OCI or Content Catalog? A comparison of solutions.

Solution comparison of pros and cons: OCI punchout or content catalog

OCI or content catalog - what are the advantages, what can be disadvantages?

The decision as to whether eProcurement receives the available offers from content catalogs or by means of OCI punchout is a strategic one that also involves the distribution of power in the customer-supplier relationship. The comparison below provides an overview of all the advantages and disadvantages of OCI punchout and content catalog.

What is an OCI punchout?

OCI stands for Open Catalog Interface and refers to a standard created for the exchange of catalog data in order to integrate orders from external web catalogs into the company's own purchasing process. In this process, the user leaves the eProcurement platform and jumps to the relevant Web store (this is known as the punchout). Here, he compiles his shopping cart, which is then transferred to the eProcurement system. Further processing of the order takes place as usual. The disadvantage of such a solution for the user: For a search across several webshops, these stores have to be searched individually, because a so-called background search is only possible from the OCI standard required for this (i.e., each webshop to be searched must meet this standard). Only with this background search does the user remain in his own system, which makes the work correspondingly easier.

OCI-Punchout hat Vor- und Nachteile

An OCI punchout shifts power to the supplier: the supplier has control over articles, prices and descriptions, and the customer does not have to approve changes. Conversely, daily updated prices are available and articles can be configured according to the offer of the supplier's web store.

Further possibilities with OCI.

OCI is much more than just an interface to a web store! Depending on the store system, many other customer-specific settings can be made: For example, which product range is activated for which customer, which prices apply, etc. OCI not only takes care of automatic registration, but also enables shopping cart communication with the e-procurement system. From version OCI 5.0 onwards, the Validate function is used when items are stored in the shopping cart: this checks the price and availability of the stored products for interim changes when the ordering process is continued. Depending on the supplier's business model, the use of the OCI can therefore become as complex as desired - DIG is on hand as a specialist to assist with implementation.

How does a content catalog work?

A content catalog, on the other hand, is a file that is provided by the supplier and can be conveniently searched directly in eProcurement. In this file, the information on the individual items is kept ready and standardized so that it can be further processed in eProcurement. This data is either physically transferred directly from the supplier's ERP system to the platform or exported in a specific electronically structured format. This catalog data can then be easily transferred using the DIG.catman tool; in addition to the BMEcat catalog data exchange format, DIG can also process an Excel-like file. In the onboarding process, the catalog platform experts from DIG Supplier Management initially support the setup of the catalog on the platform (regardless of the type) as well as the type and scope of data exchange (transmission of orders, etc.).

Find the ideal catalog solution.

As already shown in the list above, it is possible to search offers across any number of content catalogs without any problems, whereas this can only be implemented via OCI if certain technical requirements are met. The biggest difference between the OCI and content catalogs, however, is the price and product range sovereignty: the supplier cannot change its catalog data in the content catalog without the customer approving new prices and articles. These catalog prices can also be negotiated individually (with OCI this is made possible with a customer-specific access).

Another aspect of the catalog is the restriction of the range, especially for sensitive product groups (e.g. only certain protective masks permitted, etc.). However, individual items can also be individually hidden in the OCI punchout. Nevertheless, a catalog in this example offers the customer full decision-making authority.

Any questions about the differences between content and OCI catalogs?

Use an appointment to strategically optimize the catalogs you use.

Dynamic pricing in catalogs

Daily updated prices are important for some product groups. There are two ways to have these available in the e-procurement system: With an OCI connection, these prices are updated daily by the supplier and thus retrieved from their web store. On the other hand, daily updated surcharges or discounts (e.g. depending on raw material prices) can also be dynamically taken into account in the prices in the content catalog. In a DIG project, this was implemented for a customer where weekly fluctuations in metal prices had an impact on the cost of pipes and so on. Instead of manual adjustment, DIG's solution now automatically compares the catalog data with an external server.

For your perfect eProcurement solution:
We will inform you without obligation.