Enhancing eCommerce With PunchOut Technologies And eProcurement Integrations

July 19, 2023
7-minute read
ERP-integrated eCommerce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Sage
Taylor Medina

In the world of eCommerce and supply chain management, the integration of PunchOut technologies has become increasingly essential for B2B businesses. In this blog post, we will explore the power of eCommerce connected with eProcurement PunchOut catalog integrations and how it can benefit businesses. We’ll also discuss the reasons why businesses need PunchOut capabilities and the advantages they bring. Additionally, we will highlight the key benefits of implementing an eCommerce and PunchOut solution and what to look for when selecting a provider. Let’s dive in!

How eCommerce, eProcurement, And PunchOut Work Together: 

Traditionally, integrating eProcurement or ERP systems with suppliers’ systems involved using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). However, PunchOut technology has emerged as a game-changer, providing a seamless integration experience. Unlike EDI, PunchOut allows eProcurement/ERP systems to shop directly in a vendor’s online web store, select items, access prices, availability, and seamlessly complete the purchasing process without manual data entry. It offers a digital shopping trip experience, akin to using a shopping app that consolidates multiple online stores in one place. This technology simplifies and streamlines the procurement process, benefiting both buyers and suppliers.

At its core, PunchOut catalog communication can streamline efficiency with the use of cXML or Commerce Extensible Markup Language. cXML is a standardized protocol language that provides centralized communication between a buyer’s eProcurement platform and a supplier’s e-commerce store. 

Let’s Take A Look At How a Punchout Catalog Enablement Works:

Accessing The eProcurement Platform:

A B2B buyer will access their eProcurement platform and select a supplier from a preapproved list. After selection, a PunchOut Setup Request is sent to access the supplier’s e-commerce catalog.

Connecting To The Supplier’s eCommerce Webstore:

The supplier’s e-commerce system will send a PunchOut Setup Response to provide the buyer with URL access to shop. Once a secure connection between the buyer’s eProcurement platform and the supplier’s e-commerce system is established, the buyer will be automatically logged into the supplier’s webstore. This authorization allows the buyer to browse and shop the supplier’s available inventory and featured product offerings while receiving preferred pricing. All of this is done through the buyer’s eProcurement platform.

Cart Checkout and Order Information Transfer:

The buyer adds items to their cart and decides to checkout. Because the buyer is in PunchOut mode, instead of going through a normal checkout process to collect billing, shipping and payment information a PunchOut Order Message is sent via cXML. Order data and information are transferred through this message from the supplier’s e-commerce store back to the buyer’s eProcurement platform where it is converted into a requisition.

Purchase Requisition Approval and Purchase Order Generation:

When the requisition is received, it will go through a standardized company approval process.  Depending on the size of the order, the order may auto-approve or on a larger purchase may require multiple approvals within the eProcurement system. Upon approval, a purchase order will be generated in the buyer’s ERP system and sent to the supplier to fulfill the order request via cXML, EDI, or email. 

Advanced ASN and Electronic Invoice(s):

If applicable, the supplier will fulfill the order request and send an Advanced Shipping Notice to the buyer once the order is in transit. This ASN details when the item was shipped and what was shipped to the buyer, similar to an email confirmation you may receive from any online store.  However, instead of an email, this loads directly into the procurement system to provide status updates.  When the order has been received by the buyer, the supplier may send an electronic invoice (e-invoice) to the eProcumrenet system so the supplier can be paid for fulfilling the order.

Benefits Of And eProcurement PunchOut Integration:

Advanced Shipping Notifications, Electronic POs, and Electronic Invoices: 

With PunchOut integration, you can offer advanced features like Advanced Shipping Notifications (ASN), electronic purchase orders (POs), and electronic invoices (e-invoices). These features were traditionally associated with expensive EDI implementations but can now be effortlessly provided through an eProcurement and PunchOut integration from your own ERP system. By supporting eProcurement and PunchOut technologies, you can cater to the demands of customers who specifically require these features, ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty.

Sales Growth and New Business Opportunities

PunchOut integration enables you to grow your sales and capitalize on new business opportunities. You can bid on new contracts that have these requirements or expand opportunities with existing customers with a tighter integration with their eProcurement system.  By simplifying the procurement process for your customers, you create an environment that encourages quick and seamless transactions. With a PunchOut integration system implemented by commercebuild in as little as 5-10 hours, you can be up and running in no time, leveraging the vast range of PunchOut opportunities available across various industries and expanding your business accordingly.

Competitive Advantage and Customer Satisfaction: 

Embracing PunchOut technology gives your business a competitive edge over organizations who have yet to adopt it. By recognizing the importance of B2B digital transformation and proactively meeting customer demands, you ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Understanding your customers’ goals and needs and aligning with them is crucial for success. Happy customers tend to make repeat purchases, reinforcing the value of offering PunchOut capabilities.

Cost Reduction

Integrating PunchOut with your eCommerce webstore and your customers’ eProcurement system eliminates the manual processing of orders, stock availability, pricing, product information, and promotions. By automating these processes, you save time and money while empowering your team to focus on more strategic activities. PunchOut integration optimizes efficiency and reduces operational costs associated with manual data entry, keying errors, and processing.

Improved Customer Experience

PunchOut enablement enhances the customer experience throughout the entire sales process. By providing real-time access to data from anywhere, at any time, you fulfill customers’ expectations and deliver an exceptional experience. The convenience and transparency of a PunchOut solution contribute to customer satisfaction and reinforce your reputation as a reliable and efficient supplier.

Choosing The Right eCommerce And PunchOut Solution

Implementing PunchOut technologies can be complex, so it’s often beneficial to partner with a trusted provider. commercebuild has established connections with top-tier, reliable PunchOut providers such as Greenwing Technology, ensuring seamless and successful integration for your business. When selecting an eCommerce and PunchOut solution, consider a provider that can meet your technical requirements and implement the solution in a timely manner. This partnership will contribute to the long-term success of your PunchOut integration.

PunchOut Technologies Are Transforming B2B Digital Transformation

PunchOut technologies and eProcurement integration are transforming the way businesses operate in the eCommerce space. By offering advanced features, streamlining processes, reducing costs, and enhancing the customer experience, PunchOut solutions have become essential for maintaining a competitive edge and satisfying customer demands. Choosing the right provider for your eCommerce and PunchOut integration is crucial for a smooth implementation. Take advantage of commercebuild’s expertise and book a meeting today to unlock the full potential of PunchOut capabilities for your business.

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About commercebuild 

commercebuild is the missing piece in transforming your ERP data into a truly personalized eCommerce experience. Flexible and frictionless, our turnkey eCommerce solution delivers 24/7 revenue opportunities to you and your customers. Quick to deploy and easy-to-use, we eliminate the need for middleware between the storefront and ERP data to enable seamless online buying and selling. 

Our solutions can be live in 30-days and offer complete eCommerce capabilities at a price B2B and B2C businesses can afford. 

Drive revenue growth for you, and your customers, while enjoying rapid ROI for both. Go head-to-head with the online retail giants of the world, and win. Experience a solution that integrates with your ERP data and provides automagical cross-sell and upsell opportunities to every customer on your site. 

At the height of ecommerce growth, commercebuild offers scalable, reliable, and robust eCommerce solutions for everyone.

If your business is using Sage 300, Sage X3 or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERPs, commercebuild can build a ERP-driven B2B and B2C eCommerce webstore or Customer Portal.