The purpose of a PunchOut Catalog and a CIF Catalog are the same: to allow trading partners to share product catalogs electronically. The approach of the two are polar opposite. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but in the modern business-to-business (B2B) environment, PunchOut catalog websites prevail. Used together in the form of a Level 2 PunchOut, the best of both form a powerful, integrated eprocurement solution.
The CIF (Content Interchange Format) catalog is great for simple products or services that infrequently change or do not require configuration. If a supplier sells a widget or performs a service that stays the same for a long period of time, a CIF file is the best way to communicate catalogs. If the catalog is relatively small, say under 1000 items, the CIF file is relative small, easy to manage, and communicate electronically. If, on the other hand, the catalog is large, changes more than once a year, or contains items that require configuration, the limitations of the format becomes problematic.
In this global economy with nimble suppliers, mass customization, and commodity pricing, a catalog of static information, fixed pricing, and the inability to tailor to market needs is restrictive and counter to eprocurement.
Where a CIF catalog is static, a PunchOut website is a dynamic product and service catalog allowing for current information, product configuration, real-time price and availability.
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From Express integration that quickly connects, to Enterprise PunchOuts that draw on the power of ERP, PunchOutNow™ is the most flexible PunchOut solution you'll ever meet. Learn more
Essent is the leading provider of fully-integrated business management software solutions and services for process-intensive industries and the largest trading network for the promotional products industry. The Essent family of fully-integrated products and services combines best practices, business processes, software automation, and network communications to deliver unparalleled, unified business management solutions. Since 1980, Essent has offered the systems, service, software, and support critical to success in today's highly-competitive marketplace.