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How to create an SAP SRM Punchout Catalog

What do you do if one of your biggest customers tells you their employees aren’t allowed to order products from your site because they have their own internal purchasing system?  That’s exactly what happened to our customer, Office Relief.

Like many B2B companies, Office Relief — a leading retailer of ergonomic office equipment —  has complex relationships with its customers.  Many of those customers have their own private catalogs with negotiated contract prices and terms. In addition, some of those customers even have their own internal purchasing systems with their own procurement rules. For Office Relief, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is one of those customers.

The real challenge here was to create a punchout catalog that would place shopping cart items into PG&E’s SRM system while maintaining the integrity of the product, pricing and availability information in Office Relief’s SAP system.

And that’s what we did.  Here’s how…

PG&E wanted to offer its employees a way to browse and “shop” the Office Relief catalog.  But, instead of purchasing directly from Office Relief, which would have violated PG&E’s purchasing procedures, shoppers needed to be returned to PG&E’s Supplier Relationship Management System (SRM) system.

Office Relief already had a B2B eCommerce solution that featured real-time integration between Magento and SAP.  (Read the case study)

Our task was to re-purpose that Magneto site to meet PG&E’s purchasing requirements and integrate with their system.

We create SAP-integrated B2B eCommerce catalogs every day.  So, that part wasn’t new and different.

Design Constraints

Our solution needed to work with the following constraints:

Business Requirements

PG&E shoppers wanted:

  • A user-friendly shopping interface that will allow them view product information and images so they could make selections
  • Compatibility with PG&E’s Supplier Relationship Management System

Office Relief’s marketing managers wanted:

  • To own the creation and maintenance of their catalog content.
  • One unified system to manage all of their custom b2b catalogs (Magento Community edition)

What We Did

  • Repurposed Office Relief’s existing Magento catalog just for PG&E’s employees
  • Displayed only PG&E’s contract-based products, product features, and pricing, as defined by the information in Office Relief’s SAP system
  • Integrated the new, custom storefront into PG&E’s SRM system

The Results

  • Happy shoppers (the procurement process is now an intuitive, b2c-like shopping experience)
  • Happy suppliers (the content management & maintenance is no different from their regular process)
  • Happy procurement staff (purchase order requests are placed directly into SAP and follow established business rules)

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