Basic concepts of benchmarking

Definition Benchmarking is a systematic, continuous process for measuring, evaluating, and comparing business practices against recognized leaders to determine the extent to which you can improve your organization's performance.
By Richard L. Dunn January 1, 1999

Definition

Benchmarking is a systematic, continuous process for measuring, evaluating, and comparing business practices against recognized leaders to determine the extent to which you can improve your organization’s performance.

It is most useful as a first step in creating the recognition that change and improvement are possible or needed and when trends, rather than just absolutes, can be studied.

General approaches

– Internal benchmarking — comparing processes within a company

– Competitive benchmarking — comparing processes with a competitive company

– Function benchmarking — comparing a function (e.g., maintenance) in one plant or company with the same function elsewhere

* Generic benchmarking — comparing processes with an “unrelated” organization recognized for innovation or a specific expertise