Punchout Catalog – Common Issues..

A PunchOut Catalog, more accurately referred to as a PunchOut Website, is a method for a corporate purchasing agent to buy from a supplier’s website from inside the buyer’s own procurement application or hosted eprocurement system.

A PunchOut website is a standard ecommerce website with all the special capability to communicate directly using a procurement system through cXML and return a pending purchase order to the customer so that they don’t need to enter product information within the procurement system.

To comprehend a PunchOut, it’s vital that you understand modern procurement systems and where ecommerce suits the picture. With traditional procurement systems, supplier catalog items will be entered inside the procurement system each time a purchase order was being created or even the item will be found in the procurement system master catalog and added to the investment order. With time, procurement systems gained the ability to import supplier catalogs into the procurement system. The buying organization, usually the purchasing department, had the obligation to enter the catalog information, convert it from one electronic form to another one, and maintain costs.

After their founding in 1996, Ariba® introduced the Catalog Interchange Format (CIF); this standardized electronic file format for supplier catalogs eliminated the requirement for buyers to manually enter item information or convert files from one format to another one. With the CIF standard, suppliers could easily publish catalogs and buyers could easily import them. Instead of centering on mundane catalog management, purchasing departments could allocate more hours on spend management.

The Catalog Interchange Format is ideal for catalogs that infrequently change. If a supplier sells a widget or performs something that stays the identical for a long time of time, a CIF file is the best way to communicate catalogs under 1,000 items. In this particular global economy with nimble suppliers, mass customization, and commodity pricing, a catalog of static information, fixed pricing, and also the lack of ability to customize is an issue.

Within the consumer world, the solution to some static product catalog, and in many cases its replacement, is definitely the ecommerce website. For a corporate purchasing agent working inside a procurement system or hosted eprocurement website, accessing an outside supplier website isn’t possible. Even if it were possible, there is no standard approach to automatically go into the item information through the website into the procurement system.

In many cases a static catalog and the inability to exchange information with an ecommerce website reintroduces significant work for the purchasing department. To handle this problem, a digital aniwag interchange standard known as the Commerce eXtensible Markup Language (cXML) and PunchOut concept was introduced by the cxml.org industry consortium.

Through cXML and also the PunchOut mechanism, buyers can access a supplier’s PunchOut-enabled ecommerce website, be automatically logged in, search the catalog, configure items, add those to the shopping cart, and return the cart as being a pending purchase order to the procurement system. In short a PunchOut website is a standard ecommerce website with the special ability to communicate directly using a procurement system through cXML and return a pending purchase order back to the customer so they don’t must enter product information within the procurement system.

In which a CIF catalog is static, punchout is actually a dynamic product along with a service catalog is dynamic platform making it possible for current information, product configuration, and real-time price and availability.