Just heard about Punchout Catalogs and want to know how to integrate this effective strategy into your business? Great! With all the purchasing organizations in business-to-business (B2B) markets, looking for a way to achieve maximum supply chain efficiency savings, it is essential for a business to be punchout ready.

This simple e-procurement software application allows a buyer to access the website of a supplier from within his/her own procurement application. It enables the suppliers to deliver more value to customers by providing easier and faster buying experience. Here are some added benefits of integrating a punchout catalog with your business.  

How can Punchout Catalogs benefit your business?

Well, this is a multi-million dollar secret that most of the small to medium-sized businesses are finding out. There are still many gigantic business enterprises that have fallen short in fully putting the pieces together. If you are still puzzled about the perks of punchouts, here are the key benefits that your business will have by opting for it.

Leverage your business capabilities

By becoming punchout ready, you can win new tenders with bigger organizations. Large purchasing organizations look for suppliers who can collaborate with their purchasing technology. Therefore, you can confidently approach the largest companies with punchout.

Retain contracts for longer periods

A rock-solid punchout offer a hassle free and secure experience to buyers. Your buyers can have access to almost limitless collateral content that leads your helps you in market expansion and brings you more branding opportunities. Punch out helps the suppliers to tightly integrate with their customers.

Shopping convenience

Customers always look for convenience and efficiency when it comes to purchasing products from their vendors. This is what you can provide to your buyers easily by using punchout. The protocol simplifies the shopping experience of customers by allowing them to access the catalog content from the procurement system with a single click without entering login credentials. In other words, it gives the customer a single point of entry to your catalog content.

You can sell more

With punchout eCommerce software, you can put catalogs in front of the world’s biggest buyers in eProcurement marketplaces so that you can gain captive audiences. Also, the permanent presences on the purchasing systems of your buyers can immensely help you in selling more.

Streamline the selling or buying process

With e-procurement, the buying organization can save up to 15% in attributed purchasing costs and also the costs for suppliers with punchout are reduced. That means punchout can be a win, win scenario for your business.

Standout from the competitors

In B2B markets, the way you store, manage, and present your data makes you stand out from the rest.  With punchout catalog, you can not only keep your opponents from reaching your key customers but also attract potential buyers and get more revenues.

Integrating Punchout with Your business

Now, punchouts are an imperative part of overall e-commerce picture. Knowing how to integrate the punch out your business in the right way can make the difference between a winning business growth strategy and a business disaster.

A punchout catalog contains the customer’s unique items and prices and is created specifically to connect with a company’s eProcurement system. It connects to a customer’s purchasing system using data transfer protocols and appears in the user’s system just like a typical supplier catalog web page.

Business buyers are now asking sellers for punchout integration for streamlining workflow, shortening turnaround and managing spend. If such a prompt made you think of integrating punchout with your business, relax.  punchout integration is easier and affordable. All it needs is your ecommerce website and product catalog.

First of all, your ecommerce website is integrated with the buyer eProcurement system so that your products can be shopped from within the buyer eProcurement system.

For creating and submitting a requisition, additional activities are added to the transaction so that purchases can get approval before moving forward. SAP and OCI are some of the popular punchout functionality providers.

Spend management systems

Instead of navigating to the seller ecommerce website, a buyer can simply logs into his/her eProcurement system through a punchout integration. It makes the seller’s ecommerce website visible and navigable using the eProcurement system. It allows the user to browse and select items from the website just like a traditional ecommerce transaction. Punch out enables the user to integrate the ecommerce website within the eProcurement system and add the requisition approval. This enables the buyers to meet spend-management needs effectively.

Step by step punchout integration process

Here are the steps to follow while integrating punchout with your business

Step1: Connect to eProcurement

The B2B shopping begins in your customer’s purchasing system when a buyer decides to purchase after finding your offering via logo product descriptions. Then the user starts the punchout connection and data is transmitted to your punchout enabled catalog.

This is known as punchout setup request and generally formatted in cXML or OCI formats. It informs about the source system, user and credential to secure the connection. Here, the incoming data is examined, and the user is routed to the correct catalog in your solution with customer specific pricing and product sub-sets.

Step 2: Shopping cart response

Once the buyer’s shops in your catalog and locates the goods or services they need, the next step is to transfer the cart information back to the buyer’s system. This method is known as a shopping cart response where the data from the cart is passed back again to the purchasing system in cXML or OCI format.

Step 3: electronic purchase order

When the buyer returns the items to the purchasing system, a number process starts in the background.  This includes accounting information, budget application, and purchase approval. Once the request is fully approved, the buyer can send the order to your system to begin the fulfilment process. You can accept the electronic purchase orders and automatically generate corresponding orders using a punchout Catalog.

Step 4: purchase order acknowledgement

In the next step, in order to confirm that you have received the purchase order and processing to fill it, your system sends an electronic message. This will notify the user that you are accepting the order and are able to provide the requested service or goods.  

Step 5: Invoice

Next, you have to submit an invoice. You can generate an electronic invoice to rapid the payment process and cut the processing time.

Step 6: Payment

The last step is the payment that requires just a bank account

Best punchout integration practices

Manage identity and profile information of a user in the e-procurement system with single sign-on and Identity management systems.

Only display products and pricing that the buyer has access to via their contract based on their credentials.

The purchasing needs to be fast. The customer must be able to search, find and navigate to quickly find the products they need. Hence, apply punchout in a way to meet their expectations.  

cXML is an effective way to transfer the shopping cart in an e-procurement system and Ariba, the originator of punchout makes a fantastic place to start.

There is no standard approach for using punchout, and every customer may have different requirements.

Integrating punchout with your enterprise resource planning system

punchout can provide much more information by integrating data from the seller’s Enterprise Resource Planning system or ERP.  Not just the catalogue data or website, you can now also integrate deep, rich data available from an ERP. ERP integration can make a difference by providing price and availability information to the buyer in real-time.

Not only the price, but the ERP can also enforce business rules and helps you ensure that the orders are complete, accurate, and all set for immediate processing.

The ERP integration can automatically generate sales orders and invoices as the seller website is connected with the buyer eprocurment system. The Seller ERP is then connected to the website. Hence, once the order is submitted by a buyer, the associated documents can be automatically created within the ERP.

Final Words

Implementing an effective punchout strategy not only increases your sales dramatically but also takes your business to extraordinary heights. Look for a technology provider who can implement a punchout to meet your customer requirement.

Now that you have a clear view of the punchout, it is high time to make your business punchout ready to gain explosive growth and amplified sales.