Benchmarking is a straightforward dynamic management process adoptable to all functions of your business. It can be defined as “the continuous process of measuring your products, services and practices against your toughest competitors or those companies known as leaders in their fields”.
What is Benchmarking ?
Benchmarking is a structured approach for looking outside your organization or just to look outside the box by studying other organizations and adapting their “best practices” in order to improve your business and help assure your survival and prosperity.
Your goal must be superiority in all areas – quality, product, reliability, and cost. Everything is important and you have to be very careful and constant in your efforts. You can use benchmarking as a tool by which you can identify, establish and achieve the highest standards of excellence – standards based on the realities of the market. It will easy help you to realize and correct your mistakes, and it will definitely push your business forward. As you know, the market is always changing, so you have to be aware and ready to react.
Benchmarking is a learning experience. You can observe what the competition is doing now and project that potential change in performance into the future. You should look at how they operate, and where it makes sense, adapt and build upon their practices for your own use. Ultimately, benchmarking provides useful information that can set your performance goals for attaining leadership, as well as developing and implementing action plans to achieve that position.
It is also important to understand what benchmarking is not. First, it is not simply a mechanism for determining “head count.” You may find that the process results in a reassessment of assigned resources, but its aim is to ensure that your company survives the changing business climate and remains a competitive business.
Benchmarking is not a program or campaign. It is not a one -time quick fix or cure-all. It is an ongoing management process that requires constant updating and integration of competitive information, practices, and performance into the decision making and communication functions at all levels of your business.
Benchmarking is the means by which you can establish continuously your priorities, targets, and practices that will lead to competitive advantage in the changing marketplace. Benchmarking is a survival strategy and not just a cost reduction effort. Benchmarking is a continuing process, not an end product.It will greatly help you to survive in time of crisis and to achieve leading positions following your competition and learning form their mistakes and achievements.
Benchmarking is a great way for your business to get and acquire good practices for the long run. However, there are a process or what we call 5 benchmarking phases to get it done in a perfect way.