For individual consumers, credit verification should take place before order release and inventory commitment.  Credit verification should take place on-line and in near real-time.  For large corporate customers, each customer should be classified as a:

• green-light customer (those customers without exemplary payment histories with orders released without credit checks),

• yellow-light customers (those customers with good to average payment histories having a pre-specified sample of orders checked or a check on all orders in excess of a pre-specified value), or

• red-light customers (those with poor credit histories and all orders held for credit checks.)