What Is the Difference Between a Product and Service?

Products and services create the backbone for any business. No matter the size of the business, one of the first things a business person will do is decide what the business will offer for people to purchase. These will be either products, services or a combination of both. Even though the idea of products and services could overlap, there are ways to distinguish between the two of them for business purposes.

Products are normally physical objects or things that can be consumed, touched, owned, or held in some manner by the client. Products can range from a piece of clothing to a physical location for holding an event to an insurance policy. With all of these, you make a transaction that allows someone to have the product in exchange for money or other agreement such as a bartering arrangement.

Services are usually intangible and they don’t allow the other person to own something. For instance, in consulting services, the person cannot touch a consulting engagement. Even though information has been exchanged, the client does not end up owning any tangible thing as a result of consulting. The service can provide a benefit to the client because it can change something in them mentally, emotionally, physically that takes them from where they started before delivery of the service to where they want to be. However, unless a product is delivered in the process, the client does not walk away with anything physical.

You can also have a business that combines products and services. Many service professionals find that adding a product to their business helps to increase the interest of buyers in their offerings. People like to have something tangible for their money. However, this is not always the case. For instance, depending on the type of service provided, the service provider might also write a book or workbook, develop a business or marketing plan, or provide medications for a diagnosed problem. Now the business has both services and products to offer.

A business can develop a service line or product line by creating multiple elements of their business. Examples of a service line would include giving more coaching or consulting services with increasingly extensive service packages. For instance, an accounting professional might start by offering one hour of consulting on how to set up your business books. From there, they can increase the services to include 12 months of consulting you on how to keep your books so you know what to do. The client can select from the line of services available.

That same accountant could offer a product line in the business by offering software to help with bookkeeping, creating accounting statements and filing taxes for the customer.

You can see that having a good product or service line offers more opportunities to sell to clients which can increase the profit and success potential for a business.

Cermet Versus Ceramic Coatings – How Do You Choose?

Ceramic coating does not include binders, like cobalt, nickel, chromium, titanium or tungsten. More complex than typical oxides, the cermet coating is usually carbide-based, bonded with a metallic. It is the addition of metal that gives the “cermet” (ceramic-metallic) unique properties.

Maybe it is improvement in mechanical toughness you need. Or better heat transfer, thermal resistance or protection from corrosion that is required. Metal binders of the cermet coating can add “synergism”, performance properties not found in the ceramic coating or individual metals, alone. Here, we will take a look at the need for mechanical toughness, heat transfer or thermal resistance, and corrosion protection, using both ceramic coating and cermet coating, to see which type is best.

Let us start with toughness versus hardness. Ceramics are hard. Of course they are well known for their resistance to severe abrasion. They maintain great structural rigidity. But what about frictional applications involving higher mechanical stress? When the contacting surface is metal, not graphite, plastic or elastic polymer-based, and loads are much higher? Cermets are the obvious choice. They rub well against themselves, as well as against harder surfaces or virgin metal. Fracture toughness can be outstanding.

Today, with carbon-based “diamond like” coatings (DLC) and tungsten carbide coatings (WC/C), significant dry lubrication can be added to further resist adhesive (sliding contact) wear. That is a big advantage when you consider contacting surfaces that must resist seizure or galling.

Thermal spray and electrolytic plating are common means of applying the ceramic coating and cermet coating. But, for applications more dynamic in nature, and where surface conformance and dimensional stability is critical, physical or chemical vapor deposition processes can be best.

For heat transfer or higher thermal resistance, cermet coatings are better suited. It is their greater flexibility at the substrate interface during large, sudden fluctuations in temperature that make them the more favorable. Phase transformations using stabilizing additives, like yttrium or magnesium, can reduce the possibility of micro cracking under thermal stress.

Yet, ceramics are the clear winner for resistance to corrosion. In particular, it is the chromium-based oxides most inert, chemically.

Outdoor Recreation Items

Every summertime we ferreted the inflatable pool out of the shed and set it up in the back garden in the sun. Then we filled it with water, put it in the sun and let the children play in it. The children loved it. One heard stories of children drowning in inches of water, so one always kept an eye on them. What it did do, was build a confidence in them about being in the water. They got their heads wet, went underwater and opened their eyes, and generally just enjoyed themselves.

Later this led to them wanting to learn to swim. The school provided swimming lessons, but most parents can encourage their children to swim by getting into the pool with them and showing them how, holding them, encouraging them to kick, etc, all of which builds up confidence and enjoyment.

Some children hate getting their faces wet, and dunking their whole head in the water is misery indeed. Help them to not be afraid, by encouraging them early on to enjoy the water.

After the dull days of winter, catching a bit of free Vitamin D from the sunshine in summer is another consideration. Our skin absorbs sunlight and our metabolism turns this into vitamin D, helping to build calcium in the bloodstream and so forming strong bones. (It is still recommended that you use a UV barrier cream when you are outdoors – and wear a hat as well)

There are many different types of outdoor recreational items. A lot of outdoor recreational items help children to develop their motor skills. Of course, there is also a wide variety of outdoor recreational items for people of all ages to enjoy, they are not at all limited to children.

Where can you go to enjoy yourself in summer with these items? A place to start could be ‘indoorwaterparks dot net’. It is a directory of waterparks in the USA, listed by state.

There is something for everyone in outdoor recreation. From babies to grandparents. Everyone can enjoy their day out, especially if care is taken to prepare well beforehand.

Many different companies manufacturer outdoor recreational items. (Most of these are inflatables). For instance there is Poolmaster, Swimline, Sunsmart, International Leisure, Coleman, Sevylor, Excalibur, Sportstuff, Banzai and Intex. Skamper manufactures ramps for animals which help them get out of the water. Zoggs specializes in ear plugs, nose clips and goggles.

To view a variety of these outdoor recreational items go to the website below.