A recipe for removing friction
Preparing healthy, home cooked meals is a challenge that we all face during the week. Our busy schedules often prevent us from putting together the 1950s-inspired Betty Crocker meals that are meant to be as nourishing as they are delicious. Instead, many of us turn to our favorite takeout restaurants or frozen fried ingredients to quickly throw together a dinner (or the occasional midnight snack when the office has kept us out too late).
The beauty of pre-prepared meal kits is that they eliminate friction from our lives. They reduce the hassle that is often associated with cooking a healthy meal. Take for example your average salad, and the preparation that it takes to make this simple dish. Before you even begin to assemble the salad, you need to make your way through a whole process that has little to do with cooking:
1. Go to the store
2. Shop for the ingredients
3. Wait in line, pay
4. Bring home the groceries
5. Unpack everything
6. Wash the ingredients
Just reading the above steps might make you think twice about making a hearty salad. Fortunately, this is where meal kits, such as those offered by Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, offer a friction-free alternative. The kits are designed to cut down your preparation time, eliminate the need to go grocery shopping for meals, and help you to live a healthier lifestyle. They provide you with repeatable recipes so that when you have the time you can recreate your healthy masterpieces. Finally, they give you the option to eat like a vegetarian, add some meat to your diet, choose the pescatarian lifestyle, or make a combination of all of your favorite food pyramid groups. The appeal is simple: pre-prepared meals help you to say "yes” to healthy eating by eliminating the hassles that would otherwise make you turn to your favorite takeout chain.
What does any of this have to do with e-invoicing?
Both meal kits and e-invoicing remove friction by eliminating certain time-consuming operations, enabling practitioners to focus on activities that yield bigger rewards. E-invoicing allows AP professionals to spend less time dealing with paper and PDF invoices, and more time on strategic initiatives; likewise, meal kits enable cooks to spend less time in the store shopping, and more time using their culinary skills in the kitchen.
For consumers, what goes into takeout meals is not always clear, which can make it hard to abide by dietary restrictions, but home-cooked meals let them control and see exactly what’s going into the meal, and how it’s prepared. Better visibility into, and tighter control over the ingredients leads to smarter choices that are customized to their own needs and desires.
It’s not so different from the benefits of better visibility that Tungsten Network’s Invoice Status Service allows. For Suppliers who are hungry for working capital, the ability to know if there are any issues with their invoices, and how soon their funds will be served up, is the key to smarter decisions, not to mention the health of their operations.
Businesses, like people, need energy in order to thrive, although that energy is likely to come in the form of an influx of funds rather than a healthy salad. How much energy is expended in the acquisition of funds determines how much is available for use, and so it’s the ability to control these costs that’s key to the health, and sometimes, survival of a business. Fortunately the table has been set for businesses that are hungering for a solution.