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What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is the process of

measuring an organizations internal processes
then identifying, understanding, and adapting
outstanding practices from other organizations
considered to be best-in-class.
What is Benchmarking?

Learning from others what they do right

and then imitating it to avoid
reinventing the wheel
What is Benchmarking?

Measuring yourself against

the best in class

Diagram of Benchmarking Concept

What are others

What is our performance performance levels? How
level? How do we do it? did they get there?


Figure 8-1 Benchmarking Concept (pg. 208)
Reprinted with the permission of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, 3577 Parkway Lane, Suite 200,
Norcross, GA 30092, 770-449-0461. Copyright 1995.
Key Elements

Measuring using metrics

- Expressed numerically, with target in mind
Key Elements

Recognizing differences in processes

- Need to thoroughly understand their own
processes as well as those of the
best in classs company
Key Elements

Comparing self to external competition

- Reduces chance of being caught off guard
- Encourages competition
- Personnel more motivated to attain goals
Key Elements

Imitation/Adaptation vs. Invention

- Provides a working model
on an improved process
Key Elements

Continuous Improvement
- Technologies and ideas become obsolete;
businesses need to keep abreast
of what is current
- Some benchmarking may need to be done
Handout #1
What Can We Learn from
Who in your field performs best?

What ideas can your organization


Who would be best for you to

benchmark with?
Reasons to Benchmark
Assists businesses cultivate strong points and
diminish problem areas

Lets ambitions be set impartially, taken from outside


Includes emulation and revision instead of new


Probable, valuable knowledge can be established and

implemented early on


6 Steps of the Benchmarking Process
Decide what to benchmark
Understand current performance
Study others
Learn from the data
Use the findings
Decide What to Benchmark
Which process are causing the most trouble?

Which processes contribute most to customer

satisfaction and which are not performing up to

What are the competitive pressures impacting the

organization the most?

What processes or functions have the most potential

for differentiating our organization from the
Critical Success Factors
Strategy that defines how a company
positions itself and competes

Expressed in mission and vision statements

Includes list of critical activities that must be

accomplished to realize companys vision

Help get the most bang for the buck

Understand Current Performance
Thoroughly understand the and
document the current process

Flow charts and cause-and-effect

diagrams are helpful

Pay attention to inputs and outputs


The benchmarking team decides:

- what type of benchmarking to perform

- what type of data to collect
- the method of collection
Types of Benchmarking


Internal Benchmarking
Evaluates progressions or procedures inside the
business or company over time with recognized
objectives in mind

Benefits - the simplicity of data gathering and the

designation of parts for upcoming outside inspections

Disadvantage - a decreased likelihood that it will

generate important process advancement innovations
Competitive Benchmarking
Evaluates the organization's procedures
to those of close rivals.

An expert or another outside party,

rather than the company itself, gathers
and evaluates the data because of its
proprietary quality.
Investigates actions that are or can be used in the
majority of businesses

One inconvenience is in realizing how processes

transform across industries

Can frequently bring about an organization's radically

changing its thoughts about its working competence
and in the reengineering of industry processes

Innovations from other kinds of organizations can be

applied across industries
Examines comparable practices and
procedures in businesses or companies in
additional industries

Presents a chance for innovative advances by

investigating high-performance methods
across an array of trades and businesses
Study Others
How are best-in-class processes

What are the measurable results?

Learn From the Data
Is there a gap between the organizations
performance and the performance of the best-in-
class organizations?

What is the gap? How much is it?

Why is there a gap? What does the best-in-class do

differently that is better?

If best-in-class practices were adopted, what would

be the resulting improvement?
Three Types of Gaps


Identifiable Benchmark Gaps
Must be described and quantified

Processes must have inputs, activities,

and outputs

Level of detail must allow for eventual

Additional Gap Analysis
Necessary to determine root causes

Gaps come from process practices,

general business practices, and the
organizational and operational structure

<<<< BREAK >>>>
Handout #2
Use the Findings
Benchmarking must generate outcomes.

Individuals who can formulate the modifications must

be notified.

Process Owners and Upper Management must concur

on the modifications.

There are seven stages for progression and

implementation of action plans.
Goals and Objectives
After acceptance, the new goals and
objectives set are based on benchmark

Depends on the organizations planning

Development and Execution
of Action Plans
Specify tasks
Sequence tasks
Determine resource needs
Establish task schedule
Assign responsibility for each task
Describe expected results
Specify methods for monitoring results
Adapting to Change

Process practices are easier to change

Business practices are harder to change

Best in class is a moving target

Not the only answer

Not helpful for processes that do not offer much

opportunity to improve

Not helpful if process owners and managers feel

threatened by findings or do not act upon them
Potential Problems with
Benchmarking is restricted to your individual trade

It may confine the focal point to what is currently

being done

Useless if used for procedures that do not present a

great deal of opportunity for progress

Process owners and managers may feel intimidated

or may not admit/act on results
Exercise #4 in Textbook (p. 221)
What difficulties are typically
encountered when benchmarking direct

Describe several ways to work around

these problems.

Please clear your desks

Works Cited
The Benchmarking Exchange. (2008) What is benchmarking?
Retrieved February 11, 2008 from

Answers.com Business & Finance. Business encyclopedia:

benchmarking. Retrieved February 11, 2008 from

Besterfield, D. H., Besterfield, G. H., Besterfield-Michna, C., &

Besterfield-Sacre, M. (2003). Total quality management (3rd
ed.) New Jersey: Pearson Education International
Other Resources
American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC)
Benchmarking and Best Practices Presentation
The Benchmarking Exchange and Best Practices Homepage
Benchmarking: The search fo rIndustry Best Practices That Lead
to Superior Performance by Robert C. Camp

The Benchmarking Book by Michael J. Spendolini