Electronic Partnerships: E-Procurement Systems and Colorado Correctional Industries

ELECTRONIC PARTNERSHIPS:
E-PROCUREMENT SYSTEMS AND COLORADO CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES
By Sandy Gray, Webmaster, Colorado Correctional Industries

 

As e-procurement expands into our world of Correctional Industries, you may find that your organization may need to “electronically” partner not only with your customer, but with the customer’s e-procurement system. This partnership often results when your customers look for an avenue that allows them to better manage spending within their establishment. Many of these customers are turning to an e-procurement system for that assistance. When this occurs, often it becomes the Correctional Industries’ responsibility to work within that e-procurement system, while still continuing to offer the same products and/or services.

A few years ago Colorado Correctional Industries (CCi) had a request from Colorado University (CU) to integrate our online ordering system with an e-procurement company they had chosen called SciQuest. There were two options we could use with the SciQuest e-procurement system.
1. Use a punch out system where CCi integrates the SciQuest e-procurement system into the CCi web site.
2. Or, have SciQuest host CCi’s catalog with the CU

CCi felt that there would be more flexibility using the punch out system, as we could offer more products and special quotes for our customers to purchase by going this route. To do so, we had to integrate the e-procurement side of SciQuest into our on-line ordering system on our web site. As a result, all of our CCi on-line catalog orders initiated by CU would now go through SciQuest and would be recognized as a supplier enablement request. This was the first step in working with CU to set up e-procurement using SciQuest.

Once integration was finalized customers from CU could log into their market place portal (set up by SciQuest) and select the link to Colorado Correctional Industries. That link takes the customer to the CCi web site on-line ordering system. Pictured below is what CU customers see when they click that link from their portal. They are on the CCI web page developed specifically for CU.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Basically, CCI customized the home page for CU (Figure 1). This is done by capturing their identity when they punch out from their market place portal to the CCI website.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 3

Customers then fill their shopping cart (Figure 2 & 3) and when they are done shopping, they click “return the cart” which takes the customer back to the CU market place portal (Figure 4).

Figure 4

Figure 4

The cart is returned through the market place portal again to their e-procurement man-agement system for approval to purchase. Once the approval is received in their market place portal, it sends that information back to CCi and the order is processed.

Figure 5

Figure 5

The customer then receives the following Online Order Confirmation (Figure 5).

As you can see, from the perspective of the customer (CU), the online ordering process
is seamless even though the order is being processed via two separate systems (all
electronically linked):
1. CU market place portal (powered by SciQuest)
2. CCi’s web site

How do these two separate systems “talk” to each other? This is accomplished by using
cXML coding on all processes. cXML allows buying organizations, supplier service pro-viders and intermediaries to communicate using a single standard language. The cxml.org website outlines cXML standards and makes available a public user’s guide. The user guide is the most comprehensive resource available for programmers designing cXML applications and should be your primary tools for development. cXML validation programs are also available. The one that we use is Altova and is available for use on the Internet. SciQuest also provided us with a test site to validate our cXML code.

This is a sample of a cXML PO that is sent back to us from their portal. It generates the document shown above in Figure 5.

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8” ?>
<!DOCTYPE cXML (View Source for full doctype…)>
– <cXML timestamp=”2012-09-19T14:31:54 -0400” payloadID=”
334234355344334.1464523899506972990@sciQuest.com”
version=”1.2.011”>
– <Header>
– <From>
– <Credential domain=”NetworkID”>
<Identity>HisCompany</Identity>
</Credential>
</From>
– <To>
– <Credential domain=”NetworkID”>
<Identity>coloradoci</Identity>
</Credential>
</To>
– <Sender>
– <Credential domain=”NetworkID”>
<Identity>SciQuest</Identity>
<SharedSecret />
</Credential>
<UserAgent>SciQuest</UserAgent>
</Sender>
</Header>
– <Request deploymentMode=”production”>
– <OrderRequest>
– <OrderRequestHeader orderDate=”2012-09-
19T14:31:54-0400” orderID=”11002111025” type=”new”
orderType=”regular”>
– <Total>
<Money currency=”USD”>556.70</Money>
</Total>
– <ShipTo>
– <Address isoCountryCode=”US” addressID=”55512154”>
– <PostalAddress name=”default”>
<DeliverTo>Doe, John</DeliverTo>
<DeliverTo />
<Street>1234 Main St.</Street>
<Street />
<City>Anywhere</City>
<State>CO</State>
<PostalCode>81234</PostalCode>
<Country isoCountryCode=”US”>US</Country>
</PostalAddress>
<Email name=”default”>john.doe@hiscompany.com</
Email>
– <Phone name=”work”>
– <TelephoneNumber>
<CountryCode isoCountryCode=”US”>1</CountryCode>
<AreaOrCityCode>303</AreaOrCityCode>
<Number>5551234</Number>
</TelephoneNumber>
</Phone>
– <Fax name=””>
– <TelephoneNumber>
<CountryCode isoCountryCode=”” />
<AreaOrCityCode />

While this may look complicated to the casual user, this cXML code electronically bridges the two separate systems…simplifying what the customer sees on their ordering screen.

Over the next several years, it is likely that you are going to see more and more of the B2B (Business to Business) applications for purchasing or receive a request from a customer to link your online ordering system with their e-procurement system. You must be able to keep up with the current trends for purchasing to maintain and assist your customers.

For CCi the benefit has been to allow us to provide custom quotes and custom discounts
to our customers while still allowing them to use their own e-procurement systems. We have gone from online sales of $2,000,000 to online sales of $8,000,000 over the last year. This is a win/win program for all.