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Internal Catalogue vs Punch Out Catalogue

Catalogue Management has revolutionized the way procurement works in the organizations. Cumbersome procurement years ago has turned into easy shopping experience today, because catalogues provide a way for buyer to search for items and shop. This gives enterprise buyers easy shopping experience similar to consumer websites such as Amazon.

Product Catalogues can be maintained either externally or internally. When catalogues are maintained internally by buyer organization, these are called Internal Catalogue or Internally Hosted Catalogue (IHC). When catalogues are externally hosted by supplier, these are called Punch out catalogue.

Both types of Catalogues provide certain unique advantages.
  • Initial Set Up - Setting internal catalogue is quick and easy where as setting punch out catalogue for the first time require some efforts for setting up connection with supplier website, testing, and making sure fields are mapped correctly. The interface development is required to connect buyer website to supplier’s website using technology such as OCI. Once connection is established,users can use punch out catalogue just like internally hosted catalogue and buy items from supplier. To establish the connection, supplier needs to provide certain parameters such as URL, id, password, etc. Once these parameters are set up, system will ensure that these parameters are passed when call to punch out catalogue is made.
  • Maintenance - Updating internal catalogue is cumbersome process as supplier needs to provide catalogue data to buyer and get it updated in internal catalogue system. So, if frequent changes are required in catalogue, punch out should be preferred.
  • Shopping experience - Internal Catalogues are displayed within Buyer's website, so they provide unified shopping experience to users. Punch Out Catalogues are displayed within Supplier's website, which might have different layout then Buyer's website. So, users might get little confused while buying from Punch Out Catalogue.
  • Down time - Internal catalogue will provide higher level of connectivity as it is installed on Buyer’s server. If supplier catalogue system is down or of there is issue with interface connection, buyer will not be able to shop. This should not be a huge concern though with modern systems.

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