Business services are various tasks and activities that maintain a business without the production of tangible goods. These include advertising, marketing, consultation, logistics (including travel and facilities services), waste handling, staffing services, shipping and administration. They form a distinct sector of the economy, known as tertiary industry. They also support the primary and secondary sectors by enhancing product value, increasing efficiency and by creating new combinations of goods.
A notable distinction between goods and services is that a person cannot stock up on a service, since it has to be provided as soon as it is needed. This intangibility makes it important to plan, monitor and improve business services as they are created.
Businesses can use business services to help improve their productivity, reduce costs and create value in their products and services. For example, translation or interpretation services can encourage inclusion and eliminate language barriers at work. Tech support workers can troubleshoot computer, network and other technological issues to keep employees working productively. Personal services, such as workout facilities, places to relax and transportation options, can boost employee satisfaction and motivation.
To maximize the potential value of digital business services, start with a customer-facing system of engagement — a service catalog accessed through a service portal — and then map that to the organizational structure of a service portfolio management, which oversees the creation, maintenance and retirement of services grouped by objective, capability, organization or geography. Next, define metrics for your business services that track how well they are being used. Use diagnostics metrics to identify opportunities for improvement and measure the impact of changes on performance, cost or satisfaction.