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Is service a commodity?

Is service a commodity?

Is service a commodity?

June 25, 2008 ClickSoftware 2 Comments

The more I ponder this question, the more I feel the answer is yes. Please no comments on the obvious oxymoron of calling a service a commodity; what I am exploring is the fact that more and more links of the service chain are being handled as a commodity. A whole industry has been created by companies offering to perform one or all links within the service chain.

You can find a variety of companies, either on-shore or off-shore that can handle:

  • Front of house/call centre functions
  • Workforce management
  • Billing

When successfully done, the customer is unaware that the service being provided is not by employees of the service company but by one of their contractors that could be halfway across the world. Not only that, but in terms of workforce management, service companies can interchange providers at the drop of a hat.

What are your thoughts on the question: Is service a commodity?

  • Dipak Hore

    I tend to think so. I see in the field of large scale Software dev, the skill set has been commoditized, both on-shore and off-shore, Commputing on Cloud is becomming the Mantra — all these few years ago was unthinkable.  
    I am sure "Process Dev" within large organization looking closely how they can Commoditize .. at least part of the process. There is opportunity to optimize the Profit for the Organization !!

  • Rob Johnson-taylor

    A commodity when purchased results in a beneficial transfer of ownership, if rented then temporary custody is transferred, further commodities have a magnitude or quantity.
    With a service there is no transfer of ownership or custody.
    Services are qualitative.
    There are legal definitions of commodities, both nationally and internationally

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