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

A PunchOut website is really a standard ecommerce website with the special capacity to communicate directly with a procurement system through cXML and return a pending purchase order returning to the buyer 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 punchout suits the picture. With traditional procurement systems, supplier catalog items would be entered within the procurement system when a purchase order was being created or even the item could be located in the procurement system master catalog and put into the purchase order. With time, procurement systems gained the cabability to import supplier catalogs straight into the procurement system. The buying organization, often the purchasing department, had the responsibility to get into 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 necessity for buyers to manually enter item information or convert files in one format to another. Through the CIF standard, suppliers could easily publish catalogs and buyers could easily import them. As opposed to concentrating on mundane catalog management, purchasing departments could allocate additional time on spend management.

The Catalog Interchange Format is great for catalogs that infrequently change. When a supplier sells a widget or performs services that stays exactly the same for a long time of energy, a CIF file is the easiest method to communicate catalogs under one thousand items. Within this 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 a problem.

In the consumer world, the solution to some static product catalog, and in some cases its replacement, will be the ecommerce website. To get a corporate purchasing agent working inside a procurement system or hosted eprocurement website, accessing an outside supplier website isn’t possible. Even when it were possible, there is no standard method to automatically enter in the item information from your website into the procurement system.

Most of the time a static catalog as well as the lack of ability to exchange information having an ecommerce website reintroduces significant work for the purchasing department. To handle this issue, a digital aniwag interchange standard known as the Commerce eXtensible Markup Language (cXML) and PunchOut concept was created by the industry consortium.

Through cXML as well as the PunchOut mechanism, buyers can access a supplier’s PunchOut-enabled ecommerce website, be automatically logged in, search the catalog, configure items, add these to the shopping cart application, and return the cart as being a pending purchase order returning to the procurement system. To put it briefly a PunchOut website is a standard ecommerce website using the special capacity to communicate directly using a procurement system through cXML and return a pending purchase order to the customer so that they don’t have to enter product information within the procurement system.

Where a CIF catalog is static, punchout catalogs is really a dynamic product and a service catalog is dynamic platform making it possible for current information, product configuration, and real-time price and availability.