Tyrestock Innovation Offers Simplicity and Speed to Business and Consumer
Keeping customers happy and keeping them coming back for more is the goal of any business. To do that, in just about any industry you care to mention, means delivering a high quality, swift and reliable service.
However, being able to deliver that service can mean relying on a host of others, from different distributors, delivery companies, parts suppliers, stockists . . . you get the idea. There are plenty of potential hazards to navigate in the quest to keep that customer happy.And so it is for the tyre industry’s independent retailers and fitters. With dozens of tyre sizes across hundreds of brands now available, unless a tyre shop has a warehouse the size of the Gabba tucked behind the store, it is impossible for them to be able to cater for every purchasing eventuality. Relying on others to supply what they need, when they need it, is crucial.Making that process simple, lightning quick, and reliable for both the tyre fitter and the consumer is the sole aim of Tyrestock, a start-up company founded by the husband and wife team of William Amiot and Elodie Desporte-Duperry.
An online ‘one-stop shop’ for tyre fitters and consumers, Tyrestock harnesses some rather ingenious and practical ideas, including visual recognition, that could make it an industry game changer.“For tyre fitters, Tyrestock is the only tool they will need,” said William. “It enables them to buy tyres from different suppliers and get their orders delivered in under two hours.
“And it is the same for the consumer, meaning that through Tyrestock they can select and order tyres, have that order delivered to their closest tyre fitter within two hours, and even book an appointment to have them fitted.
”‘Game changer’ seems about right.Already involved in the tyre industry through their international importing and exporting business, Axxess Tyres, William and Elodie conceived the Tyrestock concept after suffering a truly frustrating tyre-buying experience. “About three years ago, while William was abroad on business, I needed to change the tyres on my car,” explained Elodie. “The tyre fitter ended up keeping my car for a couple of days because he did not have the tyres in stock and had to order them from interstate. I was on my own, with two young children and no car. It was a terrible experience.”
“The fitter had looked on his website thinking the tyres were in stock in Brisbane, so had placed the order and booked an appointment with Elodie,” added William. “But he subsequently found they were located interstate and would not be delivered until the next day. A delay in that delivery meant the process took 48 hours.
“Elodie and I talked about this and realised that what she had experienced was something that many people experience every year. So, we had a talk with the tyre fitter and asked him to tell us what went wrong and to explain the whole process.”
So began the Tyrestock journey.
Helping Tyre Fitters, the couple went on to talk to other independent fitters and discovered their biggest issues were time, stock, and the complexity of the current ordering system.
“What we found was that they struggled with time – they simply ran out of it,” said William. “Currently, the vast majority of wholesalers offer only two deliveries a day with cut-offs at 9am and 12 noon. That’s a problem for the independent fitter. For example, if a customer comes in at 9:10am and their tyre has to be ordered, they can only be served late that afternoon, after the 12-noon cut off.
“With regards to stock, there are more than 300 brands of tyre in Australia, so it is clearly very hard for independent fitters to have all the relevant tyres in-house. And finally, tyre selection is getting more complex. If a tyre fitter wants to get the best deal, they may need to play with four or five different tools offered by four or five different wholesalers and then juggle with four or five different cut-off times.”
Tyrestock, said William, is the solution to these problems.
“With Tyrestock, no matter what time a customer comes to the fitter, it will take just a few minutes to order the tyres, and those tyres will be delivered in less than two hours.
“With regard to stock and ordering, we not only have a partnership with the wholesalers that have the stock, but we have an agreement with them that when they receive a purchase order from Tyrestock they have 15 minutes to get the tyres out of the door for our delivery guys to pick them up. And they are happy to do that because then they do not have to worry about delivery, which is a headache for them.”
This service to the independent tyre fitting sector is now up and running, having been launched in early December. Though limited for the moment to the Brisbane area, William and Elodie plan to expand soon to other areas.“We launched in Brisbane with some key partners who are using the platform as testers,” said William.
“We want to keep it local for the moment, so that we can concentrate on offering a high level of service but also so that everyone can see it works and can see the benefits being achieved. We will then look at expanding.”
The Consumer The second part of the Tyrestock offering, the business-to consumer (B2C) part, is still being refined but will be launched in the first quarter of 2018. Part of the reason for this is the development of a rather splendid bit of technology aimed at helping consumers identify exactly what tyre they already have on their vehicle. It is true, after all, that a great many have no idea what the marks, wording and numbers on the sidewall of a tyre actually mean.To assist the consumer, the Tyrestock team is developing a visual identification tool that will allow the customer to take a photo of their tyre and upload it to Tyrestock. The system will then automatically read the sidewall data and offer the same tyre, and its equivalent in other brands, as purchase options.Keeping it simple is the idea, and with the consumer not only able to use Tyrestock to choose the closest fitter to their location as the delivery point for their purchase, but also book an appointment to have the tyres fitted, it couldn’t be easier.
“Our aim is to bring a lot of innovation to the system,” said William. “Even if a customer has no knowledge of tyres, the system will scan the uploaded image and give them an option from our exhaustive stock list. They really don’t have to do much – the platform does it all, from tyre choice, to purchase, to delivery, to appointment.
“And even if they still have doubts about whether they have purchased the correct tyre, their tyre image will be accessible by their chosen fitter who can then assist them once more through the sale and selection process.”
William and Elodie have come a long way in a short time. It was only six years ago that they moved to Australia from France and in that time they have established three businesses – the aforementioned Axxess Tyres; E&G Consulting, through which they offer advice and guidance to students and small businesses on living a balanced life; and S’il Te Plait, a business through which they import high quality products made in France.
Somehow, they’ve also found time to create Tyrestock, have two children, and realise another concept – a community-based social media network – that is now on the drawing board. Each business has been developed with care and attention, and though things have moved very quickly for Tyrestock in the past couple of months, it too was deliberated over for a long time.
“Elodie and I run our businesses together, so a lot of our conversations are about business,” said William. “We talked about Tyrestock for a long time and wanted to make sure the problems we were looking to solve was not ‘non-problems’. We took our time to be sure.”With the concept decided, it was at the beginning of 2017 that the couple made their move and in July they had formed the I.T. team to begin developing the Tyrestock system and website.Pondering their next move, they heard through a friend about the River City Labs (RCL) Accelerator program and determined to find out more. It was a decision that would also bring them into contact with MTA Queensland and the MTAiQ Innovation Hub.
“Things began to move quickly,” said William. “We were thinking about doing this on our own, but a friend had been through the RCL program and told us that it was fantastic and would quickly help us determine whether we might be successful.”
Fortuitously, the very next day, the RCL Accelerator program was being promoted at the Firestation 101 innovation hub in Ipswich, so the couple went along and met several key start-up supporters including Steve Baxter, Managing Director of RCL and a ‘shark’ on television’s Shark Tank, and James Orr, Chief Technology Innovation Officer for MTA Queensland. It was a meeting and event that spurred William and Elodie to apply for the RCL Accelerator program.
“The application for RCL closed just two weeks after that event,” said Elodie. “So, for those two weeks we worked on becoming more than just a concept. We made videos and demos, decided on a name and a logo. It was intense. But we made it through the selection process and came on board with RCL.”
“Even just applying to RCL is a benefit,” added William. “You go through a lot of introspection in getting the application ready and learn a lot about yourself. And even if you don’t go through, you validate a lot of things during the process. If you do go through, however, things move fast, and since we joined in October we have gained six months in product development through their support.”
Meeting James Orr from MTA Queensland would prove to be equally productive. “When we met MTA Queensland, it was perfect timing to have the support of the industry,” said Elodie. “It is very important for us to be supported by Queensland’s peak auto industry body and the connection and networking support has been excellent.”
“MTA Queensland is very proactive in asking us how they can help us further,” added William. “We hold a common view on how innovation can help the industry and their support, and being able to introduce ourselves as connected with MTA Queensland, is invaluable. We are a start-up and businesses don’t really know us, so having that MTA Queensland validation, while not necessarily opening doors, does keep them open.”
For MTA Queensland, Tyrestock’s innovative concept and the obvious opportunities it offers to businesses and the public were evidence enough that the business should have its full support. “William, Elodie and the team at Tyrestock are an energetic and tenacious group,” said Mr Orr. “Their enthusiasm and drive to make meaningful changes to the tyre supply chain and, ultimately, the retail customer experience are key reasons we have engaged with them.
“Their business will provide our members with new opportunities to serve customers as well as make better business decisions to increase their competitive position.”
With the B2B side of Tyrestock now up and running and the B2C element soon to launch, Tyrestock has, in just four months, moved from a bright idea to a fully-fledged commercial enterprise. But while there is excitement about the business, and indeed about the international scope of the Tyrestock concept, William and Elodie are clear about the reason for establishing the business.
“We identified some key problems for the independent tyre fitters and we want to help those shops,” said William.
“They represent 40 per cent of the industry and work hard every day, but are the ones struggling with deliveries and prices. We are not another competitor entering the market but are facilitating the transactions, and we can do something to help them.“Tyrestock wants to be the tyre concierge for the tyre fitters,” added Elodie. “If they need something, we are here for them. If they want something, we are here for them. We can help them select and purchase the tyre, and we can definitely help them with delivery. Everything is about the delivery and service.”
- Subscription to Tyrestock is available for $600 (GST excl) per year.
- The subscription price will remain at $300 for MTA Queensland members.For more on Tyrestock, go to www.tyrestock.com.au13 Feb 2018