If you’re considering investing in a hosted catalogs for your business, you may be wondering what it is and how it can benefit you. In short, a hosted catalogs is an eCommerce solution that allows businesses to outsource hosting and managing their online product catalogs.
Suppliers frequently wonder whether it would be better to use a hosted catalogs or punchout catalog for their customers who utilize an eProcurement system. However, both choices come with perks.
What is Hosted Catalogs?
A Hosted Catalogs is a supplier’s listing of offered goods and products that their customer can access on an eProcurement system. The eProcurement system provides potential buyers with a static spreadsheet that includes essential product information, such as the name, price, and description. With this file, buyers can compare prices between suppliers and make purchases.
Although the hosted catalogs is a quicker and easier option to set up, it has many challenges that must be addressed. Primarily, there is less flexibility since it is not interactive. The only user interface available is within the eProcurement system, limiting the supplier’s ability to upsell or cross-sell. Out-of-date catalogs from suppliers can cause a lot of problems for eProcurement systems. If prices or content stay mostly the same, it might not be such a big deal. But for most suppliers with price changes all the time, constantly uploading new files into the system can become quite a nightmare. And suppose an ordered product is out of stock or priced incorrectly because its corresponding catalog entry needed to be updated at the time of purchase. In that case, chances are that supplier will have to honor whichever older price is still listed in their now hosted (but outdated) file.
Six benefits of Hosted catalogs:
1. No Maintenance
Suppliers must upload and update their hosted catalogs and punch cards. This allows buyers to enforce compliance with contracts before prices go live internally. You can also take advantage of new content, such as videos and blogs, without waiting for your catalog to be updated.
2. More Accurate Data
Catalogs are available online and linked to supplier’s databases, providing buying organizations with a 360 view of item availability and discounts on delivery costs.
3. Simplified and centralized purchases
Users can only see the prices that have been negotiated when they access catalogs through our cloud-based procurement platform.
4. Amazon like user experience
The procurement process is transparent for the stakeholders, and item categories are streamlined. This makes it easy to find what you need and track progress.
5. Improved productivity
Automating your purchase order validation workflows and order life cycles will save you time to focus on more important tasks.
6. Native ERP Interface
Integration of purchase requests/orders into your ERP system.
Hosted Catalog vs Punch Out
One can find electronic catalogs in any of the following two forms:
Hosted Catalogs can be accessed and archived through the P2P system of either the customer or service provider.
PunchOut provides an interface between the customer’s E-procurement solution and the supplier’s website. This makes it easier for customers to find your products and purchase them directly from your site.
Each solution is designed to address the specific needs of the customer’s organization. Here is the major difference between the two types of catalogs:
|Hosted Catalog||Punch Out Catalog|
|Creation||The supplier must submit a CSV document (or equivalent) that meets the required format.||The customer can view the supplier’s range on their website.|
|Publication||By the P2P solution’s customer or supplier.||The supplier adheres to the commercial conditions its website outlines.|
|Data verification||The customer will receive each catalog with their delivery.||The supplier submits reports on product consumption and price changes to the customer. The customer’s standard (UNSPSC) and specific product codes are supported.|
|Reporting||Ad hoc reports.||The supplier offers reports on product consumption and compliance and access to all the technical documentation related to the transaction (order, delivery note, track & trace, etc.)|
|Product searches||All of the ranges on our solution’s search engine are common and are based on the data we provide.||The supplier’s e-commerce site includes a search engine that uses data from the website. There is also support for creating lists of favorite products and reviewing previous orders.|
|Updates||To create a smooth workflow, it is necessary to reduce the number of outdated products.||Automatically performed tasks on the e-commerce site.|
If your company sells strategic products that are very specific and occur regularly, then hosted catalogs would be your best option. However, if you want to manage strategic purchases with a much wider range of products, PunchOut systems would better suit your needs. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which system will work better for streamlining your purchasing process!
Questions to ask when choosing between a Hosted Catalog vs Punch Out?
Should we choose a punchout or hosted catalogs system? Here are some questions that may help you decide:
- Should users buy certain items because of rebates or deals?
- Would it be beneficial to users if we had supplier-specific site features?
- Are you able to be alerted of any updates regarding products or pricing?
- How important is it for my organization to have control over a specific category of spend?
- Are there any products my suppliers offer that users shouldn’t buy? Can the suppliers restrict access to these items?
Keep your end goal and procurement objectives in mind when you compare a punchout catalog solution to a hosted one. Technologically speaking, punchouts are less complicated than making a hosted catalogs. Nevertheless, while punchouts may save time right away from a procurement angle, they only give access to the supplier site’s features.
1. What is hosted catalogs in Coupa?
Hosted catalogs are storehouses of product data your customers can access and search from the main Coupa homepage. You can make a catalog using the Coupa catalog template (.csv) and upload it into Coupa, or your customers can directly upload hosted catalogs themselves through the CSP. If you choose to upload them yourself, remember that once your customer approves, they will be available within Coupa.
2. What are the Buyer Benefits from the Hosted catalogs in Coupa?
One of the benefits of using a hosted catalogs is that it is easy to maintain and update. Any changes you make to the product data will be visible immediately so that you can keep your catalog up-to-date easily. This also makes it easy to keep track of any updates your suppliers may make to their products.
3. What are the Supplier Benefits from the Hosted catalogs in Coupa?
Hosted catalogs are storehouses of product data your customers can access and search from the main Coupa homepage. You can make a catalog using the Coupa catalog template (.csv) and upload it into Coupa, or your customers can directly upload hosted catalogs themselves through their CSP account.
4. How do the Hosted catalogs work in Coupa?
The process is simple: you upload the catalog into Coupa, and once your customer approves it, it will be available within Coupa. Your customers can then access the catalog from the main Coupa homepage and search for products using the various filters and search options.
5. How to upload hosted catalogs items into Coupa?
You can upload hosted catalog items into Coupa using the Coupa catalog template (.csv). Once you’ve saved the template to your computer, you can fill it out with the relevant product information and then upload it into Coupa. Remember to check with your customer before uploading the catalog, as they will need to approve it before it becomes available.
Hosted catalogs are a great way to keep your product data organized and up-to-date. They are easy to maintain and can be accessed by your customers from the main Coupa homepage. If you’re looking for a simpler way to manage your catalog, hosted catalogs may be the right solution!