Business services are activities that support a company’s operations but do not produce a tangible product. These activities include consulting, marketing, warehousing and shipping. Companies of all sizes require business services. The industry employs a large workforce and is important to the economy.
The professional and business services sector includes many different industries such as legal, accounting and management consulting services. It also includes advertising, computer services and employment agencies. The sector is one of the largest in the European Union, contributing 11% to GDP. The sector has a wide range of potential for growth, and is increasingly being used to add value to products through new combinations of goods and services.
Companies use business services to save money, increase productivity or meet regulatory requirements. Often, these services are provided by consultants who charge clients for their expertise and advice. Alternatively, some of these services are provided in-house such as human resources and administrative functions.
Business services help companies with many aspects of their trade, including marketing, warehousing and inter- and intra-departmental communication. They are essential to a business’ operation, and they provide benefits that goods cannot. The difference between goods and services is that goods can be stocked and stored for future use, while services must be delivered immediately upon demand.
Several companies need insurance services to cover their employees’ health and property. Others need real estate services to find workspace as needed. Still others need construction services to renovate or expand their facilities, which can be done with the help of a professional contractor. Other business services include animal control to handle pest infestations, and maintenance service professionals to repair equipment. Finally, technology support professionals assist with any tech issues a company may face.
A business can benefit from shared services, which allow the consolidation of various functions into a single department. This can reduce costs and improve performance by reducing duplication of effort. By centralizing the function, companies can also better monitor and manage processes to identify areas for improvement.
As the world shifts toward a knowledge-based economy, businesses need to be able to quickly adapt their processes and deliver services to customers. By improving their process management and developing a culture that supports collaboration, businesses can thrive in the service economy.
A successful service business requires a unique approach to management that differs from traditional product-oriented models. The key to success lies in understanding the four core elements of a business service model and how they work together. It is only through careful analysis and design that a company can build a service organization that is profitable, competitive and resilient. This article outlines an approach for crafting a winning business service that draws on these critical elements.