Benchmarking is a useful business strategy for any company, regardless of how big, or small, they may be. What is benchmarking? In a nut shell, it is the continuous process of measuring your products, services and work processes, against those of the recognized leaders in your field. Benchmarking can be an eye opening experience for any business. It’s a wonderful tool for exposing a business to new methods, ideas and tools to improve their effectiveness.
To benchmark, you must first begin by identifying your problem areas. The nice thing about benchmarking is that it can be applied to any business process or function. You can locate your problem areas through a variety of techniques including informal discussions with customers pr employees, using focus groups or marketing research, surveys, questionnaires, etc. Once you have a grasp on the problems, identify the businesses that are leaders in the areas you are struggling with and study their practices and philosophies to see what they are doing right.
Benchmarking takes time and some expense to do properly, but the payoff is well worth the effort.
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