Business services are activities that benefit a company without delivering a physical product. Companies of all sizes rely on them for their marketing, safety and convenience needs, as well as to help control costs and production. The business service industry represents a major portion of the commercial world.
Unlike with products, where a company’s design is usually the only factor that determines how well the product will sell, service design plays a critical role in how well a service will perform. While product designers typically focus on the characteristics buyers will value, service designers must think differently: They must consider what customers will perceive as the service’s quality and whether it can be differentiated from competitors’ services in terms of scope, flexibility, and convenience.
The most common types of business services are marketing, accounting, consulting, logistics, transportation and waste management. But the term also applies to any other activity that a company must engage in for its own internal functioning. This includes things like human resources, information technology and administrative support services.
Most business-to-business (B2B) services are based on the exchange of knowledge or expertise rather than the transfer of physical goods. For example, an architectural firm’s service of designing a new building is a B2B service that involves the exchange of skills and know-how rather than the exchange of raw materials or goods. Another common type of business-to-business service is the supply of raw materials or components to a manufacturing company. For example, a car manufacturer will conduct B2B transactions with wholesalers to purchase the tires and rubber hoses that are used to build cars.