Back in the day, whenever companies needed to order products from a supplier, they’d pull out a paper catalog, fill out an order form, fill in the Fax, email, or call the order to their supplier.
Fast forward to now and you’ll see things haven’t changed much since then. Most of your customers still place the orders the old-fashioned way. But one thing that has changed, is their demand for increased visibility into procurement costs, and a reduction in overall costs. That’s why there’s a need to enable a PunchOut catalog on their procurement system.
A PunchOut catalog is arguably one of the best ways resellers can review a supplier’s catalog. But PunchOuts are not just limited to enhancing the customer’s experience. Suppliers also get to deliver an integrated eCommerce shopping experience in conjunction with an accurate purchasing process and spend management system.
So, as you can see, PunchOuts benefit both retailers and suppliers. But, you may be wondering how it works? What happens in a PunchOut transaction?
Table of Contents
- Understanding PunchOut Catalog History and Transactions
- Understanding SAP PunchOut Catalog Software Integration
- How Does an SAP PunchOut Catalog Work?
- Benefits of Using SAP PunchOut Catalog Software For Your Business
- Build a Scalable Business With VARStreet SAP PunchOut Catalog Integration
Understanding PunchOut Catalog History and Transactions
PunchOut is a direct internet connection between a buyer’s eProcurement system and the supplier’s catalog data in the form of a specialized web-based e-commerce site. In essence, buyers make purchases through their eProcurement systems, and suppliers connect that system directly with catalog data to accelerate the purchasing process.
PunchOut Catalogs were developed over ten years ago to allow large buying groups to connect to their suppliers and simplify spend management. They’re primarily based on an XML-based language called cXML.
The transactions with PunchOuts are very straightforward. The buyers can browse and buy products on numerous websites from within their e-procurement system. This is why more and more suppliers are opting to integrate PunchOuts with their eCommerce applications. Through a PunchOut system, suppliers can earn greater loyalty from their customers, meet their sales goals consistently, and generate more profitable transactions.
Understanding SAP PunchOut Catalog Software Integration
Nowadays, we live in the age of convenience, where the easier the buying experience for the customers, the more often they’ll buy from you. But in the current market, SAP users are looking for an advanced and comprehensive level of eProcurement service.
This is where VARStreet’s SAP PunchOut Catalog integration comes into the picture. It is laden with advanced PunchOut and eCommerce strategies utilizing powerful technology breakthroughs that can help you exploit new opportunities. Additionally, SAP PunchOut Catalog Software will arm you with an unmatched ability to stay ahead of the competition and dominate the markets.
Initially, the expense and technical complexity of PunchOut protocols meant that only the largest suppliers could afford this competitive advantage. But today, PunchOut catalogs have transformed from being a luxury of mega suppliers to the online business standard that all suppliers must follow. With SAP PunchOut Catalog Integration, PunchOut catalogs are accessible to businesses of all sizes than ever before.
How Does an SAP PunchOut Catalog Work?
Now that we’ve established what SAP PunchOut Catalog integration is, let’s take a look at the transaction step-by-step:
- Firstly, the buyer will log into its SAP procurement system, click on the PunchOut link and directly access the supplier’s eCommerce store.
- A PunchOut ready customized storefront can be accessed from the buyer’s eProcurement system. The buyer will then shop for products, add them to the cart and check out.
- The products are then passed from the PunchOut storefront to the buyer’s eProcurement system where the buyer can complete the process.
- A Purchase Order Requisition is created in the eProcurement system, which is then sent for approval to the purchasing department.
- Once approved, an electronic PO document is asynchronously transmitted to the supplier which initiates the order fulfillment process.
This process is universal for all the integrated buyers, regardless of the eProcurement system, big or small.
And in this way, the VARStreet SAP PunchOut Catalog Integration facilitates seamless transactions at affordable real-time rates by providing suppliers’ online catalogs.
Benefits of Using SAP PunchOut Catalog Software For Your Business
Suppliers who offer PunchOut catalogs for SAP users attract big market players and prospects across industries. SAP PunchOut catalog integration is a prerequisite for B2B businesses to close big deals and also simplifies the buyer’s experience.
So, if you’re a supplier on the SAP network looking to create and manage customizable PunchOut catalogs don’t look further. Because there are significant benefits:
1. Better Purchasing Experience
SAP PunchOut solutions provide a centralized and intuitive experience for your customers. It’s similar to how they would purchase on any other consumer retail website.
Using cXML, SAP PunchOut Catalog provides an online two-way communication between the SAP user and seller. It allows the buyer’s procurement system to interact in real-time with the catalog content available on a seller’s eCommerce storefront. Besides buyer-seller communication, the centralized, all-in-one catalog information also helps you scale purchasing consolidation and improve the spend management.
2. Shorter Order to Cash Cycle
By making detailed product descriptions readily accessible to the customers, SAP PunchOut Catalogs can help the users quickly find the right items and eliminate the need for lengthy back-and-forth exchanges on specifications, affordability, and benefits.
Plus the real-time shopping discounts, coupons, and other information catering to the buyers’ purchase history make it easy for them to make the final decision.
This automated eProcurement system eliminates the need for manual data entry. The ordering and requisitioning system gets faster, more accurate, and comprehensive, along with an efficient invoicing system too. As a result, suppliers can pull through shorter orders to cash cycles.
3. Built-in Sales and Branding Consistency
This is one of the biggest advantages of PunchOut integration.
Oftentimes, businesses fall short of meeting the targets because of poor forecasting and comparative surveys. And the only reason why forecasting and sales don’t work out is due to a lack of focus.
Procurement managers already have a lot on their plates like inventory management, accounting, quotations among other business aspects. This is why marketing and branding suffer as a result.
But with SAP PunchOut Catalog Integration, you get built-in sales and marketing tools that help you market your business on a larger scale.
Whether it’s through smooth navigation flow or historical comparisons, the PunchOuts ensure your brand gets a solid positioning in the market.
4. Automated Cross-sell and Upsell Updates
You will find that personalization is an important component of cross-selling and up-selling no matter if you are just beginning your digital transformation journey, or you are ready to expand your improvements after optimizing procurement.
Almost 9 out of 10 customers love to purchase from a brand that remembers their preferences. PunchOuts helps you cross-sell and upsell by displaying alternative or previously purchased items. You can also show real-time inventory updates in conjunction with the pricing changes.
This allows you to create a flexible buying environment and increase the per-customer spend value which is also called Average Order Value (AOV). The greater the AOV, the greater the company’s scalability and profitability. So, you end up achieving two goals at once.
5. Adaptable Buying Environment
SAP PunchOut Catalog comes with groundbreaking multipurpose technology which allows you to filter your eCommerce data such as specific product data, image descriptions, categories, etc, and generate any type of buying experience as per the customer’s needs.
And the best part – you have user-specific features and function controls. You can allow purchasing administrators to control buyer access and approvals with secure logins along with other functions and features that the buyers can use.
All of these PunchOut Catalog benefits enforce a level of flexibility that gives purchasing managers a powerful spend management tool to control spending by department, buyer, category, etc.
Build a Scalable Business With VARStreet SAP PunchOut Catalog Integration
VARStreet is not just a sales solution but a complete business platform. Together with SAP PunchOut Catalog Software, you can provide your SAP users a positive buying experience. With its advanced functionalities, you get a competitive advantage over hundreds of other PunchOut vendors. The flexible technology works entirely behind the scenes, coordinating the transactions between B2B buyers and sellers. And as your business grows, VARStreet helps you scale up, by not only allowing you to add new buyers and, but also increasing sales with existing customers.