Updated: Apr 5, 2019
I apologize for the title. Do you get it? Okay moving on!
We made a list of questions we have been asked up until this point and answer them. We did this both for our users and drivers. One quick thing, when I say "users" I mean the friends and local business' we are partnering with to help their companies succeed. The word users is just an internal way we communicate so everyone is on the same page, but it means a lot more than it sounds.
Anyway, lets get to it. Below are a bunch of questions we answered to hopefully help everyone understand Tonquin better and what we do! I will separate it by the two categories.
Q - Is it possible to make it easier to remember what to do on an iPhone if an order comes up. Right now there's 3 different ways to accept it depending on which way it comes in & what I'm doing on the phone at the moment. It's confusing & hard for me to remember. Ken
A - Yes this is something we are keeping a close eye on. What it boils down to is that if you
receive an alert, the only way to open it in the app is by using that notification. Meaning you can't just open the app after an alert is received and have the shipment pop up. This is because the notification is a "token" that tells the app which shipment to open. If you miss it the first time, this can be found in your phone's notification center (usually by swiping down). This goes for Android too.
Q - Can you tell me how payouts work, please? Larence
A - Payouts are deposited into your attached Stripe account every 6-7 days. It should say in your reports screen under payouts when your next deposit will be! Also, it will have a report on the exact days of previous deposits that went into your account.
Q - Any idea on what is considered long distance? Patrica
A - A lot of our users are consistent in the fact that they want to use Tonquin for long distance shipments. We tell them our sweet spot are those 5-8 mile shipments but, as a driver, you could possibly see 10-15 mile drop-offs as well! In the future when Tonquin is operating in adjacent cities, there will be a market for those 40-60 mile routes.
Q - Are most deliveries during this time (11:30 am) going to be from north Syracuse? Kyle
A - Since launch, we have been doing testing with the Advance Auto Parts in Cicero and our testing location in North Syracuse. As time goes on, we will have shipments from all over in about a 10-15 mile radius around Syracuse. Popular times for shipments will be between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. but are not limited to that. To get really down to it, most companies do sales calls in the morning so shipments may spike around lunch as well as around 3 in the afternoon!
Q - So, is an hour the norm/typical desired amount of time to arrive at the pick up spot upon committing to the order? Tom
A - We have two options for our users to pick from, "Now" and "Rush". Yes we could probably be a little more creative with the names. Anyway, for the default "Now" option you have an hour to get the pick-up point (although it would be great to still do it asap!) For "Rush" this means the user needs the shipment picked up ASAP!
Q - I see the shipment in my app..i don't touch it yet right? Brian
A - No you DO touch it! Click this link for a video tutorial on how to use the app! Tapping on the shipment in your manifest will open it up to see all the details like notes and part numbers! In the future, we will have much better tutorials and assistance for our drivers!!
Q - Not sure if it's a known issue with iPhone, but when I decline an order I get the perpetual hourglass. It goes away when I close and go back into the app. Scott
A- Yes this is a known issue! It's actually one of the few nagging issues left. Since we hope to see a spike in demand the next few weeks, I am preparing to send an email to drivers stating how to work around these issues when out on the road!
Q - What is the radius of delivery? A & P Auto Parts
A - Our sweet spot is the 5-8 mile local deliveries. We built Tonquin to provide a cheaper alternative to the most expensive logistics operations of any company, last mile delivery. In the future, we plan to work in price structures to accommodate for longer routes but for now, Tonquin's value is in the local delivery to your customers.
"The last mile of the supply chain, the delivery to customers, is probably the most expensive" - Suman Sarkar from The Supply Chain Revolution
Q - We don't know how to work Tonquin into our daily operations. Installations Unlimited
A - This is something that obviously will differ depending on your companies current logistics operations. For companies that don't offer delivery, this may take some thought. There is a lot of opportunity to be able to offer 1 hour delivery to any of your local customers but many question have to absorb the cost. That is up to you. You can treat it as an overhead cost and add a mark up for the service allocated to your inventory, you can pass on the cost directly to your customer because it's an exact cost (marked up or not), or allocate the cost based on the amount of service needed to an individual customer. We are making another blog post about how insurance companies will pay delivery charges on invoices for collision repair shops.
For companies with either a third party or internal logistics operation we see Tonquin being slowly implemented over time. Using Tonquin in those headache inducing moments like when a driver calls in sick, when a customer needs something NOW, when you don’t want to wait for a truck to come back, when the part is at a different store but has to shipped first to the store that services that customer, when the part is at a closer store, when there is seasonal demand, when they have to send local shipments on their scheduled route trucks.. yeah all those. Again, the cost should be absorbed just as your current logistics costs. As time goes on and you start using Tonquin more and eliminating other methods, you could see your overhead cost per delivery drop between 30-50 percent.
Q - What size vehicles do you have? Saves Auto Body Supply
A - The vehicles will be whatever the driver has as a personal vehicle. Drivers will have an incentive to use a larger vehicle so we predict to have drivers with them. When placing a shipment, the shipper will be able to select the size of the vehicle needed to deliver it. Upon signing up with Tonquin, you will receive guidelines on shipment sizes in our Tonquin Support Guide.
Q - Do you service Utica and other surrounding towns? Auto Finishers Supply Co
A - We plan to expand to cities throughout New York and the U.S. very soon to service local deliveries in all cities. As for towns like Utica, Oswego, Cortland and so on, we need to have enough demand in those areas to make it cost effective for us to find drivers in those areas. So far we foresee the first expansion being in Rochester. Once we have drivers in those other areas, drivers will be more likely to take shipments out to these towns knowing they will have their trip back paid for.
Q - Can drivers deliver to customer that are COD? SSRSOUNY
A - No. Drivers can only pick up and drop off items and any paperwork such as invoices. They cannot pick-up cash or any for of payment. After pick-up, drivers only go to drop-off locations and do not come back to the pick-up point. Each delivery requires an electronic signature which will replace any signed paperwork that used to confirm the delivery.
Q - What are the requirements for the drivers? NAPA Auto Parts
A - Our drivers go through an extensive background and Motor Vehicle Record check. Each driver must be reviewed by Tonquin to be approved. The majority of our drivers have experience as an on-demand driver of some sort and are very professional. In the future, we will give our drivers lanyards and ID cards to make them more noticeable when going in your customers stores, as well as window stickers for their vehicles.
Q - What if a driver breaks or damages product? Kimbers Inc.
A - This is something that might happen just due to accidents. Tonquin guarantees every shipment done on our platform*. Going back to the last question, our drivers are very professional and take their jobs seriously so they are used to handling things like food, packages and groceries. Also, each driver wants to do more shipments for you, so they make sure to take care of your products.
Q - What if the driver gets to the pick-up location and the delivery isn’t ready? Unknown
A - Drivers show up as soon as they can so this is a possible scenario. As long as the wait time is reasonable, drivers will usually be happy to wait. We usually suggest to our users to place the shipment on Tonquin as soon as it's placed by your customer, that way the driver can be en route as the order is being picked and no time is wasted.
Q - What if the shipment has already been placed, and before the driver arrives, an item is called in to add to that order. Advance Auto Parts
A - We have a long list of features that we already want to add. Making shipments fully editable until the driver arrives is one of them. We did a week of internal BETA testing and discovered many quirks and circumstance that we already have plans to solve. For this circumstance and until the feature is added, simply notify the driver of the additional item(s) and send them anyway.
If this sparks any other questions please reach out to us and we will answer them as best we can. Drivers or anyone interested email us at Support@Tonquin.com and if you're interested in using Tonquin you can email me at JeffreyLyman@Tonquin.com.