3.2.3 How can I implement Analysing Methods in my Company?

Strategic benchmarking

Strategic benchmarking involves 7 steps, and several of these steps can be run simultaneously:

Step 1:
Identification of the benchmarking object: Companies, structures, working places, products, components, individual parts, core processes and supporting processes can be subject to the benchmarking process.

Step 2:
Formation of a benchmarking team: A project leader is designated and team of 5 to 6 people is formed. The team members need certain preparation and training.

Step 3:
Intern (Internal / interim) analysis of the benchmarking object: The benchmarking team defines the key data required (time, financial, quality and input/output).

Step 4:
Determination of the benchmark best practice case/company: Best practice cases/companies can be found within the company (Intern benchmarking) as well as within (competitor benchmarking) and outside your sector (functional benchmarking). It is your task to find an appropriate benchmarking partner.

Step 5:
Analyses of the best practice case/company: This step is the most difficult and time-consuming one in the benchmarking process. The analysis of best practice cases/companies happens on two levels. First of all the "What" (key data, objectives) will be determined, secondly the "How" (proven, good practice processes). The focus of the questionnaire deals with question of "How". The best way of data collection is to have a personal conversation with the benchmarking partner.

Step 6:
Evaluation of results and analysis of outcomes: You have to consider structural differences between the best practice case/company and your own company in the evaluation. The main task here is to find out how the results are affected by internal and external conditions. The more both companies are alike regarding size, complexity, structure, life expectancy of the products, ownership structure etc, the easier it is to implement successful benchmarked processes.

Step 7:
Determination of new goals and processes and implementation of recommendations: Based on the results of the previous steps, the benchmarking team sets goals with the management. The team proposes measures (action plans, communication, controlling etc.) and is also responsible for their implementation.

Benchmarking against a competitor is difficult and will take a lot of resources, when the competitor does not cooperate. Indeed cooperation will happen quite rarely.