E-commerce logistics support service: a new service to support Montréal SMBs in e-commerce activities and combine their efforts with those of logistics service providers
“Online purchases in Québec in 2019 represented $12.45 billion in 2019, an increase of nearly 20% over the previous year. We also know that the current situation related to COVID-19 has increased the trend for Québecers to make purchases online from 28 to 60% in recent weeks, while forcing many SMBs to review their business model,” said Souad Laidi, a transportation and logistics specialist at PME MTL. “It is therefore all the more important for Montréal SMBs to be sufficiently equipped to meet the growing online demand for Québec products along with strong competition from the multinational platforms that occupy a large portion of the market.”
According to Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante, “the current health crisis is forcing us to review our ways of doing things, including the way we shop. In these circumstances,” the Mayor said, “e-commerce has practically become a necessity for entrepreneurs who have had to temporarily close their doors to comply with public health guidelines. The assistance provided to them by PME MTL through its support service will allow them to accelerate development of their e-commerce activities and thus continue to serve their customers despite the pandemic. Our entrepreneurs and merchants bring life to our neighbourhoods, and the City of Montréal and PME MTL are determined to help them get through this crisis.”
Developing e-commerce operations, a challenging task
Digitizing activities is a complex process that involves several issues that can be difficult to reconcile with the day-to-day realities of SMBs (shipment delivery times, increased demand, internal cost controls, IT implementation and integration, etc.). Added to this are the standards set by international competition, which lead to high expectations among consumers, particularly with respect to free delivery. This last point is considered a major logistical issue for 68% of retailers.
The logistics experts at PME MTL will provide retailers with technical assistance and strategic guidance so they can focus their efforts on value-added services for the company. This personalized support includes, for example, pre-diagnosis of operations, logistics services start-up assistance, and/or finding a logistics service provider and other resources as needed.
The solution: Assembling local players
This new service is designed to consolidate the efforts of Montréal merchants and manufacturers by putting them in touch with companies specializing in logistics outsourcing (3PL) . Currently, less than 8% of Québec companies use 3PL services, even though these services allow e-merchants to be more efficient in terms of logistics. In fact, they can take charge of a fairly significant part of their customer’s logistics, from warehousing to order preparation to shipment.
“By launching the e-commerce logistics support service, PME MTL has given itself the mandate to create synergies among the various players in Montréal's entrepreneurial ecosystem by collaborating with e-merchants and logistics service providers,” says Alexandre Skerlj, transport and logistics specialist at PME MTL. Ultimately, our goal is to bring companies together around common objectives and concerted actions to increase the cohesion, competitiveness, growth and influence of the entire sector throughout the city”.
About PME MTL
The PME MTL network offers a range of professional services to private and social economy entrepreneurs on the Island of Montréal. A key player in supporting the start-up and growth of SMBs, each year the 140 experts at PME MTL accompany more than 3,500 entrepreneurs through management consulting and financing programs. A true catalyst in developing entrepreneurship, PME MTL works with a vast network of partners bringing entrepreneurs into contact with various experts, stakeholders, program and financial aid managers.
More information on the e-commerce logistics support service.