What’s perishability?

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Perishability refers to the understanding that services are created and consumed when and how they are needed, unlike goods that can be stored. This concept applies to tickets for events and appointments with professionals, and can impact the cost of services.

Sometimes called service perishability, “perishability” is a term that refers to the understanding that, unlike goods that can be manufactured in large quantities and stored until needed, services are created and consumed when and how they are needed. If the opportunity to make use of these services is lost, there is no way to retrieve or store these services for later use. Instead, new services are created and used when and how they can be used.

One of the easiest ways to understand the concept of perishability in a business environment is to think in terms of tickets needed to attend a sporting event, such as a minor league baseball game. Tickets are made available to the general public, allowing them to pay a price and secure service or the right to attend the event. All unsold tickets for a particular game in the series perish when the game ends; they cannot be recaptured and used for a subsequent game. Instead, new tickets are made available for new games. Any of those tickets created for later games that are not sold will perish in the same way after the game has been played.

The same general concept or perishability holds when a client is unable to make an appointment with a professional. For example, if a patient needs to cancel and reschedule a doctor’s appointment, the opportunity to make use of medical services at the originally established time ceases to exist or perishes. Likewise, canceling an appointment with a lawyer means that the services that would have been provided at that time will also perish. In both cases, professionals will provide a new round of services when the rescheduled appointments occur, as long as they are not cancelled.

There are cases in which perishability may have an impact on the cost finally paid to benefit from some type of service. For example, if a teleconferencing provider is offering a limited time special on conference calling rates, a customer who chooses not to have a conference call during that period will forfeit the chance to have a meeting at a lower cost. While it is still possible to take advantage of the services at a later date, these services will be charged at the standard price rather than the temporarily reduced rates, which means that the customer will pay more for the conference than if they had purchased the services for the duration. the limited time special.

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