Benchmarking enables an organization to learn from the outside and to develop relevant measures and implement company-specific solutions. On principle, a company may benefit directly as well as indirectly.
The Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) is an alliance of leading benchmarking organizations worldwide who share a common vision, mission, and values. We focus on promoting and facilitating the use of benchmarking and sharing of best practices by helping each other and working together.
- How do you validate best practices?
- How do you make benchmarking information and best practices readily accessible and immediately useable?
- How do you still ensure self-innovation rather than cloning/ copying other organizations?
- How do you ensure that organizations review and evaluate the benefits from benchmarking and share the findings?
- How do you use the opportunities and developments in technology to facilitate the finding of best practices and benchmarking partners while recognizing that face to face networking needs to follow in order for benchmarkers to understand the necessary details of what to improve and how to implement the changes effectively to gain and sustain strategic improvements?
Benchmarking is a relentless strategic discovery process. It is a search for identification, understanding, adaptation, and implementation of solutions leading an enterprise to far superior performance, which is based on best practices. The main value added from benchmarking compared to other improvement tools is to learn HOW to improve from others.
At first, a company needs to decide what to do benchmarking on, then other benchmarking partners will teach the company how to improve. Subsequently, the appropriate changes need to be implemented.
Reinforcing competitive capacity with benchmarking as a management technique
Among management techniques, Benchmarking (BM) is gaining increasing significance. Its success is based on the many areas of application. It may be used as a tool to detect convoluted corporate structures or as an instrument to identify potential areas for improvement, in business processes as well as in areas concerning the strategic orientation of companies. According to recent surveys, most top managers realize that Benchmarking reinforces one’s competitive capacity. Especially for smaller and medium-sized companies, however, the practical application of Benchmarking seems to be difficult.
Benchmarking as a process in the search for best practices
Benchmarking supplements traditional comparisons between companies. It is characterized by the systematic search for efficient procedures and better solutions for complicated problems and processes. The search focuses on external businesses, i.e., companies that belong to other branches of industry. The studies do not attempt to identify differences between companies, but best practices which help to obtain above-average competitive advantages. In particular, Benchmarking is characterized by the question: „Why do others do it better, what can we learn from this?“
An essential advantage of Benchmarking is the proven and visible applicability of new ideas in other companies, acting as a motivational factor for staff members of the visiting company. Looking beyond the limits of one’s own enterprise enables significant improvements in the performance. For companies of all industries, this makes Benchmarking to an outstanding instrument to improve the performance.
Benchmarking applied consistently, integrally and continually
Benchmarking should not be understood as a new miracle cure to improve the own competitive capacity. The novelty of Benchmarking is the comparison with the best across business lines and the setting of standards for the own company. The method of Benchmarking incorporates existing management techniques and will be successful if applied consistently, integrally, and continually. However, several prerequisites have to be fulfilled.