Punchout Software Levels: Enhancing E-Procurement Efficiency


Punchout software has taken the industry by storm. But what exactly is it? Let’s explore why rapidly growing tech start-ups should consider it.

The Basics Of PunchOut Software 

In simple terms, PunchOut software enables simple and secure order and data transmission across e-commerce sites. It also serves as a means of integrating the electronic procurement systems of suppliers and clients. PunchOut software's fundamental structure comprises the following ideas:

  • An e-commerce store and an e-procurement platform are combined to generate the PunchOut catalog.
  • The user chooses an authorized supplier, exits, and is then taken to the supplier's storefront.
  • The consumer is now prepared to use the e-commerce store after completing the authentication procedure; they choose products and add items to the cart.
  • A fulfillment order is generated once the customers' e-procurement platform receives the returned products.

What is the Purpose Of PunchOut Software?

PunchOut software enables corporate buying agents to make purchases from the provider's website by linking the user's e-procurement application to the supplier catalog. It is a business-to-business (B2B commerce) e-procurement system that enables communication between the buyer's procurement application and the supplier catalog.

The phrase "PunchOut" describes the buyer's decision to forego their normal procurement procedure to gather information straight from the supplier's product catalog. The hosted catalog may be seen by customers during the buying process, and they can place items in their shopping cart and complete the checkout process just like they would on any other e-commerce website.

The primary distinction is that the buyer now has power over the transaction and invoicing rather than the provider, which increases efficiency and offers greater flexibility. Punch-Out catalog increases productivity, competitive advantage, and profitability by reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Do We Need PunchOut Software?

PunchOut software sounds great, but is it truly worth the investment?

Yes, we do. And a lot of businesses are using the program, with astonishing outcomes. PunchOut catalogs give suppliers the ability to expand their businesses by making their catalogs more practical and adaptable for buyers' purchasing procedures. It offers distinctive benefits that encourage interaction and cooperation between customers and their suppliers.

Here are more reasons why you should consider it:

Automated Expenditure Management

PunchOut catalog software helps businesses manage their money more efficiently by creating purchase orders automatically and allowing for several levels of internal approval. Errors in financial reports can be eliminated by exporting reports and transferring budgets from suppliers.

Easy to Track Purchases

With each product modification and update, PunchOut transaction software eliminates the need to manually submit files. They are made to function continuously, seven days a week, and to automatically update information on quantity, discounts, and other things.

Enhanced Productivity

PunchOut transaction software boosts efficiency by streamlining the purchasing process. The entire buying cycle is automated and optimized, which improves how efficiently resources and labor are used inside a company.

Customized Pricing

Additionally, this software helps smaller e-commerce companies to compete with larger buying groups. Automatically updating items and pricing, helps these smaller companies save money. Suppliers aim to give customers more affordable costs compared to current internet trends. So, this function is perfect for them.

How Does PunchOut Software Work?

Although the exact workings of punchout software are complex, this is a simple overview of what goes on:

The PSR (PunchOut Setup Request)

When a customer starts a punch-out connection and decides to purchase through the supplier's website, information is immediately sent to the catalog. PunchOut Setup Request is the name of the method, and it is an XML document. Customers are sent to the supplier's catalog, which contains details on price, items, and subgroups.

The Shopping Cart Response

Clients can shop on the supplier's platform after the link is created. They load the items onto the trolley. Now, by clicking on it, the user decides whether to add the material to their e-procurement platform. PunchOut transforms the shopping cart data into XML format and maps the data to the customer's requirements while the catalog is running in the background.

The Purchase Order

At this stage, the buyer's system sends the purchase order to the supplier, kicking off the fulfillment process. The cart is processed using management and budget data, and the purchase is eventually approved. The PunchOut catalog software enables the supplier to receive the order digitally and create the corresponding order in their system.

Levels Of PunchOut Software

PunchOut software happens on various levels in the procurement process. To fully understand PunchOut software, we need to know what these levels are:

Level One

The Level one PunchOut software sometimes referred to as the store-level PunchOut software was created to streamline the purchasing process for B2B commerce clients including businesses and governmental bodies. It directs the user to a single page created by the customer's procurement software on the supplier's website.

Users may access this catalog by going to the PunchOut catalog section of the home page of their e-procurement system. Clicking on the logo will take the customer to the vendor's online store. The product may be searched for and added to the shopping cart.


  • It makes it easier to set up up-sell and cross-sell plans in the system 
  • Gives users comprehensive product information, making it easier for them to make informed decisions


Level Two

The software for this catalog was developed to be quicker and more effective than the Level One catalog. Users can purchase a permitted item or several items at once. It enables the supplier to offer the goods directly through the purchasing system of the client. 

The supplier's catalog name is shown beside the product link in Level 2 PunchOut software. It provides customers with easy access to items via search result pages for procurement software applications.

With the help of this Punchout software, the customer may browse the market and review the essential product details before selecting whether or not to punch out to an online retailer. It makes the supplier's products easier to search for by fusing data from the customer's e-procurement system with catalog data.

Thus, Level Two has much better search functionality, which is divided into three sections:

Product Level PunchOut

By using the product level search function of their procurement system, PunchOut integration enables customers to instantly access the product details page of a supplier catalog.

For example, if a client searches for “Laptops 16GB RAM,” the search results will provide a list of all vendors, each with a product link that takes the client directly to products matching their search.

Aisle Level PunchOut

Aisle-level PunchOut integration gives users access to a certain product category through the procurement application's search feature. The buyer is thereby guided to a specific product category page in the supplier catalog using an aisle-level search.

Shelf Level Punchout

B2B clients can reach specific product sub-category pages in the supplier catalog using this level of search. This will provide quick access to a certain subcategory using the search function of the procurement system.

For instance, if a customer types in "Apple MacBooks," a list of suppliers will appear in the search results, and the consumer will be sent to the supplier's subcategory page.


  • It elevates the shopping experience, increasing the chances of return customers
  • Buyers can compare multiple vendors for items they are searching for
  • Increases efficiency by reducing time spent on purchasing


  • Buyers must have permission to use the software on their e-procurement platform
  • Manual catalog files for each vendor are still needed


PunchOut software is an inexpensive and high-return investment to add that special element to your procurement process. It is the best idea to consider if you want to take your procurement to the next level.

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