How the quota system works
At Parcl every forwarder can process a limited number of orders simultaneously. On the one hand, this helps forwarders to better control their workload and process orders quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, this system allows for better distribution of requests between forwarders.
Key principles of the quota system
Forwarder can process a limited number of orders at the same time. An order is considered to be in processing at all stages from ‘Order placed’ through ‘Preparing to ship’.
Example: Forwarder has 10 requests for a quote from shoppers, 3 paid orders, 1 package at a package center and 2 orders shipped. This gives us 4 orders in processing (3 paid ones + 1 at the forwarder’s location).
Shoppers may send requests to forwarders whose quotas are full. If a forwarder has no open slots, they cannot start processing new requests. However, shoppers may still send requests to this forwarder and wait until the forwarder completes current orders. If a shopper doesn’t want to wait, they may send their request to other forwarders who might be available.
Forwarders with their quotas full can still make offers on shopper requests. The shopper will be able to accept such an offer once the forwarder gets an open slot.
Shopper and forwarder can strike a deal only when the forwarder has open slots and is marked as ‘Available’. If the forwarder made an offer, but doesn’t have any slots open for new orders, the shopper won’t be able to accept this forwarder’s offer. Once the forwarder ships another package or completes another order and gets a slot open, the shopper will be notified that they may now accept the forwarder’s offer.
Slots are renewable. Every time a forwarder ships a package (clicks on ‘Ship package’ after the shopper’s confirmation), they get a slot open for a new order.
Successful deliveries unlock new slots. Every successfully delivered package gives the forwarder bonus slots that become available for a limited period of time.
Requests with ‘Priority handling’ ordered unlock additional slots for forwarders whose quotas are full. If a shopper wants to work with a particular forwarder and get their shipment processed as fast as possible, but the forwarder’s quota is full, the shopper may add the ‘Priority handling’ additional service to their order. When ‘Priority handling’ is ordered, forwarders get an additional slot to process this order.
Advantages of the quota system
At first glance the system might seem complicated or even appear disadvantageous for users. However, after studying the existing order processing timeframes and forwarder behavior, we found that introducing a quota system would benefit all Parcl users.
Thanks to this mechanism, shoppers can have better understanding of the forwarders’ workload and send urgent requests to forwarders with fewer orders in processing. It would also encourage shoppers to try using other forwarders outside of the top 5, which may help them get lower prices or better delivery terms.
As for the forwarders, the quota system was designed to help them manage their orders. We have witnessed numerous situations when forwarders shipped a package, but never confirmed shipping it within the system, which resulted in incorrect delivery time calculation and outdated order status information. With parcel quotas in place, forwarders will get the extra motivation to keep order status up to date and to process orders faster. Another advantage of the quota system for forwarders is that it automatically regulates their workload. It is always better to take fewer orders and process them properly, than to take dozens of orders at once, lose control of them and get negative feedback from shoppers.
We’re doing our best to make Parcl work great for everyone. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to improve order processing, or you noticed that something doesn’t work the way it should, please share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, our Twitter page or our Facebook page. We are always happy to hear from you!