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Using PunchOut Capabilities to Retain Your Biggest Customers


Homeland security corporation logo Alcoa logo “It works within their Oracle system [one of many platforms used by corporations for e-procurement] and it makes it fast and easy for an engineer to go to any computer and order something that’s Alcoa approved right there.”

Gary Williams,
owner of HSC


There are many strategic advantages of ensuring your business is ‘Punchout ready’.

One big advantage, which is vital to any company’s success, is retaining your key customers by implementing PunchOut capabilities in your sales funnels. Such was the case for Homeland Security Corporation (HSC).

HSC is a leading innovator, consultant and implementer of security driven technologies, with over 40 years of experience in the security/surveillance and Process Monitoring industries. For HSC, one of those key customers was Alcoa, the lightweight metals manufacturing giant that pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago.

HSC had served Alcoa for many years using a typical HTML catalog and Alcoa’s own internal ordering mechanism to process orders. But, as is inevitably the case with all large corporations, the time came when those existing methods became outdated and no longer served Alcoa’s preferred purchasing methods.

Alcoa was moving their preferred suppliers to their updated e-procurement system, which required that HSC provide a PunchOut catalog. And so, HSC was faced with a scenario we see regularly, “Adapt or say goodbye.”

Admittedly, according to Gary Williams, owner of HSC, they weren’t able to immediately see the value of such a significant adjustment to their ecommerce capabilities.

Gary explained, “To be honest with you, we didn’t see the value of that until we started talking with Chris (Shults, PunchOut Specialist with CoreXpand; creators of PunchOutCX), who showed us the way. We probably should have done this a long time ago, but we see huge value in it at this point for sure.”


That value is measured in practical ways, including increases in sales. Gary continued, “Number one, it makes the people at Alcoa’s lives much easier when placing orders. They like it. It works within their Oracle system [one of many platforms used by corporations for e-procurement] and it makes it fast and easy for an engineer to go to any computer and order something [that’s Alcoa approved] right there.”

The value of PunchOut capability also opens doors for growth and aggressive pursuit of other large customers (most of which use eprocurement systems). Many suppliers aren’t aware of the potential and wide-spread use of such systems.

As Gary put it, “We didn’t realize how many other large corporate environments there were that require this type of PunchOut. So for us, the value there is also that we can now go market [our PunchOut capability] to other large manufacturers.”

When asked if having this PunchOut capability gave him added confidence to go after more ‘big fish’, Gary responded enthusiastically, “Oh, no question. Not to mention the fact that your [PunchOut catalogs] are very professional looking. It works for us. It’s very to the point, not a lot ‘fluff’ and all that other stuff. It’s straight to the point and it works. For us, that’s huge.”

Some suppliers have a hard time justifying an investment in the whole idea of PunchOuts. For Gary, it’s now become a no-brainer.

Here’s Gary’s advice to any supplier thinking about making themselves PunchOut capable; “If you guys want to go to the next level and get into the bigger environments, to get with some of these bigger companies that use Oracle and these types of e-procurement systems, the only way you’re going to get involved with them is to go through a PunchOut type of system; to be available to their everyday [buyers]. The value of it is tremendous, and I have already told other [suppliers] about it.”

Of course, when you’re ready to make the transition into the world of PunchOut readiness, the technology provider you choose is critical. Corexpand, creator of PunchOutCX, has provided e-commerce solutions to thousands of businesses and served millions of users while securely processing billions of dollars in transactions.

When it comes to CoreXpand’s PunchOutCX, Gary explained the results of his due diligence process; “I contacted 5 or 6 different companies for PunchOut, because I didn’t know who was best. By the time it was done, to be honest with you it was very easy to make the decision to go with [PunchOutCX].”

One of the reasons that decision was easy is the level of expertise and experience of our PunchOut specialists. Gary explains, “Chris Shults was just phenomenal in the way he worked and guided us through what we needed to do. So that made us feel very comfortable.”

“If you guys want to go to the next level and get into the bigger environments, to get with some of these bigger companies that use Oracle and these types of e-procurement systems, the only way you’re going to get involved with them is to go through a PunchOut type of system; to be available to their everyday buyers.”

Gary Williams,
owner of HSC



“We didn’t realize how many other large corporate environments there were that require this type of PunchOut. So for us, the value there is also that we can now go market our PunchOut capability to other large manufacturers.”

Gary Williams,
owner of HSC

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In addition to CoreXpand’s expertise, the costs of PunchOutCX are among the most competitive in the industry. For example, unlike most (if not all) other providers, PunchOutCX does not charge transaction fees. Gary added, “Your pricing structure was fair and reasonable. Other [providers] were trying to charge us huge amounts of money to do the same thing you guys did, although I felt you guys were more technically adept. It was actually pretty easy to make the decision [to use PunchOutCX] once we got all the data.”

Of course, we understand that what matters the most is what happens after the decision is made to use PunchOutCX. And, without tooting our own horn too much, that’s where CoreXpand shines as a company.

In Gary’s words, “CoreXpand was on point the whole time. In fact, the only [delay] we had was from my own lack of time to get you the information you needed. Every time I had a question, you guys got back to me in a very reasonable amount of time which to me is very important. I was very, very satisfied with the process for sure.”

With regard to whether or not he’d recommend CoreXpand’s PunchOutCX to another supplier, Gary had these kind words: “I would definitely say go with CoreXpand. No question about it. I have no qualms about saying that. I have spoken with many of the other [PunchOut] companies. You guys won me over.”

At CoreXpand, we’re dedicated to not just the best possible experience in getting started, but in your continued success.

Even with our team-wide commitment, we were really humbled when Gary paid us the ultimate compliment; his personal endorsement that he put in this way, “I would be more than willing to get on the phone if you had someone who was teetering [on the decision to use PunchOutCX] and let them know the experience I have had with you guys.”

Thanks Gary. We really appreciate that. We’re happy to have you in the PunchOutCX family, and we’re glad we delivered the quality that your key customer relationships deserve.

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