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The facts of friction episode 2


We at Tungsten Network are constantly speaking with Buyers and Suppliers about their biggest sources of friction in the supply chain. Some lament the costs associated with processing paper invoices; others, the inability to correct exceptions in a timely manner. All feel that their invoicing processes could benefit from the removal of these frictions, which, luckily for them, is the mission of Tungsten Network.

As we continue to talk to Buyers and Suppliers about friction, we think it’s helpful to demonstrate the role of this force in the physical world. Friction, after all, dictates how objects move with or against one another, sometimes with unfortunate consequences.

Let’s take one major source of friction in the global supply chain for Suppliers: the lag time between sending a paper invoice and receiving payment.

This can be demonstrated by an instinctual cold-weather behavior: rubbing our hands together. When we do this, we’re creating friction between our palms, which causes the molecules around them to move faster, and this creates heat. The more we rub, the warmer they feel. Other objects can even burn or melt as friction continues to act on them.

How does this demonstrate a long payment cycle, you might be asking? Well, the outcome of the scenario above means that not only does friction act on the objects in motion, but it also affects the objects’ environment. The longer that friction is in play, the more the environment is affected.

When the global supply chain endures friction via a long payment cycle, departments beyond AP or AR feel the effects. Think lost productivity, higher staffing costs and residual consequences on the business as a whole. Everyone gets overheated, because there’s too much friction in the system.

So, rather than letting our Suppliers, Buyers and their executives get hot under the collar, Tungsten Network helps them transition to an entirely digital process for handling invoices. Leading to a faster, cooler pay-to-procure operation. No additional heat involved.


About the author

Connie O'Brien

As CMO, Connie is responsible for the Tungsten Network brand and ensuring the firm is at the forefront of the digital transformation of the purchase-to-pay process, with a focus on how we delight our customers through automated, scalable, dynamic and personalised experiences. Connie joined Tungsten from Affinion Group, an international membership and loyalty company where she was Chief Digital Officer. She has over twenty years’ experience driving digital marketing strategies for businesses, and has delivered campaigns for brands including GlaxoSmithKline, P&G, Kraft Foods, AXA, John Hancock, AT&T, Vonage and Verizon.



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