What is Punchout?

Online shopping infographic.

Punchout (sometimes “punch-out”) is a method by which Buyers are able to view, select, and purchase items from a Seller’s product catalogs without ever needing to leave their own procurement system. Clear as mud? Let’s take a look at how punchout works before we talk about how it saves your business time and money by streamlining and simplifying your e-procurement system. 

How Punchout Works in 5 Simple Steps

It’s possible that you already use punchout and just need a refresher on how it works and what it does to help your business. But some people hear punchout and think about sandwich shop membership cards, so let’s do a quick brush-up for everyone. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how punchout works:

  1. The Buyer logs into whatever purchasing platform their company prefers. Platforms such as Opstech, SAP Ariba, and Coupa are some of the most popular e-procurement systems.
  2. The Buyer selects the appropriate Supplier for this particular purchase.
  3. The Buyer is quickly redirected to the Supplier’s site, where they will begin to build their cart. By sharing cXML files with each other, both sites will remember your info for logins, building carts, and purchase orders, keeping your data consistent across platforms and streamlining the process.
  4. Once you’ve completed selecting all the products you intend to purchase, the buyer returns to their procurement platform with their full cart. But in a way, you never really left, because Punchout operates from within your system.
  5. Instead of proceeding to checkout like you might do on other sites, the Buyer creates a “Punchout,” which, after approval, is sent to the Seller as a purchase order for fulfillment.

How Punchout Helps

Now that we understand how Punchout works (or at least get the idea that it makes things easier!), here are just a few of the ways Punchout will help your business:

  • Less Data Entry
  • Multiple Users Under One Account
  • Order Accuracy
  • Combining Processes
  • Price Lists and Discounts

Now let’s dive in and take a closer look at some of the concrete ways that using punchout services can benefit your business.

Less Data Entry, More Order Accuracy

Person shopping online with credit card in hand.

Perhaps the most easily observed benefit to using Logicblock’s Punchout services is how much data entry (and re-entry) it eliminates from your workflow. You are probably used to typing and retyping data back and forth between your system and the site from which you are purchasing. The more finger strokes it takes to complete a task, the more opportunities for mistakes. When ordering on the scale purchasing agents are accustomed to, accuracy is paramount. Logicblock’s data integration tools cut down on the need to re-enter data. By never leaving your procurement system and utilizing Punchout catalogs, you significantly reduce the risk of purchasing errors, all while saving time and money.  

More Users Under One Account

Infographic of multiple individuals.

Punchout allows multiple corporate purchasing agents to operate under one account, providing the opportunity for the seamless sharing and crosschecking of purchases and pending orders. The more agents you have using Punchout, the more familiar they’ll become with your supplier’s catalogs, eventually shortening the time spent searching for products. 

Combines multiple processes

Punchout combines multiple processes, giving users complete access and up to the minute information. In addition to basic features like searching catalogs, filling carts, and ordering products, by running within your e-procurement platform, Punchout also allows for accounting services and order tracking. Combining these processes creates a simple and smooth user experience.  

Pre-agreed price lists and discounts

Sellers have full control over their Punchout catalogs and are able to integrate pre-negotiated price lists and discounts unique to the Buyer. Price lists and discounts eliminate the need for emailing or calling back and forth between Sellers and Buyers. Buyers can see at a glance which products or purchase points will save them (and help their business) the most.  

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