For some time now, PunchOut technology has been gaining momentum in ecommerce environments, including the B2B sector. But many companies are still unaware of what PunchOut is, the systems involved and how to integrate it with their supplier network.
What is PunchOut software?
PunchOut technology is a system that enables businesses to buy supplies directly from their supplier network. This single platform centralizes all of the suppliers’ product catalogs, offering a smooth and seamless experience for both the buyer and the supplier.
B2B punchout involves connecting a supplier’s product catalogs to the purchasing company’s procurement platform. This essentially reduces the workload for both the buying company and the supplier by removing the need to manually upload each product catalog to the buyer’s procurement platform and review it.
By automating product catalogs, PunchOut technology can provide a quicker, more agile, and cost-effective route for companies to buy from their supplier network. There is also no need for buyers to manually enter the products they want to purchase. A PunchOut system automates purchase orders, allowing large purchase volumes to be instantly processed and saving time for both the buyer and the supplier.
How does B2B PunchOut work?
While a PunchOut system can appear complex at first, the process for both buyers and suppliers is relatively straightforward. The system typically works with the following process:
- The supplier uploads their product catalogs to the buyer’s procurement platform.
- The buyer searches for specific products or suppliers on the platform and adds their products to the shopping cart.
- The purchase order is then created and sent via PunchOut to the procurement platform for final approval from the buyer.
- Once approved, the supplier is sent the final purchase order.
Advantages of PunchOut technology in B2B ecommerce
There are numerous advantages of PunchOut technology within the B2B ecommerce landscape. The convenience it provides by automating catalogs and speeding up the creation of purchase orders is one of the most obvious benefits. However, PunchOut technology is also more cost-effective than implementing and maintaining other B2B systems. The system also allows for seamless scalability, with suppliers able to be added quickly.
When it comes to product information and the buying journey, PunchOut technology can offer a huge boost to both buyers and sellers. With automated catalogs that can be updated in bulk, product information can be enriched to better inform the buying decision. Accurate and updated product data, in turn, delivers a higher level of customer satisfaction and reduces the number of returns suppliers have to process.
Product information management software (PIM) delivers PunchOut capabilities across the supplier network. Sales Layer’s PIM platform allows suppliers to manage and optimize thousands of products in one centralized hub. They can then share their product catalogs with procurement platforms, as well as their own purchasing center and other ecommerce platforms.
With this PunchOut system in place, companies can link their entire supplier network and streamline the buying and selling processes.