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Punchout Procurement for Academics


A new system for purchasing electronic components is rising in popularity among academic audiences. This new tool, typically called a PunchOut Catalog or, more accurately, a PunchOut Website, is a new method for a corporate purchasing agent to buy from a supplier’s website from within the buyers’ own procurement application or hosted procurement system. By integrating product catalogs with eProcurement software, distributors like Hotenda can help improve purchasing efficiencies and deliver higher levels of service to the academic buyer.

A PunchOut Catalog functions as an ecommerce website with the special ability to communicate directly with back-end ERP procurement systems such as those provided by SciQuest, Ariba, PeopleSoft and Oracle. The system communicates through a cXML-based API to streamline purchase orders with the buyer, eliminating manual steps in the procurement system.

Before the introduction of the PunchOut system, purchasing departments were tasked with entering the product catalog information into a master database and then converting it from one electronic form to another. Then, electronic component part numbers would need to be entered into the procurement system in order to create a purchase order.

Today, academic procurement systems have become more sophisticated, enabling supplier catalogs to be integrated directly into the procurement system. Hotenda is one electronic component distributor who has effectively created an easy-to-use solution – the Hotenda PunchOut Catalog - that integrates with most all procurement systems used in the academic environment.

After implementing the Hotenda PunchOut Catalog, university users are able to sign on to their own ERP system and then connect or “punch-out” directly into the Hotenda website. Once connected to the Hotenda website, a user can find the information and content they need, make product selections, and add them to a shopping cart that fills in their own internal requisition. Once the requisition is completed, it then routes through for approval through standard cXML protocols prior to automatically submitting the order to Hotenda.

For the academic purchaser, this process change is extremely valuable and here’s why:

Most universities are trying to cut costs to help manage tuition expenses for students by increasing the efficiency of their administrative systems. Institutions of higher learning across North America and Europe are quickly adopting eProcurement solutions in order to streamline the purchasing process. By transforming manual labor-intensive procurement steps into automated processes, organizations can recoup significant cost savings and, at the same time, alleviate internal resources.

The move to eProcurement solutions can help academic organizations meet these goals, yet requires the buy-in of users and administrators. Innovative solutions such as Hotenda’s PunchOut catalog have been well received by both sides, and are continuing to gain global popularity due to the significant cost and efficacy advantages to be gained by academic users.

PunchOut catalogs from Hotenda allow the following benefits to the university:

  • Streamline order placement by submitting them directly from an internal ERP system
  • Automate invoice transmission and integrate cost management tracking
  • Standardize component purchase processes across multiple locations and departments
  • Simplify management of university discount purchase programs

As institutions of higher learning migrate to mobile solutions using tablets and smartphones, these kinds of tools will become more integrated with eProcurement software. Going forward, Hotenda is uniquely positioned with our own mobile applications to function effectively in this environment.

Hotenda has been refining its PunchOut Catalog process for a number of years, and now has installations at a number of major institutions including MIT, Duke, Harvard, University of California and others. With the Hotenda PunchOut Catalog, set-up and implementation is easy, especially when using the standard cXML protocols and the localized content is consistently reviewed for accuracy.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Hotenda at University Sales (800) 930-8896 or via email at University.Sales@digikey.com

 

Bob Brown
Director of Academic Business Development

 

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