Benchmarking: Management and Best Practice

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Question:
a. Please fully describe the benchmarking process (advantages and disadvantages). b. Explain in detail when and why a firm should employ this process. Benchmarking is the process of identifying "best practice" in relation to both products (including) and the processes by which those products are created and delivered. The search for "best practice" can take place both inside a particular industry, and also in other industries. The objective of benchmarking is to understand and evaluate the current position of a business or organization in relation to "best practice" and to identify areas and means of performance improvement. Benchmarking involves looking outward to examine how others achieve their performance levels and to understand the processes they use. Therefore reflects those actions either fore or against particular organizations goals. In this way benchmarking helps explain the processes behind excellent performance. When the lessons learnt from a benchmarking exercise are applied appropriately, they facilitate improved performance in critical functions within an organization or in key areas of the business environment. The process goes beyond comparisons with competitors to understand the practices that lie behind or ahead in performance gaps. Advantages for an organization that is willing to utilize this process is to identify a method for mimicking the practices of competitors. This is done so in a way of seeking superior process performance by looking outside the industry. Their practices are used as a reference point to measure performance against. It indicates the possibilities for an organization to achieve. Disadvantages include the difficulties that will be encountered when benchmarking. Due to the fact that benchmarking is a continuous process, time and dedication must be given to this in order to improve a particular process. Misunderstanding the mission and vision are also disadvantages along with not relating...
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