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Punchout Catalog: Why Every B2b Supplier Should Implement This Technology?

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By Author: Shane Emerson
Total Articles: 12
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As a B2B supplier, are you looking for an easy solution to boost customer retention? The answer lies in incorporating PunchOut into your business.

PunchOut Catalog - Key to Simplify Process

A PunchOut catalog is a protocol that has been specifically designed to streamline the purchasing process of B2B customers. It is an e-procurement solution that connects the supplier's catalog with the customer's website interface.

With PunchOut integration, the customer is able to view a supplier catalog that is remotely located from within his own procurement application. The customer has to 'punchout' from the procurement system to reach the external site.

PunchOut connection is such that the customer might not even know that he is accessing an external catalog. The entire process of shopping takes place inside the e-procurement system.
One major benefit of this protocol is that the customer is able to directly connect with his pre-negotiated contract catalog. He doesn't have to browse through other product listings that are not part of the contract. In other words, the customer doesn't have to waste time wading through non-contract products.

With cXML PunchOut solution, the customer via its e-procurement solution is able to reach the storefront of the supplier. Once on the storefront, he views the pre-approved catalog, selects and adds items to his shopping cart.

The communication between the customer's e-procurement system and supplier's site takes place in the cXML format. cXML is a standard format used for communicating business transactions.
With Ariba PunchOut, you connect an Ariba catalog solution with the supplier's site. Ariba procurement user gets access to an online catalog that has been specifically made keeping the user's requirement in mind.

Eliminate Importing Supplier Catalog

Another advantage of PunchOut is that the customer is saved from the tedious task of importing the supplier's catalog into his own procurement system.

After the purchases have been made, the shopping cart returns to the procurement system. The shopping cart does not follow the usual checkout process.

Once in the procurement system, the shopping cart goes through the approval workflow established by the management authority. PunchOut allows users to implement their workflow and ensure no order is placed without approval.

Sell Product Configurations

Another advantage of PunchOut from the supplier's point of view is that it allows them to sell a range of product configurations, a feature missing in CIF catalog. Configurations can be easily represented in PunchOut that connects SAP catalog solution with the supplier's storefront.

Also, PunchOut catalog is designed to speed up the ordering process. This is because it allows its customers to send purchase order electronically.

No access to non-contract products is another benefit of PunchOut. This means the supplier will never deal with purchase orders that contain non-contract products. Any order placed on the store is always correct. Hence with PunchOut, the supplier does not waste time in correcting orders. This in turn helps to boost efficiency and overall productivity.

All in all, PunchOut technology provides great amount of convenience to customers as they get the opportunity to place orders without leaving their procurement system.

More About the Author

Shane is an American writer for various digital news publications. After being in the ecommerce industry for more than 15 years, Shane has a good understanding of what it takes to make an ecommerce business successful. His articles give insights on the latest trends in the B2C and B2B ecommerce industry. His ecommerce coverage is robust and provides everything from best ecommerce platform to improving your website site. He also likes to cover newsworthy events related to business management software, customer relationship management (CRM) and Quoting software.

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