We’re heading into a global recession. Naturally, businesses are looking for ways to weather the storm.
Consumers have less money to spend, so they buy fewer foreign goods. According to the World Economic Forum, businesses are expected to respond to this decline in consumer demand by cutting costs, laying off workers and optimising their supply chains.
But can you have your cake and eat it — can you cut costs and optimise your operations? Ancillary services are a good place to start.
What are ancillary services? Why are they important?
Let’s get cracking and find out more.
This article at a glance
Often used in the healthcare and airline industries, the term ancillary services refers to additional services not tied to the primary business. For healthcare, this means services not provided by acute care hospitals and GPs, such as ambulance and audiology services. In the airline industry, ancillary services are “paid upgrades” like lounge access, baggage and seat selection.
For an import and export business, ancillary services include transportation, trade finance and legal services. If you don’t have in-house teams, consider hiring ancillary services when you plan to scale up. Doing so helps you save costs and concentrate on your business.
Ancillary services enhance and support a business’s core operations or services. You could offer these services as an upgrade or add-on of a product or service. Or, you could engage an ancillary service provider to provide these services.
Ancillary services usually provide additional capacity or professional expertise that a company lacks. For an import and export business, ancillary services may include freight forwarding, customs brokerage, warehousing and distribution.
You might overlook the importance of ancillary services since they’re not part of your key activities. Engaging dedicated ancillary services providers may be the missing link to providing a seamless customer service experience. Tailor ancillary services according to your business needs. Sourcing for support lets you focus on your core business: international trade.
Let’s say you’re trying to break into the Spanish market. An example of an ancillary service could be a translation and localisation company developing a Spanish-language website for your business.
A call centre is another example of an ancillary service. If you receive lots of queries or your products need substantial post-service support, it is more practical for you to outsource your customer service operations. Often, this is more cost-effective than employing more customer service representatives.
Ancillary services assist in various aspects of the import and export process. Some types of ancillary services that you may consider for your global exporting or importing business include:
Depending on the type of goods traded, and the jurisdiction, some ancillary services are legal requirements. Ancillary services include freight forwarders, customs brokers, logistics providers, and trade finance specialists.
An ancillary business is a secondary or supplementary business that provides services to other entities. As companies have outsourced non-core functions such as human resources, payroll and call centres, these ancillary businesses have grown in popularity. These are some of the ways ancillary services can help your exporting business:
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