In 1999 in San Jose, California, at Ariba’s first-ever user conference, PageDNA became the first ever company in the world to demonstrate a cXML “PunchOut”. This new integrative technology would revolutionize the eCommerce industry and is still alive today, 24 years later. 

The PunchOut function integrates with eProcurement systems, which allow corporations to bring multiple vendors into a single, shared catalog. PunchOut allows shoppers to enter their company’s eProcurement catalog and purchase not just commodities, but also to order highly customizable items, like business cards, all within the same order. 

What Is cXML?

cXML, which stands for Commerce XML, is an industry-standard language for how business software communicates between eCommerce stores, eProcurement catalogs, and other business systems. It was created by Ariba (now SAP Ariba) as a way for suppliers to provide their products in one easy-to-access touchpoint that provides one-stop shopping for buyers. 

cXML vs. EDI

While electronic data interchange (EDI) was a popular method for software communication, cXML is now considered the default for many software solutions. Compared to EDI, cXML is easier for users to adjust to their needs, which has led it to become the dominant eCommerce protocol. 

What Is an eProcurement System?

Most large companies use an eProcurement system, a piece of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, to streamline their procurement processes. ERP software provides a one-stop shop where people can order everything they need from a singular catalog that spans every vendor for their company.

When a requestor orders through their company’s eProcurement system, they’re taken to one catalog where they can order multiple items from different vendors – all during the same session. Instead of going to a different website for each vendor, they can order pens, business cards, a video projector, and services to install the projector all from the same place! But how does this work, especially for printed items? Through a unique feature called a cXML PunchOut.

PunchOut: cXML and eProcurement 

The cXML PunchOut feature is the key to connecting cXML and ERP systems. Not only is it a lucrative opportunity for both internal and commercial printers to explore, but many large enterprise clients also require their vendors to provide PunchOut integration in order to even be a supplier. These large companies utilize internal ERP software for procurement. If your print shop can fit into these types of systems, you’ll see your business and revenue skyrocket.

How a PunchOut Works

Not only does a PunchOut make it easier for shoppers to buy from your print shop, but it also makes it easier for larger companies to use your services. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of how a cXML PunchOut works for printed materials.

  1. A user enters the streamlined catalog provided by their company’s eProcurement system and selects the products they want to buy, such as business cards or posters. 
  2. The catalog “punches out” the shopper to the PageDNA Catalog, where they can enter more details about their order, such as quantity and any imprint customizations. 
  3. The eProcurement system returns the shopper to the streamlined catalog to finish shopping and continue to payment.
  4. Once the order is approved within the eProcurement process, the order is released by PageDNA into our automated workflow.

Benefits of the cXML PunchOut

The cXML PunchOut is an effective way to integrate your printing business with the eCommerce world. You can learn more about the benefits of this ERP integration below. 

Easy Ordering (Even for Custom Jobs)

Ordering printed materials isn’t as easy as buying a pen. The cXML PunchOut allows printers to integrate their ordering platforms with enterprise eProcurement systems. That means shoppers can order printed materials, customize them, and proof and approve layouts all within their company’s official ERP procurement system. 

Bigger Accounts

Large enterprise businesses need vendors who can integrate with their ERP software. Being able to provide that integration with a cXML PunchOut will help your internal print shop or commercial print sales business sign a new caliber of customer. 

Loyal Customers

Offering cXML integration also means your customers will stick around longer. If you continue to meet them where they are, they’ll stay loyal to your business.

Meet Client Requirements

cXML is on the rise, and it’s not going anywhere soon. Many CFOs and purchasing managers are making the decision to use an ERP system. When they do, they’ll ask current vendors if they can or want to sell with them. Having cXML capabilities means you’ll be ready to say yes.  

Centralized Oversight

The main reason most CFOs and purchasing managers use ERP is because it makes managing easier. An ERP system provides centralized oversight of all procurement activities. This improves overall efficiency. ERP software also aggregates data into singular reports for all vendors and handles payments upstream. 

PageDNA: Pioneers of the cXML PunchOut

PageDNA, along with SAP Ariba, revolutionized the ERP world by showcasing the first ever cXML PunchOut in 1999. Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses integrate their print catalogs into large enterprise eProcurement systems. 

You can expand your business’s reach by using PageDNA. Our integration features and cXML capabilities connect with the most popular ERP software. And our list of compatible software only continues to grow! If you don’t see the one you’re looking for, reach out to our team. 

While all integrations aren’t exactly the same, they largely follow the same process. We also have a low standardized cost for these integrations. Furthermore, our team leads this process for you. We’ll make sure to ask the right questions and help you avoid risks so you can be up and integrating within a few weeks! 

Let Us Help You Integrate! 

If you’re starting to explore a cXML PunchOut, the team at PageDNA can help. We commonly meet with customers to support their integration efforts and help them learn more about cXML and ERPs. Please reach out to to learn more and schedule your demo today.

Schedule a Demo