What is Punch Out and Why You Should Adopt a Punch Out System?

Zoé Kahn

Punch-Out, or Punchout refers to a digital system in which a supplier allows customers to browse his product catalogs online and then purchase goods or services within the client’s e-procurement system. Thus, punch out actually describes a B2B procurement platform in which you can purchase products from external suppliers within your own digital infrastructure.

What is Punch Out

Punch out is a method and technology for businesses to purchase supplies directly from a supplier’s e-commerce website or B2B marketplace without leaving their own e-procurement application.

A punch-out approach provides many benefits to both suppliers and buyers but the main benefit is that if an organization is using an enterprise-grade software, such as an ERP or CRM, to manage purchases, the buyer and its employees can order products from the online store inside their respective ERP or CRM solution.

How Does Punch Out Work

Simply put, a punch-out solution is an instance of a suppliers’ e-commerce website that is accessible from the B2B procurement platform of the buyer. The buyer can browse and search for the seller’s products from within the internal e-procurement system and then order and purchase the selected supplies online. The process involves the following steps:

  • • The buyer opens their B2B e-procurement platform and searches for a supplier.
  • • Once the buyer finds a supplier and selects it, the platform forwards the user to the supplier’s e-commerce store or B2B marketplace.
  • • The system automatically authenticates the buyer and logs him into their account in the supplier’s online store.
  • • The buyer is choosing products from the seller’s catalog the same way as they are browsing the seller’s site. The supplier can provide the buyer with custom product catalogs and discounts. The buyer is adding products to their cart as if they are using the actual online store.
  • • After the buyer adds all the required products into the cart, instead of checking out, the buyer is punching out. It means that the system automatically exports the order data to the buyer’s e-procurement platform for approval.
  • • Once the purchase order is approved within the buyer’s e-procurement platform, the system creates a purchase order in the supplier’s ecommerce store and from there the usual procedure for product delivery is initiated.

As you can see, the punch out procedure is quite simple and in addition, it enables a purchaser to order products using one and the same software for searching and ordering products while staying within an internal e-procurement platform that keeps track of all transactions.

Advantages of Punch Out

Both buyers and B2B e-commerce merchants can benefit from a punch-out solution as it offers a simplified method to procure supplies in real-time.

The punch-out method offers a better user experience as it combines searching for products, ordering, and order tracking and accounting into a simple process that runs within one and the same e-procurement platform.

Furthermore, punch out enables a greater number of users to familiarize themselves with a merchant’s product catalog by allowing them to browse and search for products using a single buyer’s account.

Punch out also increases order accuracy as the customer is purchasing within its own e-procurement software while the supplier can offer pre-agreed price lists or specific discounts to the buyer.


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