3.2.2 Why employ these techniques in my company and why not?

The key idea behind benchmarking is that companies (competing or non-competing) shall improve business processes by comparing performance measures and learning about best practices. Benchmarking takes place within the company, against competitors and against companies from other sectors. The following table presents advantages and disadvantages of benchmarking:


Figure 5: Advantages and disadvantages of different benchmarking types.

While the cost-benefit analysis employs hard facts (costs) and soft facts (expected benefits), break-even analysis is a mathematical tool used in strategic planning. As mentioned before, both tools are simple to use. The advantage of the cost-benefit analysis is that you can quantify (expected) benefits. The main advantage of the break-even analysis is that you can illustrate it easily by drawing a diagram.


Figure 6: Balanced Scorecard: Rivenbark & Peterson (2008)

The figure above shows the different perspectives that you have to consider when developing a balanced scorecard. The balanced scorecard has helped managers to recognize and understand that measurements supported only by numbers are not sufficient to explain the entire performance of an organization. "As much an art as a science, the balanced scorecard is a living process that must be adaptive to constantly changing external forces and internal course corrections. You learn as you go" (Buytendijk).
The SWOT analysis technique can help you find out if your strategy has potential for success under certain circumstances. Furthermore, your company-specific strengths and weaknesses are tested, to see if they can react to transformations of your company´s environment. In business situations you are often confronted with more than one option. In this case a cost-benefit analysis is very helpful in evaluating different alternatives such as potential investments. Furthermore with the help of cost-benefit analysis it is possible to estimate, if an investment is profitable.
Break-even analysis is often used to help plan your production and purchasing, as it is simple to use. It is also used to find the minimum amount of sales needed in order to make a profit. "With the scorecard, top managers can keep a close eye on different aspects of their organization and its environment in much the same way that a pilot would view different instrument panels when flying an airplane" (Martison).