What Exactly Is PunchOut Technology?
Punch Out System technology is a system by means of which a buyer on an e-procurement platform, can enter into the supplier’s system and access the supplier’s online catalog. The name PunchOut is derived from the fact that the buyer punches out of his e-procurement system (eg: Ariba) and enters into the seller’s system and catalog. Here’s a website that takes you through the system in very simple terms – http://ecommerceandb2b.com/punchout-round-trip-edi-and-e-commerce/.
The buyer can access and browse the catalog, select and add the selected items to an online shopping cart. Once complete, this does not lead to billing. Instead, the shopping cart with the items are punched out and punched back in into the buyer’s e-procurement platform. There is no order sent to the supplier at this stage. The buyer simply returns the shopping cart and uses the normal workflow course which includes other functions such as adding items to the requisition, edit, cancel, submit or discard the requisition. The supplier does not get an order until the buyer adds the line items to a purchase order. The PO is sent to the finance department of the company for approval. Once approved, the PO is sent to the supplier.
What Is An E-Procurement System?
It is a system that allows employees of an organization to browse and select items from multiple catalogs and vendors. Once selected, the e-procurement system allows for the items to be added to a shopping cart. The next steps involve the buyer/ employee sending a requisition. This requisition is sent to the organization’s finance department for approval. Once approved, the purchase order is generated and sent to the vendor for fulfillment. The entire workflow is electronic and comprises the e-procurement system.
What Is The Relevance Of PunchOut Catalog?
There is a direct impact on visibility (PunchOut gives immediate visibility of a seller to a buyer). Procurement is entirely electronically managed. With buyer organizations moving at the speed of light, PunchOut technology provides the ability to access catalogs of multiple sellers – 24x7x365. This is the biggest advantage. Today buyer organizations are specifically asking vendors if they are integrated with PunchOut technology so they can access vendor catalogs electronically anytime. This is a huge time saver and has a positive impact on the buyer company’s spend management.
What Is The Main Difference Between PunchOut Catalog And CIF Catalog?
CIF (Catalog Interchange Format) also referred to Hosted Catalog is static and not real-time. The product catalog here is static .csv file containing only the essential line item data, which is uploaded onto the buyer’s e-procurement system periodically. The buyer can then shop for items from all the vendor catalogs thus uploaded within the e-procurement system. The process is cumbersome requiring the seller to update the .csv file in the buyer systems regularly. There is wastage of time and resources.
PunchOut Catalog, on the other hand is dynamic and real-time data and therefore extremely powerful. It integrates the seller’s catalog seamlessly with the buyer’s e-procurement system. It eliminates the need to update data as in the case of CIF Catalog.
What Is The Advantage Of Level II PunchOut Catalog?
With Level II Punch Out Catalog feature, the products can be searched within the e-procurement marketplace without leaving and entering the supplier’s PunchOut catalog site. This is an advanced feature not available in all e-procurement systems.