Check out the webinar Q&A.  More Q&A tomorrow.  You can view the replay by clicking here.


Q: Is there an optimal (best practice) ratio between the number of catalogs and the items therein that enables user adoption while still driving product standardization and pooling?


A: Ideally product standardization would happen up front during the strategic sourcing project.  However, if you do have multiple suppliers for the same items, you can drive end users to purchase the “preferred” item by using tools in procurement applications such as relevance ranking and icons indicating a preferred item.


Q: Do you have some examples of which supplier are already level 2 ready?

A: Some some Level 2 compliant suppliers include: Ebsco Information, Cellular Accessories for Less, Markmaster, and SHI.


Q: Do you recommend that the supplier manages data input for CIF or an internal user?


A: It is recommended that the supplier manages the data input for the CIF.  Normally a supplier is able to provide some type of data export that is easier than having the buying organization create CIFs in house.  For some suppliers where perhaps only a handful of items are purchased (less than 10 for example), it may make sense for the buying organization to create this catalogs internally.


Q: I have several customers using cif catalogs as well as PunchOut.  cif catalogs have been challenging because many customers want customized column headers plus customized data in some of the column content.  Some may be within the same organization.  Why?


A: Some purchasing organizations are decentralized and required different data elements for accounting, receiving, etc.  Most likely that is why you are seeing varying requirements from within the same organization.


Q: How do you monitor pricing on punch-out catalogs? i.e. to verify if contract pricing is used?


A: This is done by doing a spot audit of the PunchOut site against the contracting pricing on a regular (quarterly suggested) basis.


Q: What measures can an organization take to ensure punchout catalog items are verified against contract. How do you see delta reporting of items added, revised or removed.


A: This is one drawback to PunchOut catalogs.  There is no delta report created as there is with CIF when a new version is uploaded.  The best method is to maintain a list of contracted items and prices and verify manually on a regular basis.


Q: Can punch out be specific to our organization?

A: Yes, almost all PunchOut sites are set up to be specific to each individual buying organization


Q: Can i tell the supplier to standarize a punchout catalog the way I want it to show for my users?


A: Most suppliers have a standard look and feel to their PunchOut site across all customers.  You can ask the supplier to customize it for your organization, but it depends on the ability of the supplier to dedicate the resourcing for that effort.  PunchOut sites are customer specific though, so from a technical standpoint, yes this is possible.


Q: what would you recommend to suppliers who want to connect through punchout to Ariba procurement systems... so they can be prepared to take on buyers using Ariba?


A: The best route to take would be for the supplier to get their PunchOut site certified by Ariba as part of the Ariba Ready program.  This will then let new buyers know that the supplier is PunchOut capable and ready to integrate.  More information can be found at: