If you outsource your IT services and you’ve been asked to provide a punchout catalog, how’s it going? Has it been a while since you’ve heard anything back from your IT folks?
Did they know what you were talking about? Did they have a plan to make it happen?
Before I go any further, I want to be clear that I’m not disparaging outsourced IT services (or internal departments, for that matter). I’m sure (in most cases) you’re partnered with a team of professionals providing you with excellent support for your IT infrastructure and business processes.
But if punchout is the new “challenge” you’ve laid at their feet, and they aren’t responding quickly, you might need to consider a different approach. And quickly.
Why the urgency? Let’s put it this way; think of a simple service-based question your potential customer may ask you in the sales process. Something like… “Do you deliver overnight?”
The customer isn’t interested in your complex shipping issues, or whether you outsource your shipping. They’re looking for a simple answer: yes or no.
And in today’s rapidly evolving B2B e-commerce world, when a prospect or customer asks you if you can provide a punchout for their eprocurement platform, they’re looking for the same answer; yes or no.
Say ‘No’, and you’re likely to lose the business. So, like most hungry salesmen/business owners, you say ‘yes’. And there’s where many suppliers get into trouble. Particularly those who use outsourced IT companies or internal IT departments who’ve never even heard of PunchOut catalogs.
The problem is that bigger clients – those with e-procurement systems – are used to dealing with suppliers who can provide punchout catalogs now. Not after your IT provider figures it out. So if you do say ‘yes’, you have to be ready to deliver quickly. Take too long and you’ll end up looking bad, and losing the opportunity forever. I’ve seen it many times.
If you’ve been asked to provide a PunchOut catalog, and want to avoid that scenario, we can help.
Let’s be clear; CoreXpand doesn’t want to compete with your IT service provider. We don’t provide IT services.
We provide comprehensive, direct B2B ecommerce and eprocurement solutions, and we want nothing more than to help you be a success with your customers.