To establish and maintain a high-performing procurement and supply chain function, it’s imperative for leaders to proactively and continuously engage and nurture supplier relationships. Stronger supplier engagement generates, among other things: 

  • New and recurring points of conversation and collaboration. 
  • Sales and networking opportunities. 
  • Cost savings and efficiencies. 
  • Faster scalability and response times. 
  • Resilience during times of economic, operational, or market change. 
  • Minimized price volatility and supply chain risk. 
  • Alignment on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values. 

Two solutions – punchouts and Coupa Advantage – are emblematic of the value of supplier engagement, as explored below. 

How Punchouts Work 

Punchouts are a powerful purchasing channel, allowing Coupa users to access and shop directly on a supplier’s e-commerce website, starting from the Coupa platform. The end user can choose an item from a catalog maintained entirely by the supplier and bring their items back into Coupa to complete the purchase and approval process. 

Purchasing through a punchout is the most efficient and preferred method of procuring goods and services from Coupa because the purchase order and subsequent invoice are transmitted automatically between Coupa and the supplier. This accelerates every aspect of the purchasing process, including request, approvals, purchase order, receiving, invoice, and payment.  

To see punchout purchases in action, view the case study below:

Where to Start With Punchouts 

Not all suppliers have punchout capability, which is why it is important to lead a successful supplier enablement strategy that intentionally identifies key suppliers who are punchout candidates. With the help of an implementation partner and Coupa Growth Owner, procurement teams can run an analysis that identifies active suppliers who have utilized a cXML connection with Coupa. This analysis can also provide insight into total spend and purchasing volume with suppliers, which are key metrics when discussing punchout capabilities with target suppliers. 

Once targeted supplier(s) are identified as potential punchout connections, the following points are key: 

  • Connect account managers with suppliers to kick off the process. Coupa systems specialists, along with a dedicated Coupa Growth Owner, can support these discussions. 
  • Utilize an implementation partner for end-to-end advisory and execution. 
  • Gather all required information from the supplier (or allow the implementation partner to leverage their existing supplier relationships to do this work). 
  • Capitalize on additional training materials, support resources, system administration guidance, and video tutorials in Coupa Compass as needed throughout the process.  

Enabling a punchout does require upfront investment, so it’s highly recommended that an implementation partner be engaged to manage the process as cost-effectively and rapidly as possible. The faster the timeline, the sooner punchout benefits can be realized. 

Configuring Purchasing Experience to Specific Punchout Options 

It’s common for procurement teams and platforms to guide or limit certain user groups to specific punchouts when multiple connections are available. Coupa’s content group functionality enables this flexibility and control by limiting punchout catalog visibility to only relevant users’ purchasing needs.  

In other words, user A can only see or access pre-defined punchout catalogs germane to their needs or level in the organization. Meanwhile, user B will have an entirely different and unique purchasing experience with alternate punchout catalogs. An office manager, for example, is the only user who needs access to a Staples punchout for office supplies. 

Configuring punchouts further – beyond a standard implementation – appropriately tailors end-user purchasing experience for organization-level spend control and efficiency, once again adding greater value to the business. 

Coupa Advantage: Punchouts Made Even Easier   

Available to all Coupa customers, the Coupa Advantage program provides turnkey punchouts with top suppliers that can be instantly enabled in any Coupa instance. By leveraging the collective buying power of hundreds of global customers, Coupa Advantage can maximize savings, pre-qualify suppliers, and reduce the overall sourcing workload for procurement teams. 

The pre-negotiated catalog content from leading cXML suppliers enhances sourcing events, with Coupa handling end-to-end implementation (setup, testing, and go-live) with virtually zero effort required by Coupa users. 

The Coupa Advantage program is broken into two parts: 

  • Instant Advantage delivers pre-negotiated savings, terms, and contracts from dozens of trusted suppliers. 
  • Sourcing Advantage brings customers together to maximize buying power through professionally managed sourcing events. 

An example of purchasing optimization through punchouts can be found in CrossCountry Consulting’s and Amazon Business’s seamless and expedited punchout setup process. Learn more about how choosing Amazon as a punchout can generate new efficiencies at your organization in the case study below:

To maximize continuous supplier engagement and capitalize on seamless sourcing through expert punchouts, contact CrossCountry Consulting