ESM Solutions Announces a New Strategic Partnership with PunchOut2Go

What is a punchout

In the procure-to-pay world, a supplier’s best option for a contracted catalog is often a punchout. A punchout catalog can be maintained in real-time as a close replication of the supplier’s actual website - much different from the non-configurable product list that is a hosted catalog. Suppliers will often opt for a punchout catalog because they know it will be easy to manage and aesthetically pleasing for buyers. Benefits of a punchout catalog include the use of modern-day eCommerce functionalities such as related products, enhanced search and cross sells, which give users a desirable and familiar B2C experience.

Blog Image - PO2Go LogoThe problem? Once registered with an eProcurement provider, many suppliers come to a roadblock if they do not have the technical capabilities to build a punchout catalog or to enable their site for punchout. Even if they do complete an in-house integration, their next customer may use a procurement system that requires completely different formats to achieve punchout.  Luckily, PunchOut2Go has the solution to make B2B integrations easy, saving everyone time and money.

Why work together

As a leading eProcurement provider, ESM Solutions strives to find the best opportunities to improve the customer experience by collaborating with other innovative companies. For suppliers in need of a catalog, ESM Solutions’ partner PunchOut2Go has the technical expertise to build a punchout from start to finish. “ESM Solutions is excited to partner with PunchOut2Go,” said Tom Van Houten, VP of Business Development at ESM Solutions, “Our partnership will be cost-effective and will streamline the supplier on-boarding process for our customers.”

Suppliers can expect their punchouts to be completed in under 30 days, and sometimes in even less than a week. This is largely due to PunchOut2Go’s efficient manner of working closely with the supplier’s developers to simplify the process. Similarly, PunchOut2Go collaborates with the buyer’s procurement team and procurement system provider to run tests and ensure a smooth pre- and post-integration.

“Ultimately, this will streamline punchouts and integrations on ESM Solutions’ side.” said Brady Behrman, CEO of PunchOut2Go.

How they got here

About seven years ago, a mom-and-pop store in Richmond, Virginia needed a punchout catalog for their largest customer, the state of Virginia. They were told that without a punchout, they would lose the State’s business when the State switched to eProcurement.

At the time, there was no real solution for building a punchout. The mom-and-pop owners turned to PunchOut2Go’s current CEO and COO, Brady Behrman and Shawn McKnight, who were then working on web development and design. Nevertheless, the two web developers took on the project, and in about 6 months, they completed the integration. After realizing the need for a gateway solution, Behrman and McKnight spent years working towards this easier, adaptable solution. As a result, PunchOut2Go was launched in 2012. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, the company has seen remarkable growth with prominent suppliers in almost 30 countries benefiting from their services.

What makes them stand out

Since they chose not to use a cookie-cutter mold, PunchOut2Go can integrate to any platform. With plug-and-play modules for open-source eCommerce platforms such as Magento, the customer can “totally control their punchout… We don’t control it,” said Behrman. Another benefit of this module is the ability to customize punchouts to match the look and feel of the supplier’s existing website. Beyond Magento, PunchOut2Go is a truly adaptable solution that can be integrated into any eCommerce platform through PunchOut2Go’s open API. Many eCommerce providers package and deliver PunchOut2Go’s integration solution as an additional offer for their customers. Suppliers also benefit from the ability to test, emulate and gain visibility through the PunchOut2Go portal and can capture data from the punchout movements to measure conversion rates and more.

While many providers only offer the service of building a punchout, PunchOut2Go exceeds the standard requirements. They provide education beyond the integration so that a supplier can understand the functionality of their punchout. Even more impressive is their ongoing effort to educate suppliers on customers’ expectations and preferences for punchout catalogs, providing the due diligence before engaging with the supplier’s customer or procurement integration team.

Where they’re going next

Beyond the new partnership with ESM Solutions, PunchOut2Go has plenty in store for the future as they continue to grow. When asked what is next for his company, Behrman stated they are working on “more turn-key solutions for different eCommerce platforms.” Other projects included improvements to PO and invoice capabilities, as well as document translation services, such as converting cXML to EDI and end-to-end B2B automation.

In the future, working with PunchOut2Go will save ESM Solutions and suppliers time and resources with a smooth process that allows for an easy integration and fast turn-around.

To learn more about the ESM Solutions/Punchout2Go partnership, please email
suppliernetwork@esmsolutions.comOur process follows that the supplier starts with ESM Solutions and receives a referral.