Overview of the Information Bureaus and Service Provider Sectors
Information Bureaus and Service Providers are specialist companies and consultancies who provide fee based information and business services. The consultants who work for these types of companies have profound knowledge within a specific field. The main types of services are described below...
Within The Business Index business directory listed under ‘Business Information Services’ specialise in specific services for consumers or who stock particular items or merchandise. These show current market research regarding the various companies as well as statistics about their services of the stock they sell. They can also offer detailed information about the various categories that they cover, and these are arranged alphabetically for ease of sourcing. As well as category information and business listings, BIS also provide customer reviews and addresses of local and national companies as well as global companies. These can be found on various social media sites such as Facebook business pages or Linked-in and Twitter.
An excellent place to source a business information service is the internet as this ensures the guide is up to date and each company listed is still trading.
A fax is a way of sending a document anywhere in the world. Many companies have the facility to send and receive faxes, although it is now a slightly outdated method, because of emails, smartphones and printers that are able to scan documents and send documents. There are some advantages of still using fax machines as some countries refuse to accept electronic signatures, instead only accepting fax copies of contracts that require a signature. The document is fed into the fax machine, and the information contained on the document is processed into a bitmap, the information is then reconverted by the receiving fax machine and replicated, giving the recipient a printed copy. Companies, who deal primarily in Fax information and offer advice and training, also host their own remote server service which allows a business to use their own email accounts without having to invest in a separate fax line as well as the hardware. These can be located in a business listing under Fax Information and Service Bureaus.
Communication Technologies Services relates to any company that provide information relating to computers, software, and telecommunication and allows users to access and process information in various ways such as transmitting, receiving and storing.
Trading standards offer an invaluable service and give much-needed advice relating to all types of Consumer Information. There are certain procedures and guidelines that have to be followed regarding the sale of goods act, and it is important that consumers are in full possession of the facts, should they have a problem regarding faulty or sub-standard merchandise.
The future of a company depends primarily on pre-empting and researching ways in which it can become or remain successful. There are specific companies who excel in analysing company growth, studying statistics and form, write viable business plans and find ways to help take the company forward. These can be contracted for certain periods and can be called upon if advice is required. They are grouped under Economic Research Analysis and Development Services.
To engage with a professional or a company who studies the marketing side of a company, increases their profits and helps to create brand awareness, these can be sourced by using a trade directory and looking under Marketing Information Services.
Export Management Consultants offer sound advice for any business wishing to expand internationally into the global sector. They can help to identify and target customers, give advice and training concerning the import/export market, devise strategies to expand the business and help their client achieve their vision of getting their company successfully launched internationally.
Companies who deal in the import and export market and offer strategies and solutions to businesses are known as Trade Consultants. Figures show (2012) that only one in five firms within the UK plan to trade internationally with only 20% of businesses in Great Britain currently focusing on expanding overseas.
Companies who deal in health-care information, emergency care and social workers, hospital transport, carers, palliative and after-care health services come under the heading of Health Information and Referral Services. As technology is ever evolving, it will soon become a reality that all NHS records and patient data will exist purely in e-form. Every procedure, care, test and consultation will be linked in the hope of achieving optimum patient care. These can help alleviate the need for patients having to reschedule and manage their cancelled bookings.
Linked to this are companies who store data, documents and records but also offer a retrieval service should any documents need to be archived or re-accessed, then it is possible to do this. They are known as Records Management Services.
When specific information needs to be accessed, many companies engage the help of professional retrieval companies known as Search and Retrieval Services. This could be a document that needs to be archived, a parcel that has gone astray or information, such as proof of ownership of a property, mortgage/land registry searches etc.
Information Brokers are independent consultants who research and source information for their clients. This could be for market research purposes or a patient/people/company search.