There can be some wild variations in our experience as to what someone considers to be a quote and the type of universal solution it truly takes to handle every one of them.
But before we get into the weeds, let’s discuss some common scenarios and how the Vurbus PunchOut solution can address and accommodate these scenarios and be absolutely game-changing.
While freeform orders are not part of what we consider to be a quote, we have seen it mentioned as such.
A free form order typically comes from your buyer’s procurement platform but does not have a PunchOut session prefacing it.
These orders are manually inputted by users of the procurement platform and sent over as if it was just a regular order. Of course, the Vurbis validation service can quickly catch on and throw a warning, holding the order and notifying you by email.
Next, you can inspect the order and either process it or let the customer know that the freeform order’s information is not sufficient to process further. The main reasons for this are usually wrongly formatted SKU values or mistyped pricing information.
Of course, we can allow free form orders to pass automatically through to eCommerce, but we would advise against that. You really don’t want to be sending out that Apple Macbook for a mere $10.
One area where quotes are common ground is in the customized branding industry.
There are ways to add prices to predefined products, but when the buyer is given a choice to add their own logo, the quote module is chosen to handle the pricing aspect of it. This is most likely, due to the high amount of variables to come to a good price (e.g., number of colors, amount of products, urgency, delivery location, etc.). Usually, the entire store platform is zero priced.
What we do to handle this scenario is to activate our quote module.
This module is managed completely by our cloud platform and if you have our PunchOut extension installed, you don’t even have to add anything else to your eCommerce platform.
How cool is that?
From the buyer’s perspective, there are now two steps to their PunchOut process.
Step one is starting a roundtrip, adding the required products to the cart and placing the quote request. Once the supplier has added the correct product parameters (e.g., mockup images, pricing information, shipping cost, etc.), the buyer will be notified that a quote is ready. Once a quote is active and ready to be picked up, the buyer will be redirected to a quote overview page the next time they Punchout.
From there, they can choose to either create more quotes or add the previously requested quote to the cart. Once they do that, they are logged into a regular PunchOut session and return the cart to their procurement platform. Thus continuing the PunchOut flow towards a well-formatted invoice.
Another scenario we see a lot is a mixed store, where only some of the products are purchasable on request. This is seen across a multitude of branches, but the three major ones, based on our experience, would be Laboratory Equipment, Books and Technology.
To solve this puzzle, we use the same trifecta of products; the Vurbis Marketplace, it’s Quote Module and our PunchOut extension. Even if you don’t have a quote procedure in place, we’ve got you covered.
Using our frontend modifiers, we can adjust your webshop, just for users in a PunchOut session. Let’s say they encounter a product with a status of “On Request.” We can dynamically add a script to that button, which will open up a modal. They will see the products currently on their quote request and any extra fields, which can be defined on-demand. From there, the buyer can choose to add more products to the requestor by simply sending it over to you for further processing.
Once the buyer hits ‘Send,’ the request will be sent over and picked up by our quote module. It will notify you that there has been a quote request and you can add a price and other information to your heart’s desire. From here on out, it will continue the same flow as outlined in the previous ‘Quotes only’ block.
Lastly, there are cases where the buyer doesn’t have a procurement system at all. All they want are some rudimentary procurement features to manage and approve purchases across different departments and users.
For this, we have a module that we refer to as Mini Procurement. Again, this uses the same core set of products to accomplish an entirely different feat. The buyer will be able to initiate a PunchOut session straight from our Vurbis Marketplace portal towards your shop. The shopping process will be unaffected, but on the cart page, they will create a quote in the Mini Procurement portal. This quote can then be approved or denied either by an admin in the interface directly or by email based on a predefined list of mandated approvers. Simple, yet very effective and combinable with any of the earlier outlined features.