Essent Webinars: Pack a PunchOut: The Advantages of Eprocurement Integration

Buyers, especially big buyers, are making ecommerce-to-eprocurement integration a requirement. The PunchOut-enabled seller opens the door to the biggest buyers.

Watch the Essent PunchOut Integration Webinar

Slide 1: Pack a PunchOut: The Advantages of Eprocurement Integration
Hello and welcome to the latest webinar from Essent. Today we’re going to show you the advantages of a special type of integration. A PunchOut integration integrates a seller’s ecommerce website with a buyer’s eprocurement system. It’s an integration that’s increasingly required by big buyers, and so having a PunchOut-enabled website is a big opportunity for sellers.

Slide 2: Moderator: Douglas B. Brill
My name is Doug Brill. I’m the Essent marketing coordinator and I specialize in the promotional products industry. I’m also your moderator today.

Slide 3: About Essent
Before we begin, a very brief overview of Essent. Essent is the leader in providing Comprehensive business management solutions since 1981. Essent has been serving Distributors, Decorators, and Suppliers in the promotional products industry since the year 2000. $3 Billion in Commerce flows through Essent’s solutions each year.

Slide 4: If You Have Questions
We want to answer everyone’s questions in a way that’s sensitive to your time. So if you do have questions we ask that you please submit them in the webinar dashboard. And then we’ll be happy to answer those questions after the webinar.

Slide 5: My Customer Says I Need a PunchOut. Now What?
It’s often the case that the first thing people learn about PunchOut integration is that they need it.

Slide 6: ‘You Need a PunchOut’
Buyers are increasingly asking sellers for PunchOut integration because it facilitates spend management, streamlines workflow, and shortens turnaround times. The prompt from the buyer usually comes in the form of a recommendation or requirement in a Request for Proposal. And sometimes it’s even a condition of doing business with that buyer. And raising the stakes is that the buyers who require PunchOut integration tend to be the biggest buyers.

Slide 7: ‘You Need a PunchOut’ (continued)
In short, PunchOut integration can be the difference maker in keeping big accounts and winning new ones.

Slide 8: ‘Now What?’
The good news is that PunchOut integration is affordable and can be implemented quickly. And it has a number of benefits for the seller as well the buyer, which we’re going to illustrate to you today.

Slide 9: Presenter: David Jungling (DJ)
And with that, here to bring you a closer look is your presenter, David Jungling. DJ is a sales executive for Essent. And he’s also a specialist in the promotional products industry. He’s going to tell you more about PunchOut integration, what it is, how it works, and how it helps buyers and sellers alike.

Slide 10: Understanding PunchOut Integration
Thank you very much, Doug. Before we get into all of the advantages of PunchOut integration, let’s first get everyone on the same page. The details of PunchOut integration can be a little bit complex. So let’s try to say in layman’s terms exactly what PunchOut integration is.

Slide 11: Understanding PunchOut
Starting at the very top level, a PunchOut integration is an integration between a buyer and a seller. More specifically, it’s an integration between the buyer’s eprocurement system and the seller’s ecommerce website. And the PunchOut integration is the method that allows the buyer’s system and the seller’s website to talk to each other.

Slide 12: Understanding PunchOut: Seller’s website is available within the buyer’s eprocurement system
The result is that the ecommerce website becomes available right within the buyer’s Eprocurement system. The eprocurement system might be Ariba, Coupa, Oracle, or SAP OCI to name a few of the most popular platforms. Or it could be any number of other platforms. But the bottom line is that the buyer now doesn’t have to leave its own system in order to buy.

Slide 13: Understanding PunchOut: Buyer Works within its spend management
You might ask yourself, "Why is it important to shop within the eprocurement system? Why not just navigate to the website?” The most important part is that working within the eprocurement system means that the buyer is also working within its spend management. That means that it’s going to do things like create the requisitions before the transaction moves forward. It’s going to enforce and track budgets, contracts, and cost centers and it’s going to give the buyer visibility to things like vendor history, accounts payable, and spend analysis. These are all things the buyer needs to take into account for each of its transactions on a daily basis.

Slide 14: Understanding PunchOut: Streamlined Workflow
The PunchOut integration effectively takes what the buyer needs for spend management and automatically makes it a part of the transaction. Navigating to an ecommerce website sounds simple enough, but it’s not going to address spend management without substantial manual effort. The integration streamlines workflow. All of that data that the buyer needs is present.

Slide 15: Understanding PunchOut: Connecting the Seller to the Buyer
So to summarize: PunchOut integration connects the seller’s ecommerce website to the buyer’s eprocurement system so that spend management is built right in.

Slide 16: PunchOut Transactions
Now that we’ve established what PunchOut integration is and why buyers want it, let’s take a look at the transaction step by step.

Slide 17: PunchOut Transactions (Parts 1-3)
First of all, the buying agent is going to log into the buyer’s eprocurement system. Then the agent is going to open your ecommerce website from right within the eprocurement system. And that website is virtually identical to your regular website. The look, feel, marketing, navigation and all of the other effort you put into your website is retained.

Slide 18: PunchOut Transactions (Parts 4-6)
So far, it’s just like anyone visiting your website except that it’s happening through the eprocurement system. The next few steps are very much like traditional ecommerce as well. The buyer browses the site. The buyer selects items and adds them to the cart. And the buyer hits "check out.” It’s all what would happen normally.

Slide 19: PunchOut Transactions (Parts 7-9)
This is where the transaction begins to differ. It’s the part where the buyer’s spend management is most prominently enforced. What happens in the background is that the buyer isn’t actually building an order just yet. The buyer is building a requisition. When the buyer clicks checkout, the requisition is submitted to management or the purchasing department for approval. Only once the requisition is approved is the purchase order issued. The PunchOut integration builds in that extra step that the buyer requires – the requisition process.

Slide 20: PunchOut Transactions vs. Regular Ecommerce Transactions
PunchOut transactions are almost identical to regular ecommerce transactions, except that buyer spend management is enforced behind the scenes.

Slide 21: Buyer Benefits
The overriding benefit for the buyer is that PunchOut integration allows the buyer to work within its spend management system. To illustrate the value of that, let’s take a look at the alternative.

Slide 22: Without PunchOut
That would be navigating to the seller website like a traditional ecommerce transaction. But the buyer isn’t simply browsing items and adding them to the cart. The buyer will have to manually perform its spend management. The buyer would have to browse and take notes on the price, availability, SKU, etc. And the buyer is also perhaps checking contracts to see what the specific pricing is, as well as budgets and cost center to see how much spend is available.

Slide 23 Without PunchOut (continued)
Now the buyer manually turns the notes into a requisition to submit to an approving manager. Then only after the requisition is approved is the buyer coming back to the website to actually buy. Not only is there a delay for the manual processes, but availability and other details may have changed in this time.

Slide 24: Without PunchOut (continued)
There are going to be manual steps after the purchase as well. That could include manually checking the order status and manually checking the shipping status. And manually paying the invoice.

Slide 25: Buyer Benefits: Automation
PunchOut integration, on the other hand, is going to eliminate manual steps. It results in a more efficient and more cost-effective transaction for the buyer as well as quicker turnarounds.

Slide 26: Seller Benefits
A lot of what we’ve described so far illustrates the benefits to buyers. But what about the benefits for sellers?

Slide 27: Seller Benefits: New Customers
The biggest advantage of PunchOut integration for sellers is that it’s going to open the door to new customers. Corporations, governments, and other large institutions often prefer that their suppliers are PunchOut-enabled – and they increasingly require it. And the seller’s ability to join in the PunchOut integration often dictates whether the seller gets the business or not.

Slide 28: Seller Benefits: Preferred Vendor
But the advantages go beyond simply meeting customer requirements. A vendor with PunchOut integration turns from just another vendor into a preferred vendor. The PunchOut-enabled seller also becomes front-and-center for the buyer. Everything the buyer needs to know is right there within the buyer’s system. And since the spend management is automatically built in, it’s easier for the buyer to buy. That will lead to more repeat business in the future

Slide 29: Seller Benefits: Accuracy & Speed
The seller also retains a great deal of control that leads to more accuracy and faster transactions. The transaction data is coming right from the seller website. So you know the order is being populated with up-to-date and accurate prices, availability, and other information. The buyer is also going to have automation for its spend management, so transactions can move forward more quickly and efficiently – the seller ultimately gets paid sooner.

Slide 30: Seller Benefits Summary
So the advantage of PunchOut integration for the seller is the potential for more customers, especially big customers. The seller is going to become a preferred vendor because it’s easy for the buyer to buy. And transactions are able to move forward much faster due to automation for the buyer and seller alike.

Slide 31: Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve illustrated what PunchOut integration is and its advantages for the buyer and seller, let’s go through some frequently asked questions.

Slide 32: How soon can we implement?
One of the first things people want to know is, "How fast can the PunchOut Integration be implemented?” That depends on the depth of the integration, but express PunchOut can be implemented in a matter of weeks.

Slide 33: What’s a CIF Catalog?
In terms of eprocurement integration, perhaps you’ve heard of a CIF Catalog. That stands for Catalog Interchange Format. CIF integration is like PunchOut integration. But it only integrates the product catalog, not the whole website. The disadvantage is that the catalog is mostly static. Updating it is a manual effort. In addition, different catalogs are going to be needed for different buyers because different buyers may have different prices and terms. The CIF catalog also can’t handle things like product specifications, bill of materials, or product configuration rules. So it’s not ideal for configurable products.

Slide 34: Why PunchOut over CIF?
The reason that PunchOut integration is usually superior is that it integrates the entire ecommerce website. It’s dynamic, so all of the information is as up-to-date as your website. The seller continues to control branding and marketing, including cross-sells, up-sells, promotions, and so on. You don’t need multiple catalogs for each buyer because the website serves as the master catalog. And the seller can present almost infinite information – as much information as can fit on the website.

Slide 35: Which eprocurement systems?
The ability to perform the PunchOut integration depends on the buyer’s eprocurement system. Different PunchOut solutions can integrate with different eprocurement systems. Essent, for example, has experience integrating with the eprocurement systems listed here. Those include the most popular eprocurement systems such as Ariba, Coupa, Oracle, and SAP.

Slide 36: ERP-Level Integration
PunchOut integration is a critical step for sellers to open the door to big new customers. But not every PunchOut integration is created equally.

Slide 37: ERP-Level Integration: PunchOutNow
The Essent solution for PunchOut integration is PunchOutNow. The advantage of this solution is that it can make the seller’s ERP or business management system part of the integration. Essent ecommerce websites and company stores integrate with Essent back-office solutions. So now your own ERP can become part of the PunchOut integration.

Slide 38: ERP-Level Integration
Adding the ERP into the integration creates two major benefits, which are two sides of the same coin. One is that data from the ERP now can flow into each transaction. And data from the transaction can flow into the seller’s ERP.

Slide 39: ERP-Level Integration: Data In
Websites can hold a wealth of information, but it’s not the deep rich data that’s held in an ERP. For example, the ERP will be able to make business rules part of the transaction. Sellers often have certain pricing rules for certain customers. Preferred customers may get preferred pricing. And other customers may have contract pricing. Certain shipping rules may also apply. It’s common for a buyer to have separate addresses for billing and shipping. Billing terms can vary from customer to customer. Some customers may have Net 30 terms while others are Cash on Delivery. And there could be even more rules, such as whether to adjust the invoice for overruns and underruns. These rules all exist at the ERP level and are important for the accuracy of the transaction. And now they can become part of the PunchOut integration.

Slide 40: ERP-Level Integration: Data Out
The even bigger advantage for the seller is the flip side of the coin. Data from the transaction will flow back into the ERP. With ERP-level integration, data from the transaction can now automatically populate sales orders, invoices, and other associated documents. Manual processes are greatly reduced. Re-keying data is reduced or eliminated. And there are far fewer opportunities for errors.

Slide 41: ERP-Level Integration: Data Out (Production efficiency)
The ERP level data also brings production efficiency. That’s because transaction data can flow to Inventory, Fulfillment and Product Management. The transaction information can also flow automatically to the accounting engine. Now postings can automatically occur, and even sophisticated activities like job costing can occur just as a side effect of processing the order.

Slide 42: ERP-Level Integration: Data In
Automatically applying the ERP-level data results in what we called Well-Formed orders. Well-Formed orders are complete, accurate, and ready for immediate processing, which results in more efficient transacttions. And it all happens because the ERP data is integrated as part of the PunchOut solution.

Slide 43: Douglas B. Brill
And with that, I’ll turn it back over to Doug who will tell you how you can learn more.

Slide 44: PunchOut Summary
Thank you very much DJ. Just to briefly recap what we’ve discussed today … A PunchOut integration is an integration between a buyer and a seller. More specifically, it’s an integration between an ecommerce website and an eprocurement system.

Slide 45: PunchOut Summary (continued)
More and more big buyers require PunchOut. So the biggest advantage for the seller is that it opens the doors to big new customers. It helps you sell to the biggest companies and organizations. The other seller advantages are more efficient transactions, in addition to becoming a preferred vendor.

Slide 46: PunchOut Summary (continued)
Buyers love PunchOut because it allows them to work within their eprocurement system. That means spend management is going to be built into every order. And most importantly it means buyers are going to prefer sellers who are PunchOut-enabled.

Slide 47: PunchOut Summary (continued)
The seller enjoys even more advantages when the ERP is part of the equation Information from the transaction can automatically populate documents and inform production. And that means less re-keying and therefore fewer costly errors.

Slide 48: Pack a PunchOut:
Finally, Essent is dedicated to providing efficiency in the promotional products industry and beyond. Our solutions support all of the capabilities discussed today. Essent PunchOutNow integrates ecommerce websites with leading eprocurement systems. To learn more about PunchOut integration, you can visit There you can review everything we discussed today. And you can also use that page to get in touch with an Essent representative for a free consultation. Again, that’s to learn more or to schedule some time to talk. Thanks again to everyone for attending today’s webinar. Pack a PunchOut to open the door to new customers and more efficient transactions.