In the B2B domain of business, business to business service providers, also called Business Service providers (BSP) refers to firms that engage in providing services in terms of back-office and front office support. A business service provider extends its services in the area of HR (human resource), infrastructure, administration, security, mail delivery, and finance to name a few.
The business to business services for back-office usually consists of off-site services. They include areas like:
- Customer support;
- Technical assistance; and
- Administration tasks like payroll and bookkeeping.
Business to business service providers usually outsources back-office work. This is a major factor in making BSPs cost-effective and attractive.
The front office aspects on the other hand include:
- Marketing; and
The front office services usually are the ones that establish contact with the clients.
How does Business to Business providers make it easier for businesses?
1) Responsibility sharing: A business will always have its core intent described. However, other than making a sale, and performing on the core business KRAs, some ancillary services are inevitable to an organization. However, these are crucial to sustaining the business. For isntance critical departments like the payroll and the security, Human resources etc.
Business to business service here makes life easier for organizations. For instance: Many mid and small-sized companies today outsource their payroll responsibility to Business to Business service providers.
2) Flexibility: Flexibility refers to the adaptability of a business. This is evident from the back-office services that a business provider provides to a BPO. A BPO works on the outsourced work of a business. The pricing or billing is usually on the output. For instance, if it’s a lead generation BPO, the services provided to the business will be free. However, the charges will be levied on the leads generated.
This allows the business the flexibility of dealing with a BSP according to their advantage.
3) Legalities: An organization has to abide by many bureaucratic rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are legal hurdles and obedience protocols which are updated regularly. They also have numerous timelines and legal formalities that need to be taken care of.
Focusing on these parameters, which are to be mandatorily met, would mean taking away from the core business needs. Hence the legal responsibilities of an organization are usually outsourced.
Given the fact that B2B services are making life easier for corporates, it would be interesting to see the types of business services provided by providers. Here is a list of Business to business services that are provided by the business to business service providers:
1) Software Upgrades and security: Though a business service provider does not provide any kind of software they, however, do have the expertise to upgrade the currently used software. Along with an up-gradation, the service providers also help with software enhancement. Such enhancements not only improve software performance but also modifies features and fortifies security.
Software security upgrades are one of the many ways to counter illegal hacking of sensitive data.
2) Management services: These services span across domains and industries. Some of the management services include:
- Human Resources;
- Strategic planning;
- Debt Management; and
- Event management
3) Marketing communication services: Have you ever thought about who does the creative work in the advertisements? How are the strategically placed hoardings displaying different brands on its face every week? These are services rendered by the advertising agencies which are also Business to business service providers.
Imagine a pan India launch of a product. This would mean working out the logistics across the venues, making reservations, coordinating with the media, getting the essential launch materials accumulated, getting the venue ready, etc. It is a whole process that takes months of preparation and constant traveling.
This aspect of work is hence often outsourced to media houses and advertisers, which not only ensures effective execution of the work but also saves on time and cost for the corporate.
4) Tours and travel services: Corporates and businesses that have a presence across the country and the globe or have clientele across, have to let professionals fly or travel often. Ticketing, confirmation and scheduling these travels can prove to be a handful of a job when people from different departments are traveling almost every day.
Hence, travel arrangements of corporates are also outsourced for smoother operation.
5) Food and beverages: Along with travel, food is another crucial part of any event. Corporates often have clients visiting them and have events where they interact with stakeholders, dealers, suppliers, clients and the media. Lunch or Dinner along with beverages always remain a part and parcel of such events.
Catering services, therefore, becomes a must for businesses. Most of the time this aspect of the events is therefore outsourced to a business provider in the catering business.
6) Internal security services: Corporate premises are always vulnerable areas, as far security is concerned. It may be internal security in terms of thefts, ugly fights between employees, substance abuse, etc. For financial institutions like a bank, security is of utmost necessity all the time, especially when big amounts are being transported physically. For instance, money transportation to ATMs.
It is not surprising to be checked by security when we enter office premises. However, maintaining a security force becomes a huge liability for a corporate especially given the fact that many offices operate 24X7.
Consequently, security services are always outsourced to security firms where they recruit people with relevant experience and exposure for the job.
There are other business to business services that are rendered to companies across the industries and domains like software services, personal services, waste management services, infrastructure services, etc.
Conclusion: Business to Business services are aimed at corporates. These services include serving almost all aspects of corporate life. The range of services can extend from transportation to catering services, insurance services to BPOs. Business to business services are optimized on and liberally used by the industries across, for smoother operation and real-time problem-solving.