3 Things to Know About PunchOut Catalogs

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READ TIME: 5-10 Mins

Make Purchasing Easier

If you’re using a PunchOut, you’ve got a procurement system. Think SAP Ariba, Opstech, Coupa – we’ve worked with them all. If you’re looking for a PunchOut, you’ve probably got a love/hate relationship with your procurement system. If you don’t have a procurement system, skip this article, go get some ice cream and live your life. You’ll have a log in to our site and we can set up all the bells and whistles we describe here, like approval hierarchies, for you on the regular Guernsey ecommerce site. Huzzah!

Still here? Okay, let’s talk PunchOuts. Here are the three things you need to know.


1. What is a Punch-Out Catalog?

A PunchOut catalog is a direct, web-based connection that allows a corporate purchasing agent to buy from a supplier’s ecommerce site from within their own procurement system.

Think of it this way: your procurement system is your house, your castle, with four firm walls and a big iron gate protecting all of that important data from bad guys. Opening and lowering the drawbridge is a ton of work, though. Enter PunchOut Catalogs. Like the magical wardrobe the Barfield children used to enter Narnia without leaving their home, a PunchOut catalog allows you to browse an ecommerce site without leaving your secure procurement system. Effectively, your data – things like login requests, POs, and shopping carts – flows back and forth in the form of cXML files, which we like to imagine as little rocket ships of information. Check out the diagram below for details.

Guernsey Punch-Out Catalogs


2. How does it make life better?

So you’ve got a big fancy procurement system – excellent. This means you’re a master of entering and reentering data between your procurement system (e.g. SAP Ariba, Opstech, Coupa, etc.) and wherever you’re placing orders. I’m sure you love that.

Here’s something you’ll actually love: a PunchOut catalog. PunchOut catalogs allow you to purchase from an external site, like Guernsey, without leaving your purchasing system. Free yourself from data reentry! Save time and reduce the likelihood of errors with a PunchOut. You just log into your system, and from there you can hop over to the Guernsey site to make your purchases.

Here’s another benefit —we can integrate with your approval system, so the order really does move seamlessly through your procurement system. Once the order’s approved, it gets placed. Bada Bing Bada Boom.


3. How do I go about implementing a PunchOut Catalog?

Well, we can only tell you how we do it, so let’s pretend you’re a new Guernsey customer getting set up with a PunchOut. This is like that moment in “The Breakfast Club,” when the jock wants to date the weirdo because now he realizes she’s awesome. Just kidding, we’d love to go to prom with you – I mean, implement a PunchOut catalog. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Our IT crew holds a big kick off meeting with your IT crew – or the team from your procurement system. Together they exchange the information required to establish a secure communication between both systems.

Step 2: This step has two parts that occur simultaneously, or one after the other – your part and ours. There is a standard look for cXML files – just like all convertibles have a removable top. However, just as there are convertible punch buggies and convertible Porsche Boxsters, there are options. The same’s true of cXML files. So, a customer determines how to format their cXML files, and we tell our systems how to read those files. So, if you want a Boxster, we tell our systems how to read a Boxster.

Step 3: Testing time! Effectively, your team checks that our rocket ships (cXML files) are making it to you, and our team checks that your rocket ships (cXML files) are making it to us. Everything works! Or things don’t work, and we tweak the system, then it works and we all live happily ever after.


So, sound like something that would help your company out? Looking for a workplace supplier who can get your snacks and toner and redesign floor 11 with a great waiting room area? Well, we’re here and happy to chat!

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Savannah Guernsey
Savannah Guernsey
When Savannah isn’t developing marketing strategy or building out experimental ventures for Guernsey, you can find her traveling, eating, reading, watching classic movies, eating, doing yoga, or watching terrible reality television. Also eating is a favorite pass time. Sometimes she writes blog posts about how to work better, faster, stronger and generally live your work life like a Kanye song.

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