When it comes to supply chain management, integration plays a major. Any organization’s supply chain is highly dependent on the level of integration, and firms are always striving for increased integration within all aspects of the supply chain. E-procurement has played a crucial role in taking this approach to the next level through systems like punchout management systems. The higher the level of integration, the greater is the bottom-line saving for an organization.
E-procurement has pretty much revolutionized the procurement and sourcing aspect of supply chain by bringing a host of technologies which serve to streamline the process. The increasing focus on spend management has made savings in procurement all the more important today. One way to streamline the procurement process that is fast gaining prevalence is punchout catalogs; a technology that used to be reserved only for the giants in the industry for quite some time.What Are Punchout Catalogs?
To integrate the purchasing process between the buyers and the vendors, a number of tools have been introduced ever since the advent of e-procurement systems. These tools were meant to integrate supplier catalogs in a more efficient manner for streamlined purchasing for all parties involved. The main focus was always to bring disparate procurement process into a centralized mode of purchasing, and thus punchout catalogs were born.
In the present era, buyers can simply go to the requisition module in their procurement software and select items from the supplier’s catalog from directly from their website. The items are loaded directly onto the buyer’s purchasing software making for efficient requisition. The process has now become known as punching-out, and the supplier catalogs tailored for this sort of integration, punchout catalogs.Development of Punchout Catalogs
In the early days of e-procurement, suppliers who were awarded contracts provided the buyers with their catalogs which would then be loaded onto their system for further requisitions. The strategic benefits of doing so were soon realized by the world, and suppliers began developing their own specialized punchout sites.
Now though, the landscape has changed considerably. Standardized punchout sites have become the norm on suppliers’ end. Cost of implementing punchout have gone down drastically too, with pretty much every decent procurement software coming with a module for punchouts. No more are small to midsized businesses priced out of this technology!Benefits of Punchout
Some of the more interesting tangible benefits of modern punchout modules are:
All punchout records are centrally stored and can be accessed at any point time
Access to a large number of vendor catalogs is made easy, saving a ton of effort
Purchase controls are integrated right within the system
Buyers can browse through multiple vendor catalogs, sorting the required product as per specification
Significant time and resource saving
All in all, the benefits of punchout integration have streamlined the purchasing process significantly. Larger organizations are already actively using such modules, and for small to midsized business, punchout catalogs have become all but essential today.
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