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Demystifying Blue Book Scores: How to manage your score

Blue Book Credit Scores range from 500 to 1000

It’s important for company owners to know what’s in their company’s credit profile, and this includes the Blue Book score.

A company’s Blue Book business report should be reviewed annually. Blue Book users can also see data received each day by obtaining access to Blue Book’s Performance Indicators—a service level with more interactive and real-time information.

Blue Book reference lists should be reviewed and updated annually. Without a good representation of the vendors a company does business with, its score may be lower and unable to support a Blue Book rating they may deserve.

This can lead, in turn, to credit accessibly issues and a lower trade perception.

Blue Book field and sales representative Tim Hickey actively tries to assist companies when on the road.

“When I visit members, they often ask how they can improve their score,” he says. “Many times, I see they may have very few references, or it’s been a long time since they updated their reference list. These are two problems with a clear-cut remedy, so I ask them to update their reference list.”

Improve your Blue Book score

What can companies do to improve their Blue Book score? First and foremost, pay trading partner invoices within terms, and do so consistently.

Ensuring vendors receive payment within 21 days is often better than paying some in 10, others in 15, and still more in 21 or 30 days. Consistency is better than variability—pick a lane and stick to it.

So when members call and ask, “Why did my score change?” or “Why is my score lower than ABC Produce?”—the quick answer will always involve pay. If a company pays slow, its score will be low.

Blue Book scores have several predictive and proprietary features, but scoring outputs always go back to how a company is paying its trade obligations. It’s important to understand that the quality, quantity, and consistency of data factor into a company’s score, just as they do for its competitors.

For more information on Blue Book scores or member service levels, please call 630-668-3500.

This an excerpt from the Credit and Finance department in the May/June 2022 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole issue.


Bill Zentner is Vice President, Ratings Service for Blue Book