When a customer of yours tells you their company is installing a procurement software solution and needs a punchout accessible e-catalog built for them, will you be ready? If not, it’s time to learn. Keep reading…

Who Uses Procurement Software and Why?

To manage expenditures, establish supplier pricing, and create consistency across the organization, many companies are implementing a procurement software solution. Most of these solutions use a communication technology called “Punchout” to link out to approved supplier’s website/e-catalog. Suppliers who cannot be accessed via Punchout typically do not make the cut.

Popular procurement solutions on the market today include: Ariba, Coupa, PeopleSoft, and Jaggaer.

Procurement solutions are used by expansive organizations that want to manage costs and limit vendor options used for purchasing supplies and services. These include:

  • Large Companies
  • Government Organizations, such as towns, counties and states
  • Educational Institutions

 Procurement solutions are a great resource to these organizations:

  • Saves Time and Effort. Before these solutions existed, a procurement department was required to manually collect catalog information from approved vendors and managing the purchasing for everyone in the company.
  • Manages Purchasing Budgets. Only the items which the organization has approved for purchase are presented as options to the employees. This system manages costs and eliminates rouge spending, which is when someone purchases from a non-approved vendor or a non-approved item from an approved vendor.
  • Interfaces with Other Systems. Most procurement solutions integrate with inventory control, shipping and receiving, and accounting so that every purchase is tracked and managed appropriately. Automatic orders can be placed based on inventory levels and payment is faster because the purchase is placed in the accounting system as soon as it is completed.

The Punchout Process

To create a Punchout-accessible e-catalog and become a supplier, you must have web-to-print capabilities. This process includes having a customer portal, such as MyOrderDesk by Print Reach. With this system in place, you can now market your business to any organization requiring Punchout.

The process begins when a print buyer logs into their company’s procurement system and conducts a product search, such as business cards, and clicks on that item. A list of approved vendors for that product appears. When they select your business, they are automatically directed to your company’s e-catalog (web-to-print storefront) where they add items to their shopping cart.

After all items have been added to the cart, the print buyer is sent back to the procurement software where an approval process must take place. Once the order is approved, the procurement system silently notifies the e-catalog to convert the cart to a job which in turn notifies the shop the job can be started.

From your perspective, it simply looks like a customer using your storefront to place an order. For the organization’s employees, they start and end the process within their procurement system but have the ease of using your storefront to manage the actual order process.

Benefits of Being a Punchout accessible Vendor

There are many benefits to becoming a Punchout accessible vendor, which include:

  • Expanded Customer Base. With this capability, you can now capture business from large purchasing organizations that want suppliers with this technology.  
  • Improved Customer Retention. Through MyOrderDesk, your Punchout clients have unique storefronts where they can establish templates for letterhead, business cards and promotional items. This eliminates the need to review each employee purchase to assure that it meets established design requirements, making the process hassle-free for everyone. The easier the process is from the customer’s perspective, the more likely they are to keep you as an approved vendor.
  • Increased Sales. You will now have the opportunity to meet the print needs of an entire organization and your sales should increase accordingly. Your marketing costs may also decrease because once you are in with an organization, your focus is on meeting its needs rather than marketing to it.
  • Strong Competitive Advantage. As a Punchout accessible vendor, you keep competitors from poaching your clients and you can market your Punchout capabilities to other organizations who utilize this technology. The first print shops in a market who pursue Punchout customers will have a strong advantage that will be difficult for others to overcome.

A web-to-print system will help grow your existing business and open doors to customers that were previously out of reach. With MyOrderDesk, you can create a powerful customer-centric experience for your current clients and expand into the Punchout-procurement market.