Join circle360

catalog360 is host to 1.9m products from a global network of suppliers.

circle360 encourages suppliers to upload their catalogues and benefit from the ordering potential created by purchasing teams in over 150 countries that placed orders via catalog360 in 2013.

This remarkable opportunity to do business with some of the world’s largest buying organisations is FREE to join.

New suppliers are always welcome! Don’t wait to be asked click here to join circle360.


catalog360 is a GS1 Accredited Solution Provider

GS1 standards have been a key component in retail supply chains for over 40 years, in the process it has generated savings for both retailers and suppliers through greater efficiency.

In May this year the NHS committed to making GS1 standards central to driving procurement efficiencies to the value of £1.5bn by the end of 2015-16 in the new NHS eProcurement Strategy.

catalog360 are an Accredited GS1 Solution Provider having proven proficiency in both the GS1 System and GDSN (Global Data Synchronisation Network) and are ready to offer advice to NHS Trusts or NHS Suppliers who need assistance in conforming with the mandates outlined in the eProcurement Strategy.

PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online)

peppol1PEPPOL is the messaging standard mandated in the NHS eProcurement Strategy published in May 2014.

What does this mean?

PEPPOL enables the NHS and its suppliers to use standardised connection for eOrdering, eInvoicing, electronic Credit Notes and Advance Shipping Notifications.

For NHS suppliers it means that transaction documentation will need to be electronically transmitted using the PEPPOL messaging standard in order to comply with the new NHS Standard Contract.

catalog360 is a member of Open Peppol which is an association that has assumed full responsibility for the development and maintenance of the PEPPOL specifications, building blocks and its services and implementation across Europe.

If you would like the opportuntity for an obligation free discussion about how to comply with this mandate contact catalog360.

NHS eProcurement Strategy 2014

In the NHS eProcurement Strategy published in May 2014 Dr Dan Poulter MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health announced a number of mandatory measures aimed at delivering procurement efficiencies to the value of £1.5bn by the end of 2015-16.

Central to the new e-Procurement strategy is the establishment of GS1 the global coding standard and the PEPPOL messaging standard.

“Previous efforts to improve eProcurement in the NHS have been patchy due to a lack of central direction. We have now mandated the use of the GS1 and PEPPOL standards by amending the NHS Standard Contract to require compliance with this NHS eProcurement strategy. We have also required suppliers to place their product data in a GS1 certified datapool by amending the NHS Terms and Conditions for the Supply of Goods and the Provision of Services.”


If you are a supplier to the NHS and would like to have an informal discussion about how the eProcurement Strategy impacts your business contact us…

Why sell-side e-commerce shopping carts are not the future for buy-side e-commerce

It is no surprise that the ordering interfaces used by the majority of e-procurement systems are based upon shopping cart technology that has been evolved on the sell side of e-commerce (aka Amazon). That is where the majority of investment in catalog development was focussed after the advent of web-based ordering.

However, as more and more purchasing departments are implementing P2P systems, electronic catalogs are now central to the creation and approval of requisitions. In order to make their use a more efficient and rewarding experience for buyers, significant changes are needed to a typical electronic catalog’s feature list to fully optimise it for buy-side use.

The following technologies can now assist in making major improvements in buy-side catalogs leading to happier buyers as well as promoting compliant purchasing.

Product Discovery
Whether accessing a catalog from within an internal procurement system or using PunchOut to connect to a supplier’s catalog, the multi-step, multi-page browse-and-select to product discovery can be time-consuming and frustrating, and even open the door to off-catalog or maverick spend.

The problem is often compounded by search tools which rarely go beyond an exact match capability. The elephant in the room is poor quality product data derived from ERP-system exports where long descriptions are a novelty and images a fantasy!

Suggestive Search
Advances in search technology can compensate for poor quality catalog data by delivering suggested results based upon the details entered in the search field. This can be coupled with ‘Did you mean’ results for search phrases that contain spelling errors or near misses.

Content Enrichment Engines
These can speed up the enhancement of product data quality by facilitating improvements such as localisation, conversion of measurements, addition of specification attributes and longer descriptions.

Catalog Views
Product relevance can be greatly improved by use of catalog views that ensure that users only see products that they are authorised to buy.

Rapid Entry
Having searched for and selected the required products it is then important to be able to efficiently create an order or purchase requisition.

We are convinced that conventional shopping carts are not suitable for rapid requisition or order construction as they are normally based upon an out-dated multi-page, category browsing interface.

Purchasing teams need to have a high speed flexible interface for building an order and again the technologies exist to make this possible.

The answer is a single page form – an intelligent order pad – which enables rapid order entry with every line having suggestive search capability to locate and add products, ideal for building a multi-line order quickly.  Using the latest web technologies each line operates with near-instant responsiveness even presenting in-place complex configurable products, smart forms and delivery options.

Excel Import – import of a pre-constructed multi-line requisition from a spreadsheet.

In order for procurement teams to increase their value within their organisation, maximisation of compliant managed spending is of paramount importance. Central to this is creating an efficient, intuitive buying experience using the latest catalog technologies.

To see these exciting developments in action, request a free a trial.

Introducing: catalog360

We wanted to let you know about the recent updates to our cloud-based services. SiteSphere Supplier, Showcase and Store have become catalog360, a unified cloud-based solution for eProcurement and B2B catalogs ideal for both buyers and suppliers.

We’ve been providing B2B catalogs since 2000, and now host many PunchOut catalogs for many leading organisations and smaller suppliers world-wide. In the last 7 days alone over 500,000 products were transacted on the catalog360 cloud.

We love solving our clients catalog and eProcurement challenges, and it would be great to hear from you again. Please get in touch and we’ll arrange a FREE catalog360 trial with your products loaded within 2 business days!

Best wishes,
Peter Chapman
CEO, catalog360 Limited

Why catalog360 is the right solution for you

Many large organisations use Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) software.

It is increasingly a requirement of these companies that their suppliers must provide an eCatalog that is able to connect to their purchasing software using either the Ariba Supplier Network, SAP Open catalog Interface (OCI) or other cXML-compatible methods. catalog 360 is a proven ready-to-go PunchOut e-commerce solution, which enables suppliers to connect their store directly to the buying software used by purchasing departments of large organisations. This allows suppliers to access this large market sector, and so greatly increase their customer base.

SAP Open catalog Interface (OCI) is a method of connecting a supplier’s online store directly to the special purchasing software used by many large buying organisations. Buyers are able to punch out from the SAP purchasing software into a supplier’s online store, and details of items selected are returned to the purchasing software in a purchase order. This has advantages to the buying organisation, in being able to control spending patterns and costs, and also limit purchases to approved suppliers. It also has advantages for the supplier, in being able to get preferential access to large buying organisations, in addition to cutting error rates, reduced invoice queries and increase sales.

So what do we guarantee you’ll get from catalog 360?

An Efficient Order Process for You & Your Key Customers

  • Reduces Ordering Errors
  • 100% Accurate Contract Pricing
  • Saves Order Processing Costs
  • Eliminates Invoice Queries for Faster Settlement
  • Improves Key Customer Retention

catalog 360: Ready-to-go PunchOut solution

  • Proven eCommerce platform – since 2000
  • Cloud-based Product Information Manager
  • Customer-specific Products & Pricing
  • Easy-to-use Buyer catalog
  • Low Setup Costs and Subscription
  • Zero Transaction Fees
  • PCI-DSS Compliant Security
  • UK Support Team

catalog 360 provides a cost-effective PunchOut solution to fit your needs.

PunchOut Terms Explained

In this second article on PunchOut we look at some terms used and what they mean:

Level II PunchOut is a PunchOut-enabled website with the special ability to allow the buyer to punch-out directly to an item from within a procurement system.

OCI (Open Catalog Interface) is the standard format used by SAP Supplier Relationship Management and Microsoft Dynamics AX when connecting to external punch-out catalogs.

The OCI format is used to define the field mapping between the supplier’s catalog and the SAP SRM shopping cart, to ensure that the data is transferred accurately and completely between source and receiver. This standard is used instead of XML or cXML

cXML (commerce eXtensible Markup Language) is a protocol, created by Ariba, intended for the communication of business documents between procurement applications, e-commerce hubs and suppliers.

cXML is based on XML and provides formal XML schemas for standard business transactions, allowing programs to modify and validate documents without prior knowledge of their form.

The protocol does not include the full breadth of interactions some parties may wish to communicate. However, it can be expanded through the use of extrinsic elements and newly-defined domains for various identifiers.

Roundtrip (Punch-out) functionality allows suppliers to maintain branded content on their own web site but provide buyers with the ability to automatically login by clicking a link from within their eprocurement software program. During the automatic login process the buyers eprocurement software passes the supplier site credentials which authenticate the buyer and allow the supplier to display buyer / account specific items and pricing.

After products are selected by the buyer, the Roundtrip service automatically brings the required item details back into the buyer’s eprocurement program for purchasing. At this point, the order is routed through the normal requisition and approval processes and eventually converted into a purchase order that is sent back to the supplier for order fulfillment.

SiteSphere Supplier provides a cost-effective PunchOut solution to fit your needs. Click here for more details.

What is PunchOut?

Background of eProcurement

The world of purchasing changed significantly with the introduction of eprocurement systems. Massive returns on investment were promised and the whole purchasing world was about to be revolutionised – all for a few million investment.

It was envisioned this would be done by rationalising the supply base to an absolute minimum and then ensuring no off-contract buying was done by enforcing purchases through the system. There were also additional savings to be had in the reduction of administration – from purchase orders through to invoice payments.

A small problem

Without a critical mass of suppliers there would be no real return on any investment. The problem was that there were so many different proprietary systems (including Oracle’s iProcurement, Ariba, Commerce One, SAP and a multitude of others) that the cost of supporting multiple catalog formats was prohibitive for suppliers. Even worse was when attempts were made to add services or configurable products to the catalog.

Punch Out

Then along came Punch Out or Round Trip depending on which you prefer, however the principle is the same. This allows end users (buyers) to browse a supplier’s website and to import back into their eprocurement system the details of their purchases, therefore allowing all the same business rules and processes to be applied. This solved problems for configurable products, volatile pricing and some other key supply chain issues.

Simply put then, PunchOut is one of several names given to the technical “protocols” or “routines” that allow suppliers to directly connect their product catalogs to their customers (buyers) eprocurement systems.

SiteSphere Supplier provides a cost-effective PunchOut solution to fit your needs. Click here for more details.

Speed Improvements

In line with our ongoing commitment to improve your daily SiteSphere experience we are pleased to report that our development team have begun to add a number of speed improvements to SiteSphere catalog 360 Admin screens and more are on the way over the next weeks.