Benchmarking is our everything
If you translate from English the word«Benchmarking», it turns out: bench - a place, marking - to mark. That is, "make a nick", "mark a place". The meaning of this term will help understand the Russian folk saying: "The smart learns from other people's mistakes, the fool - on their own". So, benchmarking is the first part of the saying.
Seriously, this is a comparison of one's activitieswith similar indicators of the most successful competitors. This analysis is not carried out for the sake of sporting interest, but in order to draw the appropriate conclusions about our own experience, to detect errors and shortcomings. And then, having corrected them, move forward.
To illustrate the idea, let us recall one moreproverb, now European. "Business is a bicycle: you twist the pedals - you move fast, stop pedaling, you fall". Stand still will not work - the recession will begin. Therefore, the most terrible business for business is to stop on the achieved success. Do not invest in development and marketing.
Specialists distinguish four types of process of this economic phenomenon:
- Overall benchmarking is comparing your own performance and product sales with the performance of several of the most successful competitors;
- functional - comparison of individual parameters and indicators with similar indicators of the industry leader (studies are conducted by a team of specialists);
- competitive benchmarking - analysis of data on enterprises one with the researcher of the industry;
- internal - an analysis of the activities of units within the organization on parameters that are analogous.
For example, the company Hewlett-Packard onceconducted a functional benchmarking in order to eliminate the backlog of its Japanese competitors. The payback period of the project was taken as the indicator studied. As a result of the research, a strategy for the further development of the product was developed. The results can be judged by the abundance of office equipment with the HP logo in each office.
The main difficulty determining benchmarking isthis is that competitors are not inclined to share the secrets of their success. Commercial information is closed, and attempts to obtain it are classified as industrial espionage. Therefore, there is some error in the results.
With some assumption, one can find similarities withinternational standards ISO-9000. The goals of benchmarking and ISO-9000 are to fix at a high level the standard not only of the final product, but also of each stage of the technological process.
Illustrative example of the concern "Ford". By 1986, the company had a serious recession. The managers of the industrial giant conducted a benchmarking study, which resulted in the release of the Ford Taurus, the company's first front-wheel drive model. The decision to equip the car with a front-wheel drive was the result of an analysis of the performance of successful competitors - Chrysler and General Motors. In addition to the all-wheel drive, in the production of cars were taken into account other factors behind the company from its closest competitors. As a result, Taurus became the car of the year, and by results of sales for all time it was recognized as one of the five best-selling cars from Ford.
It should be taken into account that benchmarking is an instrumentconstant impact on technological processes. In case of a one-time application, success will be temporary, as it happened with the same Taurus: in the next few years the analysis was not carried out, the defects in the car caused complaints from car owners. This sharply reduced the volume of sales of the mentioned brand.