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Benchmarking is a systematic method by which organisations can measure themselves against the best industry practices.The essence of benchmarking is the process of borrowing ideas and adapting them to gain competitive advantage.It is tool for continuos improvement.
Benchmarking can be applied to virtually any business or production process.Improvement to best in class levels in some areas will contribute greatly to market and financial success.Most organisations have a strategy that defines how the firm wants to position itself and compete in the marketplace.This strategy is usually expressed in terms of mission and vision statements. Supporting these statements is a set of critical activities,that are often referred to as critical success factors.In general,when deciding what to benchmark,it is best to begin by thinking about the mission and critical success factors.
Some questions that can be raised to decide high impact areas to benchmark are:-
1.What processes are causing most trouble?
2.How to differentiate our organisation from the competition?
3.Who contribute most to customer satisfaction?
4.Where are the loop holes?
5.Why there is a shortage?
6.When do we fail?
In deciding what to benchmark,it is best not to choose too large a scope.A benchmarking study should be done quickly.
Compare your subjects for benchmarking with the corresponding subjects of other World class/Country-wide/Industry-wide/Competitor/Other departments(Internal).Find the gaps in the performance or status.