How to use punchout technology in B2B e-procurement

Punchout technology in B2B procurement

Punchout technology has the potential to radically increase efficiencies in sales, purchase, and procurement processes for business-to-business transactions. Here’s how to use punchout technologies in B2B procurement.

Streamlining sales and purchases with punchout

Business networks such as Peppol (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) streamline sales and purchase processes by seamlessly managing the exchange of business messages and documents across companies, industries, and borders.

Punchout is a combination of a specific punchout business message type and process used in business networks that allow businesses to connect their e-commerce platforms or procurement systems directly to their suppliers’ systems. It enables seamless integration between ERPs or the buyer’s procurement system or enterprise resource planning system (ERP) and the supplier’s order management system (OMS) system, facilitating real-time access to product catalogs, pricing, and availability. The punchout business message in Peppol is called Peppol BIS Punch Out.

A punchout use case

The best use case for punchout functionality is in the context of B2B e-procurement. Consider a large corporation that regularly purchases office supplies from multiple suppliers. Instead of individually accessing each supplier’s website, catalog, or sales rep, the corporation can implement Peppol punchout functionality to dynamically send compliant e-orders from its procurement system based on updated price lists or seamless and direct from an external e-commerce platform or webshop. The supplier can quickly turn the sales order into an equally compliant e-invoice.

Let’s explore five substantial benefits of punchout.

Benefits procurement benefits of punchout technology

  1. Streamlined procurement process: Peppol punchout streamlines the procurement process by eliminating the need for manual catalog management, product updates, and pricing changes. The buyer can directly access the supplier’s system to view and select products, which ensures accurate and up-to-date information.
  2. Real-time catalog access: With punchout, the buyer gains real-time access to the supplier’s product catalog and inventory. This allows them to view accurate product information, availability, and pricing, ensuring that purchase decisions are made based on the latest data.
  3. Personalized pricing and contracts: Punchout enables personalized pricing and contract integration. Buyers can access negotiated pricing, volume discounts, and contract terms specific to their organization, ensuring consistent and accurate pricing across transactions.
  4. Improved order accuracy: By integrating the buyer’s procurement system with the supplier’s system, punchout using the Peppol network minimizes errors and ensures order accuracy. The selected products and associated information are automatically transferred from the supplier’s order management system (OMS) to the buyer’s procurement system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, reducing manual data entry and the risk of mistakes.
  5. Enhanced supplier relationship: Peppol punchout fosters closer collaboration between buyers and suppliers. It allows suppliers to provide a tailored shopping experience, showcase their product offerings, and better understand the buyer’s preferences and needs. This strengthens the buyer-supplier relationship and can improve service levels and customer satisfaction.

Overall, the best use case for Peppol punchout functionality is when businesses engage in frequent B2B procurement, have multiple suppliers, and seek to streamline their purchasing processes, enhance data accuracy, and improve supplier relationships.

Learn more about punchout, e-procurement, and e-order technology in our guide to e-orders.