Benchmarking is a critical first step in identifying opportunities for process improvement. Used correctly, benchmarking allows companies to compare their processes versus the best practices in their industry and develop a road map of how to adopt best practices within their own organization.
Mark Brousseau at the TAWPI Blog compiled a list of Benchmarking DOs and DON"Ts based on discussions at the recent TAWPI Payments Conference (I live blogged the event – coverage here) and the Supply Chain Leadership Forum:
The Top 5 DOs:
- Do align with key stakeholders.
- Do succinctly summarize benefits for top management.
- Do reduce your scope to actionable items.
- Do maintain perspective of both your business and cultural model.
- Do test multiple options before drawing conclusions.
The Top 5 DON'Ts:
- Don’t use competitors that match up poorly with your processes.
- Don’t ignore your competition.
- Don’t use the “boil the ocean” approach (focus, focus, focus).
- Don’t use benchmarking and data analysis tools without understanding how they work.
- Don’t work in a vacuum and think your organization knows it all.