Most institutions such as hospitals, universities, and corporations use procurement software to keep a check on their financial spending. A punch out catalog is important for e-procurement. Every time an institutional buyer (such as a facilities manager) wants to purchase any item from a supplier, he should use the procurement system.
A Punchout Catalog is an e-commerce website which helps him do so. In other words, to buy an item with the approval of management, the buyers need to connect to the procurement application through a Punchout Catalog. For instance, a facilities manager and a lab technician may place an order for floor cleaners and beakers, respectively.
HOW IT WORKS?
The Punchout Catalog communication uses a universal standard named Commerce Extensible Markup Language (cXML) which is created to carry on electronic transactions in a quick and effective way. In fact, both the punch out services and cXML were created by the cxml.org group.
Whenever a buyer logs in to your Punchout Catalog, he can add items to his shopping cart. Once he is done, he can click on the checkout button and his shopping cart is transferred back to the procurement application.
BENEFITS OF A PUNCHOUT CATALOG
1. An Enhanced Shopping Experience
Rather than appearing as a grid layout as in a hosted catalog, a Punchout Catalog looks exactly like a website giving the users a familiar look. This provides a better shopping experience.
2. Electronic Purchase Orders and Invoices
Using a Punch out service, a buyer allows you to accept purchase orders and invoices, electronically. Though this allows the buyers to have accurate invoices and POs, you, as the supplier, will be more benefited as you get paid faster. In some cases, the sellers have seen the receivable terms get reduced from 60-day payment to 3-day payment through EFT.
3. Minimal Maintenance
When you maintain your catalog, there’s no need for updating the hosted catalogs across multiple buyers. All your buyers can connect to your Punchout Catalog and receive the pricing information of the products they want to buy.
4. Better Accuracy
Since your punchout catalog is maintained at your location, you have full control over the pricing information, shipping details, discounts and product availability. If any product is discontinued, you may remove it instantly rather than waiting for the update to take place on the buyer’s side which, in some cases, may take few days.
5. Higher Customer Retention
Most businesses using Punch out services have noticed that in addition to getting paid faster and having the flexibility to control their inventory, they have a high customer retention rate.