be ready until after the date given in the letter sent to me. Will this affect my rating?
If you know that you will not be able to submit an updated financial statement prior to the deadline communicated to you, please let your Rating Analyst know in advance. Based on the circumstances, an extension might be granted to you. Your Rating Analyst may request additional or supplemental information until an updated financial statement is available.
- Who do I send my financial statement to?
You can submit your financial statements by logging in and visiting the “My Account” area online and clicking on
the “Edit My Company Data” field. From there, you can access the “Financial Statement” tab and
attach your latest data. You can also submit your information via e-mail
via fax to the attention of the Rating Group at (630) 344-0360 or via mail to
Blue Book Services, 845 East Geneva Rd., Carol Stream, IL 60185.
- I want my financial statement to be kept confidential. How is this done?
If you submit a confidential financial statement, your information will only be used to establish a Credit Worth Estimate. Figures will not be released to Blue Book Members. You can advise your Rating Analyst or include a note with the current financial statements to indicate your desire to keep your financial statement confidential.
- How important is it to communicate with my Rating Analyst when I am experiencing issues that will affect my rating?
The sooner you communicate issues that might affect your rating, the better. Knowing the facts about issues that may have an impact on your rating will help the analyst review current information with all facts at hand. Your Rating Analyst will work with you to ensure you are receiving fair and unbiased treatment as you work through these situations.
- Why do I need to update my Connection List periodically?
Keeping your Connection List current will ensure that only companies you have current dealings with will
be contacted for trade feedback, resulting in a timely and accurate rating.
- How current should my Connection List be?
You should update your Connection List annually.
- Where do I get a Connection List form?
You can update your Connection List online at www.producebluebook.com after logging in, in the “My Account” area under “Edit My Company Data”. You can also call us at 630 668-3500 to have a Connection List form e-mailed or faxed to you.
- What is a Blue Book Score?
A Blue Book Score predicts the likelihood that a company will become delinquent or go into default within a 12-month time period. The predictive Blue Book Score complements the Blue Book rating, which reflects past payment trends.
- Why is it important that I submit trade feedback?
Blue Book ratings depend on the quality and quantity of trade feedback submitted on a company by its trading partners. The more trade feedback is received on a company, the more accurate and less vulnerable a rating will be.
- Can I submit accounts receivable aging reports to the Blue Book?
Yes, you can. Your monthly accounts receivable aging reports serve as pay feedback on your customers and are considered when assigning pay ratings. Accounts receivable aging reports are for internal use only and are not shared with other companies. Additionally, submission of monthly aging reports eliminates the need to submit annual Connection Lists.
- Who do I call to report my trade experiences with another company?
You can submit trade feedback online at www.producebluebook.com after logging in, in the “My Account” area or call your Rating Analyst at 630 668-3500.
- Is the trade feedback I submit kept confidential?
Yes. All trade information submitted is handled confidentially and will not be shared with other companies. You can be assured that the information you provide will be used in the aggregate trade feedback received and at no time will the Blue Book divulge the source of information received.
- Why do I sometimes experience trade dealings with a company that do not support that company’s current rating?
Blue Book ratings are assigned based on the aggregate trade feedback received on a company. All trade feedback received is averaged out into a rating. Since no one report will dictate the rating of another firm, it is possible that your experiences are not mirrored by other firms. Keeping that in mind, it is important for you to advise the Blue Book if you experience dealings that are not reflected in the rating of another firm. Contact your Rating Analyst at 630 668-3500 if you experience these types of situations.
- What if my business structure changes, how does this affect the rating?
Changes in corporate structure can affect a company’s financial rating, thus prompting a credit worth review by the Rating Analyst. If needed, your Rating Analyst will request financial statements based on new ownership as soon as they are available.
- Who do I talk to about changes in ownership at my company?
A Rating Analyst will be able to help you. For a list of extensions, please refer to the “Contact Us” area.
- Where can I find the definitions of classifications? For example, what is a broker?
Classification definitions can be found in the Trading Guidelines section of the
Reference Guide. The Reference Guide can be found in the “Education” area of Blue Book Online Services (BBOS).
- Do I need a PACA license and where can I get one?
In general, any person who buys or sells more than 2,000 pounds of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables in any given day is required to be licensed under the PACA.
Wholesalers, processors, truckers, grocery wholesalers, and food service firms fit into this category.
A person who negotiates the sale of fruits and vegetables on behalf of another person is required to be licensed on the first transaction. A person operating in this capacity
may be considered to be a commission merchant, broker, or a growers' agent. A broker handling only frozen fruits and vegetables, however, is not subject to the PACA licensing
requirements until the invoice value of the total negotiated sales exceeds $230,000 in a calendar year.
To apply for a license, to obtain more specific information about licensing requirements, or to find out if a firm is a licensee, call the National License Center at 800 495-7222 or the Regional
Office nearest you. For a list of PACA offices and contact information, please refer to your
online Reference Guide by referring to the “Education” section in BBOS.
- What is Trading/Transportation Membership?
Trading/Transportation Membership is an honor service. It represents certification by Blue Book Services and is available only to the best firms in the industry. You can be certain that Trading/Transportation Members represent an elite group of reputable, conscientious and honest companies.
- How do I obtain Trading/Transportation Member status?
To be considered for Trading/Transportation Member status a firm must meet the following criteria:
If you are interested in becoming a Trading/Transportation Member speak to your Rating Analyst for further details.
The rating average of all submitted Trade Experience Surveys must be at least 3.35 "X" each year, for a minimum of 5-7 years, with a high standard of pay practice.
- The company must update their Connection List annually.
- The company and/or its key principals (primarily owners) must have been established and leading ongoing operations for the past 5-7 years while exhibiting a fair trading policy.
- The business must have submitted timely financial statements for the past 5-7 years, which reflect a strong financial position. An accountant prepared year-end statement including balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows is preferred. Trading/Transportation Members are required to provide financial figures each and every year subsequent to earning the honor.
- Blue Book Membership is also required for all Trading and Transportation Members.
- As a Trading/Transportation Member, who can I turn to when I have a trade dispute, need an opinion or just need help?
All Trading/Transportation Members are required to agree to arbitration through Blue Book Services on any and all disputes or misunderstandings with another Trading or Transportation Member which they are unable to settle between themselves.
Assistance in these matters can be obtained by calling the Blue Book Services’ Trading Assistance group at 630 668-3500.
- What is Blue Book Trading Assistance?
Blue Book Trading Assistance provides members with a range of dispute resolution services, including collections (or “claims”), mediation, and arbitration. Our Trading Assistance staff will also provide industry knowledgeable trading advice to help you protect your rights and avoid disputes. When legal advice is sought, our staff will direct you to a qualified attorney.
- How can the Blue Book help me collect on past-due accounts?
When one of your accounts receivable becomes past due, a Trading Assistance representative can quickly initiate a comprehensive collection assistance program on your behalf. After receiving your authorization to proceed, we will contact the Respondent (your debtor) for payment. For receivables that may be in dispute, Trading Assistance representatives will work with the parties to assess the merits of the dispute and attempt to bring that matter to a satisfactory resolution.
- Can I file a claim against a party that is not a member of the Blue Book?
Yes, members may use Blue Book Collection Assistance to recover from listed and unlisted entities.
- How much does it cost to open a claim?
Our Collection Assistance fee is 12% of any balance collected, with a minimum fee of $200. No fee will be charged unless and until you receive payment (or other valuable consideration) from the Respondent.
- How can the Blue Book help me if I become involved in a trading dispute?
You may use Blue Book Collection Assistance when a collection or claim is disputed. Trading Assistance representatives will work with the parties to assess the merits of the dispute and attempt to bring that matter to a satisfactory resolution. Our Trading Assistance staff will also provide industry knowledgeable trading advice to help you protect your rights. When legal advice is sought, our staff will direct you to a qualified attorney.
- What is mediation?
Mediation is a non-binding process in which a third party attempts to facilitate resolution of a dispute. Our Trading Assistance staff acts as mediators whenattempting to resolve a collection or claim.
- What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a binding process in which the parties agree to allow a third-party to determine how a dispute should be resolved. The Blue Book has provided arbitration services since 1909, and continues to do so today. The parties may agree to arbitrate disputes through the Blue Book by contract either before or after a dispute arises. Please contact a member of our Trading Assistance staff for additional details via e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 630 668-3500.
- Does Blue Book publish the fact that a collection or claim has been placed against the debtor (respondent) firm?
Collection or claim activity against an industry firm is of interest to Blue Book Members. Accordingly, we do report unresolved collections or claims if the respondent firm is unresponsive OR if, after reviewing the documentation provided by the parties, it appears to our Trading Assistance staff that based on industry custom and rules the collection or claim has sufficient merit.
- Does the Blue Book publish information on industry customs and rules?
Yes, the Blue Book publishes Trading Guidelines and Transportation Guidelines in the Education section on our website. Additionally, we publish information on customs and rules in each issue of
Blueprints, the quarterly journal published by Blue Book Services. If you are new to the produce industry the New Hire Academy may also be a helpful resource.
- What advertising opportunities does Blue Book offer?
Blue Book Services has four advertising channels for qualified Blue Book Members including both print and online options.
- Who receives the Blueprints Journal & why should I advertise in it?
The Blueprints Journal reaches all the classifications withn the produce supply chain, notably; shippers, wholesalers, brokers and retailers. Decision makers across the industry rely on
Blueprints to stay informed on key trends and issues in the industry.
Only firms with a qualified Blue Book Rating are eligible to promote their products and services with a Blueprints ad; this, there is some prestige in apprearing in the
journal. While the specific circulation numbrs are kept confidential, all Blue Book Members in the US and Canada receive Blueprints. Including
Blueprints in your promotional mix ensures you are being seen by the industry’s decision makers. Each article is also available on Blue Book Online Services (BBOS) in .pdf format. Premium positions are available.
- Can I advertise on Blue Book Online Services (BBOS)?
Yes. BBOS offers three types of advertising opportunities for Blue Book Members:
the online Reference Guide, Image Ads or Listing Publicity ads.
- What kind of information is presented in the online Reference Guide? Can my company advertise in it?
The online Reference Guide provides all Blue Book Members with valuable trading guidelines and commodity reference information. Blue Book Services has been actively providing reference material for the trade for over one hundred years. Qualified advertisers can highlight their products and services
Know Your Commodity section. There are four exclusive ad positions available for each commodity. Each article is
available on BBOS in .pdf format. Select reference documents are distributed monthly through our eNewsletter.
- Why should I advertise through an Image Ad?
Qualified advertisers can drive sales, reinforce corporate branding, announce new product lines, or promote upcoming events through BBOS. Advertising on BBOS maximizes your campaign’s reach,
every Blue Book Member has access to BBOS. Additionally, certain pages are available to any guest who comes to our site, not just members.
- What is a Listing Publicity and can I create one?
Listing Publicity is the third type of advertising opportunity available to all Blue Book Members. Your Listing Publicity is a text based advertisement seen on the search results pages. Any time your firm appears in the search results on BBOS, your Listing Publicity will also appear on the right side of the screen. Promote essential marketing facts by creating two lines of custom text to feature your products or services. This opportunity lets you directly communicate with interested firms about the product or services you specialize in.
- Can anyone advertise with Blue Book Services?
To advertise in Blueprints, the Reference Guide or through an Image Ad on BBOS as a produce or transportation company, your Blue Book Integrity Rating must be either XXX or XXXX. Additionally, you must be a Blue Book Member. Listing Publicity advertising can be created by any headquarter listing in the Blue Book regardless of Blue Book rating or Blue Book membership status.
- Can I publish my logo in the Blue Book?
Yes, any firm listed in the Blue Book regardless of membership status or Blue Book rating can publish its logo. The logo will be seen in the April & October print Blue Books, on BBOS and if applicable, in the
Blueprints directory. There is an annual fee for this service; contact a
Sales Representative at 630-668-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can I publish the Blue Book’s Member seal in my promotional materials?
Yes, we encourage members to use the Blue Book Member seal in their advertising campaign.
To use the Member seal, you must first be a Blue Book Member and have a Blue Book Integrity Rating of XXX or XXXX. To use the Trading or Transportation Member seal, you must
have earned this distinction. Contact a Customer Service associate to get your copy of the seal at 630-668-3500 or email@example.com.