Assigning a customer (or vendor) unique identification is a challenge organizations have struggled with for many years. Larger organizations with multiple customer access points often don't correlate their customer lists. Credit has been extended to customers well beyond credit limits because different departments are unaware they are dealing with the same customer.
Furthermore, as companies are being bought and shuffled with regularity, there is the problem of customer depth. Many companies still work with their B2B customers as a flat list, but this is no longer a valid practice. With company hierarchies possessing an unprecedented number of levels, internal rules are needed to establish who is really a customer (or vendor) and what the rules of engagement will be for different levels of customer. The maintenance of such lists at a reasonable level is well beyond the capabilities of most organizations that rely strictly on customer input. D&B calls this corporate linkage.
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