strategy - 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 taker 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 organisation 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, ...view middle of the document...
It involves considering high level aspects such as core competencies, developing new products and services and improving capabilities for dealing with changes in the external environment. Changes resulting from this type of benchmarking may be difficult to implement and take a long time to materialise - Re-aligning business strategies that have become inappropriate
Performance or Competitive Benchmarking Businesses consider their position in relation to performance characteristics of key products and services. Benchmarking partners are drawn from the same sector. This type of analysis is often undertaken through trade associations or third parties to protect confidentiality. _ Assessing relative level of performance in key areas or activities in comparison with others in the same sector and finding ways of closing gaps in performance
Process Benchmarking Focuses on improving specific critical processes and operations. Benchmarking partners are sought from best practice organisations that perform similar work or deliver similar services. Process benchmarking invariably involves producing process maps to facilitate comparison and analysis. This type of benchmarking often results in short term benefits. - Achieving improvements in key processes to obtain quick benefits
Functional Benchmarking Businesses look to benchmark with partners drawn from different business sectors or areas of activity to find ways of improving similar functions or work processes. This sort of benchmarking can lead to innovation and dramatic improvements. - Improving activities or services for which counterparts do not exist.
Internal Benchmarking involves benchmarking businesses or operations from within the same organisation (e.g. business units in different countries). The main advantages of internal benchmarking are that access to sensitive data and information is easier; standardised data is often readily available; and, usually less time and resources are needed. There may be fewer barriers to implementation as practices may be relatively easy to transfer across the same organisation. However, real innovation may be lacking and best in class performance is more likely to be found through external benchmarking. - Several business units within the same organisation exemplify good practice and management want to spread this expertise quickly, throughout the organisation
External Benchmarking involves analysing outside organisations that are known to be best in class. External benchmarking provides opportunities of learning from those who are at the "leading edge". This type of benchmarking can take up significant time and resource to ensure the comparability of data and information, the credibility of the...