Describing the Catalog Functionality

Objective

After completing this lesson, you will be able to Describe the purpose of catalog functionality.

Catalog Functionality

This lesson will provide a high level overview of the catalog functionality available to suppliers on SAP Business Network.

What are Catalogs?

To communicate product and service offerings to buying organizations, suppliers can upload and store catalogs on SAP Business Network. Catalogs describe the products and services that the supplier offers.

After a supplier uploads a catalog to SAP Business Network for validation, they can publish the catalog to specific customers. SAP Business Network then notifies those customers by email that new catalogs are available. The customer downloads and approves the catalogs for use with their procurement solution, and their users can then search the catalog for the product or services they need.

Types of Catalogs

Catalogs can be created and uploaded in several different file formats, including:

  • Excel: Created with word processors, text editors, or spreadsheet applications
  • CIF: Created with an XML or text editor
  • PunchOut: Interactive catalogs that are hosted on a supplier's own website

Benefits of Electronic Catalogs

An electronic catalog is a detailed listing of a supplier's offerings. It contains information such as:

  • Part numbers
  • Descriptions
  • Prices
  • Delivery times
  • Units of measure

It serves the same purpose as a paper catalog except it can be used by a buyer's automated procurement system. Suppliers receive better purchase orders because they contain data directly from the supplier's electronic catalog. Supplier's don't have to worry about users who manually retype from a paper catalog or reinterpret the content.

As long as the catalog contains correct data, the purchase orders a supplier receives will also have the correct data. The same product information will appear in each document in the transaction flow.

The benefit here is that suppliers will see fewer PO's with manually typed line items. Common problems from non-catalog purchase orders are:

  • Incorrect pricing
  • Inaccurate descriptions and wrong part numbers
  • Unable to be processed automatically by supplier system

Correct pricing means suppliers get paid quicker and more accurately.

Benefits of PunchOut Catalogs

Why Use a PunchOut Catalog?

PunchOut catalogs allow the supplier to specify a link that enables customers to punch out from their procurement system to the supplier's website and shop for products and services there.

Business Benefits of PunchOut Catalogs

  • Market to customers: Suppliers have complete control of the shopping session and marketing to buyers.
  • Display specific content: Suppliers can identify shoppers and tailor the list of available products and services and their prices.
  • Keep your branding: Suppliers are able to use their existing branding to provide customers with a unique shopping experience.

Technical Benefits of PunchOut Catalogs

  • Show live prices and availability: Supplier websites are the best place to display offerings, current prices, and availability.
  • Receive more accurate orders: All information is pulled directly from the Supplier's website.

Creating a Catalog

This supplier tutorial describes how to create a supplier catalog by using the SAP Ariba Excel catalog template and also reviews the available catalog fields in the template.

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