What is a Level 2 PunchOut Catalog?

A Level 2 PunchOut, also written as Level II PunchOut, combines a PunchOut Website with a CIF Catalog to create a single shopping environment for PunchOut catalogs and catalogs stored in the procurement system, like Ariba Buyer. With a Level 2 PunchOut, users have the ability to search for and view products which would normally only be viewable on the supplier's PunchOut website.

 


 

A Level 2 PunchOut catalog is a PunchOut-enabled website with the special ability to allow the buyer to punch-out directly to an item from within a procurement system.

 


 

To better understand a Level 2 PunchOut, it's important to understand the role of thePunchOut CatalogandCatalog Interchange Format (CIF), often called aCIF Catalog. From the perspective of the buyer, a supplier is represented as either a list of items in the master catalog of the procurement system or as a link to a PunchOut website — not both at the same time. The buyer can either search among all the suppliers in the master catalog or punch-out to a suppliers PunchOut website and search just that supplier's PunchOut catalog. Ideally the buyer wants to do both: search the master catalog, even items located in the PunchOut catalog, and punch-out to get real-time pricing and availability.

A Level 2 PunchOut marries both worlds. The Level 2 PunchOut-enabled supplier generates a CIF, designating the web address (URL) where the item is located, and communicates the CIF to the buyer. In the procurement system the master catalog is updated with the contents of the CIF. The master catalog knows which items are purchased through a standard purchase order and which are purchased through the PunchOut website, allowing for the best of both worlds at the same time.

Through a Level 2 PunchOut, suppliers can to provide a CIF catalog of their available products without prices, which are searchable within the procurement system search tool. When a buyer performs a search, the PunchOut catalog products appear in search results, just like the supplier catalogs in the master catalog. Instead of prices being displayed in search results, a user may select the available link displayed next to the product and will be taken to the supplier's PunchOut website for real-time price and, in some cases, product availability and on-hand inventory quantity.

A Level 2 PunchOut is not only the next level in integration, it's also the next level in efficiency. A Level 2 PunchOut provides the buyer the best opportunity to identify the best item and assist in spend management. In practical terms "Level 2 PunchOut” indicates to the buyer that a PunchOut Catalog can be represented within the master catalog.

Once at the PunchOut website, users will be directed to the group, category, or item level for the particular item they chose, depending on the configuration of the PunchOut website. From that point forward, products are located, researched, and ordered just like a common PunchOut website.

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