PunchOut catalog definition. What is a punch out catalog?

Updated: August 17, 2020 | Oleg Zhuk, Technical Product Owner

A PunchOut Catalog (or punch out catalog) is an e-procurement solution that provides access to the supplier’s catalog from the vendor’s website interface. In other words, a customer “punches out” a procurement application to the original site, gets access to the supplier’s catalog, can add items to the shopping cart.

With this setup, the supplier does not receive the order when a customer makes a purchase. Instead, all items from the shopping cart are processed within the buyer’s e-procurement system. The customer might not even notice that he had entered another site’s catalog.

In more technical terms, a PunchOut catalog is an online vendor catalog that has been enhanced via an open catalog interface to support PunchOut Procurement associated with a PunchOut website. The PunchOut e-commerce solution enables the direct connection between ERP or an e-procurement system of the buyer and the storefront of the supplier.

A PunchOut catalog is a convenient way for customers to browse suppliers’ catalogs and place orders from within their existing e-procurement system.

How does a Punchout catalog work?

A PunchOut catalog is based upon an Open Catalog Interface (OCI), one of the standard formats used by SAP Supplier Relationship Management, ORDIGES Purchase-to-Pay, Microsoft Dynamics AX and other ERP/Purchasing Systems, which connects to external PunchOut online catalogs.

When a customer leaves the buyer’s site, the PunchOut sends the login request and connects the buyer’s and supplier’s systems. The storefront displays items, prices, descriptions, purchase terms and other information, so customers can add the requested items to their shopping cart. The cart is then brought back to the buyer’s e-procurement system as a requisition and is processed using the company’s standard system workflow steps and financial approvals. The order is sent to the supplier after the buyer has approved the purchase.

What is Punchout procurement?

PunchOut procurement is a type of interaction between a vendor's web storefront and a buyer's procurement application. It can include business-to-business (B2B)business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-government (B2G) communications.

What is a Punchout website?

A PunchOut site is an e-commerce website that enables a buyer to make purchases on a supplier's website through the buyer's own procurement application. The PunchOut Website can communicate directly with the buying organization's procurement system through cXML. cXML allows programs to modify and validate documents without prior knowledge of their form. The buying organization exits or "punches out" of their company's system and links to the supplier's web-based catalog to select and add items to their shopping cart. Pertinent information about the transaction is delivered to the appropriate channels during the connection.

What is a supplier catalog?

A supplier catalog is a seller's itemized listing of products for sale. Such catalogs can be connected and maintained as PunchOut catalogs on a buyer’s website and are available to the larger target audience. A buyer displays the full range of suppliers’ products on their own website with pricing and description taken from the suppliers’ system.

Why is it valuable?

A PunchOut website eliminates the buying organization's need to import supplier catalogs directly into their procurement system thereby saving time and expense.

PunchOut Catalogs allow displaying the pricing, item amount and product availability in real-time without the need to track updates in the buyers’ catalogs.

The Punchout catalog increases the order accuracy and the speed of processing and these factors always influence the customers’ loyalty and satisfaction.

Oleg Zhuk
Technical Product Owner