Author: Mbonea, Donasian Last updated: Wednesday 6th February, 2013 What is benchmarking?
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 (for example - are there lessons to be learned from 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. The Benchmarking Process
Benchmarking involves looking outward (outside a particular business, organisation, industry, region or country) to examine how others achieve their performance levels and to understand the processes they use. 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 organisation or in key areas of the business environment. Application of benchmarking involves four key steps:
(1) Understand in detail existing business processes
(2) Analyze the business processes of others
(3) Compare own business performance with that of others analyzed (4) Implement the steps necessary to close the performance gap Benchmarking should not be considered a one-off exercise. To be effective, it must become an ongoing, integral part of an ongoing improvement process with the goal of keeping abreast of ever-improving best practice. Types of Benchmarking
There are a number of different types of benchmarking, as summarised below: Type| Description| Most Appropriate for the Following Purposes| Strategic Benchmarking| Where businesses need to improve overall performance by examining the long-term strategies and general approaches that...