Many businesses today are undergoing some renovations in their purchasing and inventory procedures. The main goal is to increase efficiency, eliminate redundancy, and create a seamless purchasing process.
That’s where Punchout catalogs come into the picture. This eProcurement system allows a more streamlined process for company buyers. It can give your business a boost ahead if you’re a supplier.
With that in mind, there are some important things to understand about Punchout ecommerce, and why business to business buyers are seeing the advantage of working with suppliers using these systems.
It may be necessary if you want to work with certain companies
Buyers for large corporations often have to follow a stricter set of guidelines and company policies when contracting with suppliers. This means the entire process needs to be more uniform and streamlined to allow buyers from these companies to work with you.
The most common solution to this is using Punchout catalogs and in fact, a very sizeable percentage of large companies are required to use Punchout catalogs as part of their purchasing protocol.
Basically, if you want a chance at working with these companies, you’ll need to use Punchout catalogs to get their business.
You can convert customers into long time clients
Buyers often go through a long process before finding suppliers that they ultimately have long term business relationships with. So a company can try out a supplier, and like the product they offer, but decide not to continue using the supplier due to a difficult procurement system.
By implementing Punchout catalogs, you give B2B buyers something extra that puts you ahead of other competing suppliers.
This gives buyers another reason aside from your physical products to continue doing business with you. Additionally, it makes it easier for buyers to continue going to you as their supplier, since you have more presence in their own procurement systems.
Buyers appreciate suppliers that use Punchout
Business to business buyers tend to have a lot on their plate. They are expected to procure ample supplies, find the correct items, evaluate pricing, ensure supplies will be available by the necessary time, as well as follow all the steps in their company’s procurement procedures. It can be a hassle for an everyday consumer to find what they’re looking for, especially if it’s a very specific item.
Corporate buyers face the same struggle, but on a massive scale. Punchout catalogs make it easier for buyers to connect with suppliers that have appropriate inventory.
It makes sense on both a business level as well as a personal level: people want to work with a system that makes their job easier, not harder.
Likewise business to business buyers need to perform as efficiently as possible, while reducing any possible ordering errors. That makes suppliers using Punchout catalogs an attractive option for a prospective buyer.
Punchout catalogs may enhance sales
As Punchout catalogs become more mainstream, it makes sense that more companies are going to choose to do business with suppliers using Punchout catalogs. Choosing to forego offering this eProcurement option can mean you miss out on those sales you could have otherwise gotten.
In fact, according to PCGT (Punchout Catalogs GT), some large, global companies have increased their sales over 32% simply by making the switch to Punchout catalog procurement systems.
There’s another reason that Punchout catalogs can increase your sales, and it’s one you likely haven’t yet considered: the fact is that Punchout catalogs also financially benefit the purchasing company.
Throughout the entire procurement process, Punchout catalogs increase efficiency, and reduce wasted work hours (and as a result, wages). Traditional procurement procedures also have a disadvantage in that they contribute to more additional purchasing fees and associated costs.
When a purchasing organization contracts with suppliers that use a Punchout catalog system, they save a sizeable amount of money, which gives them incentive to continue with suppliers using Punchout catalogs. It’s been shown that buyers and their respective companies can save over 15% when ordering using these synchronized procurement systems.
At this point, it is mainly larger companies that have turned to Punchout catalog systems as their preferred procurement procedures. That said, medium sized businesses aren’t far behind, with more and more choosing to use Punchout in their business dealings whenever possible. For suppliers this can be a big advantage if you’re ahead of the curve, or it can be a shortcoming if the buyers you really want to work with are looking for suppliers that use Punchout catalogs.
When upgrading to a Punchout Catalog system, it’s important to set everything up correctly, and ensure that your prospective buyers are getting the full value of your inventory.
Melissa Stanley is a veteran tech writer and editor who has worked in several eCommerce companies so far. She has been covering technology online for over five years. She is Client Service Manager of PCGT – PunchOut Catalogs.