This blog post is from GenAlpha's partner, TradeCentric. TradeCentric transforms the way businesses do business by enabling PunchOut, Purchase Order and Invoice Automation for thousands of buyers and suppliers every day. TradeCentric helps B2B buyers and suppliers connect, automate and scale their digital trading capabilities.
Why PunchOut Catalogs?
PunchOut catalogs are quickly increasing in popularity among sophisticated buyers and suppliers. But what exactly are the PunchOut catalog benefits?
Aside from providing a more dynamic purchasing experience for the buyer and more flexible selling for the supplier, the most notable benefits of a PunchOut catalog are:
A more streamlined B2B transaction process
Reduction in errors and friction due to manual entry of data
Seamless transfer of data between systems that saves time and boosts efficiencies
Without a trusted and experienced partner, the initial setup and costs of integrating eProcurement, eCommerce or ERP systems may seem intimidating. But when implemented correctly, there are key benefits for both buyers and suppliers.
Eliminate Manual Data Entry
One of the most time-consuming parts of the B2B transaction process is the amount of manual data entry and rekeying that must occur at every stage. With a PunchOut integration, data is automatically transferred between the buyer’s procurement application and the supplier’s catalog, eliminating the need to manually enter order information and resulting in fewer errors due to human mistakes.
Receiving inventory on time is critical to maintaining business continuity. However, manually entering purchase orders or invoices can significantly delay the ordering process, which can consequently interrupt manufacturing timelines or operations.
Implementing PunchOut catalogs simplifies and accelerates procurement processes so businesses get the inventory they need, when they need it. For suppliers, being able to offer a faster ordering experience can help establish their position as a preferred vendor for buyers in their industry.
Easier Catalog Maintenance
Although hosted catalogs are another popular solution within B2B businesses, PunchOut integrations – including those that support commerce extensible markup language (cXML) – offer a more dynamic and automated experience.
For suppliers with PunchOut catalogs, catalog management has never been easier. Inventory management and information transfer between supplier catalogs and the buyer’s purchasing system is faster and more accurate than ever.
Unlike static hosted catalogs, PunchOut catalogs do not require suppliers to manually update and upload files to their customers’ eProcurement systems. Instead, suppliers simply update their eCommerce site once and buyers automatically access to real-time updates in product catalogs.
This benefits buyers as well. Not only is data seamlessly transformed and transferred between systems, but buyers also have complete transparency into:
Inventory changes, ensuring buyers are always up-to-date on what is available
Negotiated prices that were agreed upon during the buying process
Discount codes or offers that may apply to the order
Related shipping costs that fluctuate depending on the supply chain
Line item descriptions that can be added, removed or changed so buyers always have access to the most recent versions of catalogs
A Simplified Purchasing Process
eCommerce has come a long way since physical paper catalogs. Now that most modern procurement systems can integrate with PunchOut catalogs, B2B transactions are much more seamless.
A PunchOut integration serves as a layer between a buyer’s procurement system and the supplier’s digital system. Now, elements of the procurement process that used to take a considerable amount of time – such as the creation and delivery of a purchase order – are completed and ready when businesses need them.
Further, each procurement team has internal approval protocols and workflows that can be incorporated into their eProcurement system. Examples include purchasing through preferred vendors, capturing proper vendor data, leveraging analysis tools to examine purchasing trends and monitoring spend.
When buyers are able to purchase directly within their procurement software, they can ensure purchases are complying with the proper approvals and requirements. This entire process supports more complete data capture and improved supplier relationship management.
For most B2B businesses, eCommerce platforms are now a necessity. A key benefit of PunchOut catalogs is the direct data sharing that companies have with each other through eProcurement and eCommerce integration.
Advancements like catalog interchange format and procurement application integrations with PunchOut catalogs improve contract management and make supplier catalogs easier to manage.
Cost Savings for the Business
Additional benefits of PunchOut are the spend management improvements. Data analysis shows that PunchOut catalogs help curb rogue spending as well as providing up-to-date information about critical supply chain updates to inventory availability.
A PunchOut catalog can also benefit suppliers with their financial planning. Time wasted and orders lost translate to missed revenue. The order speed and accuracy achieved with the PunchOut method equates to better spend management for suppliers.
Fewer errors, enhanced visibility and transparency, the technological advancements of open catalog interface (OCI), and the other benefits of PunchOut that we’ve discussed all lead to better money management throughout the entire procurement system and process.
Take Advantage of PunchOut Catalogs
No matter what eCommerce site your company is using, TradeCentric’s PunchOut catalog solution can be the difference between being a preferred vendor and losing critical business opportunities.
If you’re a buyer looking for a more efficient and streamlined purchasing process, our integrated end-to-end connected commerce solutions can accommodate any leading procurement software.