In Part I of this series on the role of PunchOut sites within the eProcurement context, we talked about the many reasons why suppliers embrace and prefer an organizational eProcurement strategy that is heavily reliant on PunchOut sites. This makes sense insofar as these PunchOut sites drive higher revenue and margins for the supplier, and an upselling opportunity at check-out that they fully control.
So...we know why suppliers like it. But why do most modern eProcurement solutions also embrace and promote PunchOut sites?
Today, we’ll discuss the circumstances and conditions that give rise to this unholy alliance.
eProcurement solutions were born out of the ERP systems. In fact, all of the most popular ERP systems (Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft, JDE, Workday) have developed or acquired varying degrees of eProcurement functionality today. These eProcurement solutions are typically clunky, not fun to use, and difficult to scale.
It is precisely these conditions that actually led to the rise in adoption of PunchOut sites for eProcurement. Suppliers built eCommerce websites that were built for scale, built for usability, and supported PunchOut connectivity. The eProcurement industry embraced them because it pushed the content management and eCommerce management problem onto their suppliers.
Or so they thought...
The truth is, while the usability of a singular PunchOut site may be phenomenal, having to navigate 50 different PunchOut sites (all hanging off the eProcurement solution) results in a terrible user experience and a broken shopping process. It stifles end user adoption and thoroughly confuses the user base.
Everybody talks about wanting an Amazon experience for eProcurement.
Does Amazon use a PunchOut approach?
The B2C eCommerce users always remain within a SINGLE interface and can search across ALL content in one place.
BuyerQuest always understood the value and importance of a single instance and interface for all goods and services. That is why we architected our solution using a true eCommerce framework. This gives BuyerQuest customers the ability to ingest, govern, manage, and display millions of catalog line items for goods and services in an easy to use, fully searchable, eProcurement solution.
As we will discuss in Part 3 of this series, there is a place for PunchOuts in the modern eProcurement world. But, if history has taught us anything, its that the PunchOut site approach to eProcurement is not a strategy that solves the user adoption problem nor the broken processes that result.