Business services are a broad category of activities that benefit companies without delivering a tangible product. The industry encompasses a large range of operations such as consulting, information technology (IT), marketing, transportation and waste handling. Many businesses are heavily reliant on these services for productivity, cost savings and convenience. However, there are a number of challenges in the sector including low average productivity and persisting legal barriers. The European Union is taking steps to address these issues through internal market legislation and policy actions.
Business-to-business (B2B) services are transactions that take place between two trade organizations rather than between a business and its customers or government agencies. For example, an automobile manufacturing company might perform a B2B transaction with a wholesaler to buy tires and rubber hoses for the production of cars. This type of service is critical for most economies since it is often necessary to obtain products that are not produced locally.
There are several types of B2B business services, which can be broken down into four categories: administrative, logistical, IT and personal. Administrative business services provide routine tasks that are essential for the daily functioning of a company. For example, a company may outsource the cleaning of its office or the maintenance of its fleet of vehicles to an outside vendor. This frees up employees to focus on other important aspects of the business. Logistics business services offer a wide range of support functions for the movement of goods and materials throughout a supply chain. This includes warehouse management, transportation and shipping services, and freight forwarding. IT business services manage the organization’s computers, networks and other technological infrastructure. This includes the development, deployment and support of software applications, as well as the management of hardware such as servers and network equipment. Personal business services include worker assistance programs, fitness centers and employee dining facilities.
The B2B business services industry is a vital part of most countries’ economies. This is because it supports a large portion of the economy’s output by providing companies with the services they need to function properly. Companies rely on these services for marketing, productivity, safety and security, cost savings and convenience. The business services industry also contributes significantly to GDP in the form of employment and tax revenues.
To effectively use a digital business service, it’s important to understand what the service does and how it is used. This is possible through service design, which focuses on identifying the customer needs and balancing them with the components of the service. It subsequently determines the service’s Value Proposition and positioning in the marketplace and defines the assets and resources required to deliver it.
To successfully deliver a digital business service, it’s also necessary to identify the data elements that it relies on or builds insight from and connect it to a system of engagement and action. For example, a device service might monitor and report on the availability of certain devices within a specified network, while an IT service might be responsible for deploying and supporting that device.