Call Toll Free: 888-623-2374

Request InformationSupport

What is B2B Automation?

B2B automation closes the eProcurement automation loop, integrating your business’s eProcurement platform with your supplier’s B2B eCommerce systems.

B2B automation and integration helps buy-side eProcurement platforms to exchange data with sell-side eCommerce platforms.

It seems as if you can’t open a news site or tech blog without being faced with hot takes about automation. The claims made for automation are impressive: Automation will make humans redundant. Automation is the future of industry. Artificial intelligence will automate everything. In the last couple of months, Forbes has published over 30 articles with automation in the headline.

b2b-automation.jpeg Hype is, of course, not unusual, but where automation is concerned, it’s not all hype — new technologies really are broadening the scope of what we can automate. But there’s nothing new about automation. Businesses have automated processes for decades. That’s what computers are for: they help us to automate processes that would otherwise require tedious and error-prone manual labor.

One of the most important areas businesses have automated in recent years is procurement. Go back a few decades and you’d see offices full of clerks, lawyers, and accountants manually managing the procurement process. Go back twenty years and it was all email, faxes, phone calls, and complicated document packages. Today, many businesses have automated these processes.

They adopted eProcurement and spend management systems that implement accountable procurement processes. eProcurement ensures that every box is ticked and that the right people have the information they need to make effective buying decisions when properly adopted. That’s a huge improvement: better supply chain and procurement management can be a competitive advantage.

But there is a fly in the eProcurement ointment. There are hundreds of eProcurement platforms, most of which can’t talk to directly to sell-side eCommerce platforms. Automating internal procurement processes is valuable, but if your eProcurement or spend management platform can’t exchange data with your suppliers' eCommerce stores, Order Management Systems, and ERPs, many of the potential benefits of procurement automation can’t be realized.

B2B automation bridges the gap between buyer and seller platforms. It is the final piece in the procurement automation puzzle, tying together heterogeneous systems for seamless data interchange. Tighter integration ensures that punchout catalogs, purchase orders, status notifications, and invoices are harmonized between eProcurement and eCommerce platforms. The transactions of the procurement process move seamlessly between buyer and seller, allowing each to manage the process on their preferred platform without wasteful and error-prone manual data entry.

Suppliers use hundreds of different eCommerce platforms, and buyers use hundreds of different eProcurement and spend management platforms. There are tens of thousands of possible combinations, which makes comprehensive B2B automation challenging for both buyer and seller. A business with hundreds of buyers may have to implement hundreds of custom integrations to keep their buyers happy, increase efficiency, and lower the cost to serve  — or use different eCommerce platforms for different customers or move eCommerce platforms to satisfy a big customer.

The solution is an abstraction layer that facilitates the integration layer, consuming feeds from buyer and seller, translating and relaying data throughout the procurement process and driving higher levels of automation. That’s the role played by the PunchOut2Go Gateway, which provides this layer and automates B2B workflows involving any eCommerce application and any eProcurement platform.

To find out how PunchOut2Go can add B2B automation to your business’s eProcurement platform, contact us via live chat or complete the form below.

We're glad you are here. Let us help you integrate!

Request more information about PunchOut2Go and our Solutions.