Essay on Services

The main characteristics that differentiate services from other products

The role of services in the contemporary economy steadily increases. In fact, services constitute the main part of national economies of developed countries and, in the course of time, services become more and more diverse. At the same time, it is necessary to remember that services are really unique and different from other products that make their production particularly effective and profitable for companies.

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First of all, it should be said that the production of services has a number of characteristics which make them consistently more effective, from economic point of view than other products. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that services are intangible and insubstantial since they cannot be handled, smelled, tasted, etc. (Blanchard & Bowles, 1993, p.147). In other words, services are immaterial in the sense other products are. For instance, educational services can be provided but they cannot be viewed in purely material terms like other products, such as computers, because they cannot be even counted as other products are. This characteristic of services is very important because it does not simply make them different from other products, but it also makes them unique and puts in an advantageous position because services do not involve the material sphere of the production process.

To put it more precisely, as they are intangible and insubstantial, they do not need storage that is very important in the contemporary business. In this respect, it should be pointed out that the costs of storage may be very high since they need not only space to store products but also they need the maintenance of products and their delivery (Breneman, D. W., & Taylor, 1996, p.229). Even the effective logistics and the introduction of such strategies as just-in-time strategy cannot give such an effect as services have due to the total absence of the need for storage. Obviously, as services do not need to be stored, the company providing services can save substantial costs and, what is more, it can deliver them more effectively compared to other products because, in actuality, they are delivered to customers directly from a producer and they can even be changed depending on the current demands of customers. For instance, customers can demand the delivery of services twenty-four hours per day and it is consistently easier to organize the delivery of services in such a way than other products and such a change needs less time compared to other products.

Furthermore, it should be said that services are inseparable and perishable. In fact, they can be consumed by customer but they can hardly be loaned, for instance, after they are once consumed. This makes services really unique and therefore highly valuable for customers. At the same time, providers of services can face certain problems with their promotion because it is really more difficult to visualize services provided by a company than a material product that possesses some physical characteristics.

Nevertheless, the current popularity and wide spread of services in the contemporary economic relations prove the fact that services are economically highly effective and profitable.

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