Industrial classifications tend to depict the economy as a collection of separate sectors, and arbitrary lines are consequently drawn between these sectors.  This way of thinking ignores the complexity of production processes and management strategies, creating a divide between ‘manufacturing’ and ‘services’ which is stronger than it should be. In a recent paper (Academic paper, Vox Column, La tribune Column), Matthieu Crozet (RITM) and Emmanuel Milet (Univ. Geneva) show that manufacturing firms often produce and sell services to third parties. In 2007, 77% of manufacturing firms were servitised and servitised firms accounted for 92% and 91% of total manufacturing value added and employment respectively. Servitised firms tend to be larger and more profitable than firms exclusively specialized in the production of goods. The econometric analysis reveals that firms that start selling services experience an increase in their profitability between 3.7% and 5.3%, increase their employment by 30%, increase their total sales by 3.7%, and increase their sales of goods by 3.6%.