This Is The Difference Between A Punch Out Catalog And An Item Catalog, Plus 5 Reasons Why You need Both

  • This Is The Difference Between A Punch Out Catalog And An Item Catalog, Plus 5 Reasons Why You need Both

    This Is The Difference Between A Punch Out Catalog And An Item Catalog, Plus 5 Reasons Why You need Both

    Purchase order and procurement software promises big rewards. It’s supposed to make the entire procurement process easy while also giving you the tools you need to track purchases effectively. But all too often, companies find that PO systems aren’t as easy to use as they’d hoped. And so the employees bypass the procurement software and you have a new mess to deal with.

    Fortunately, there are e-Procurement Purchasing Solutions out there that truly are user-friendly. These software systems make it just as easy to shop from within the system as it would be to shop outside of it. And that means there’s no reason for employees not to use the software.

    Punch outs and item catalogs are two key features that make online procurement systems easy to use. Having a procurement system that includes these features will help any business, but it’s especially helpful if you’re setting up a procurement system for large organizations.

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    Punch Outs

    Punch out catalogs (also called punchout websites) provide a way for your employees to shop your suppliers’ websites from within the procurement system. This gives employees who use your company’s purchase order system the same kind of shopping experience they’d have if they weren’t using your procurement software.

    Basically, employees start out by opening your e-Procurement system and then “punch out” a request that takes them to the supplier’s website. Once there, they can shop the same way they normally would. When they place an order, though, it’s automatically sent through your procurement system instead of straight to the supplier.

    This feature makes using PO software negligibly different from shopping outside of the system. Thus, there’s no reason for employees to avoid using your purchasing system. And it’s not only easier on employees trying to purchase items. It also makes things easier for employees in the purchasing department since the system automatically generates purchase orders and routes them through appropriate channels.

    Item Catalogs

    Item catalogs are something your company sets up inside your procurement software. They keep track of products that your company approves for purchase. Creating a local procurement catalog will help keep costs down and make the system more user-friendly. They’re also a reliable way to enforce company policy.

    Having a catalog of approved products helps make sure employees buy the right items. It’s also an easy way for employees to make item requisitions since they don’t have to worry about finding the lowest price or wondering which brand to buy. They just pick the item in the catalog.

    A good purchase order system will let you set up and easily maintain an item catalog for your organization. Whoever is in charge of the item catalog determines which products to include and the level of detail to provide about the products. They’ll also decide whether or not employees can order from an external vendor. And they can customize this choice to only allow certain purchases from outside vendors or restrict ordering access to certain employees. You can also set up multiple catalogs for employees in different departments based on their needs.

    Here’s Why You Need Both

    Punch out websites and item catalogs serve different, but overlapping, purposes. Having at least one of the two is going to help make your e-Procurement software easier to use. And having both provides even more advantages. Here are five reasons that it’s a good idea to get software that supports punch outs as well as item catalogs.

    1) Employees Know They’re Buying The Right Items

    Punch out catalogs make it easy for employees to create POs while ordering items from a supplier’s website. Item catalogs show employees which items to purchase. Together, they make it easy for employees to know which items are approved for purchase and then order those items without any hassle.

    2) It Ensures Employees Will Use Your Software

    Both punch out and item catalogs make procurement software more user-friendly. When you have both there’s really no reason for employees to go around your software to make purchases. And since there’s no point in having a software system that employees won’t use, these two features help make the software cost-effective.

    3) It’s Easier For You To Enforce Policy

    Say you have a policy stating that certain types of purchases require purchase orders, and another policy regarding which items employees are allowed to purchase. Working together, a punch out catalog and an item catalog enforce both those policies. The item catalog restricts purchasing to approved items and the punch out catalog makes sure it’s easy for employees to comply with rules for generating purchase orders.

    4) Your Company Saves Money

    When your procurement software is user-friendly and it enforces your policy, the software gives you more control over company spend. That’ll help you cut back on, and possibly even eliminate, “rogue” or “maverick” spending. Punch outs and item catalogs also help ensure accurate orders and quick processing. And that’s a win for the company and all employees.

    5) It Simplifies and Centralizes Purchasing

    Punch outs and item catalogs bring all your purchasing into one system. They eliminate the need to go outside the e-Procurement software to shop for products, find out which products are approved for purchase, or generate purchase orders. That streamlines the entire purchasing and record-keeping process.


    When shopping for e-Procurement software it’s vital that you find one that includes all the features you need. But the software also has to come from a reliable supplier who can back-up their claims about the product. It’s not that hard to find a software system that includes punch outs and item catalogs. But you also want to make sure there aren’t any hidden fees and that the provider will help with implementation.

    This is where NextProcess comes in. We offer reliable e-Procurement software that includes all the key features you need, including punch outs and item catalogs. And we have an implementation rate that’s near 100%. When you purchase our software, we’re going to make sure that it’s set up and running perfectly for your company before we consider the implementation complete. Contact us today to get started with a purchasing system that will change your company for the better.

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