Does anyone know of any benchmarking programs that we could join (our auditor mentioned that there are programs out there to help with this requirement)? We got a minor at our last surveillance audit because we do not formally benchmark business parameters. We do benchmark some things with other foundries, but not outside of our industry.
I think I remember browsing a site called The Benchmarking Exchange (TBE). Their page has information about joining their program to find other organizations interested in doing the same, benchmarking. Sorry I can't be so certain on their name. There are also a host of potential sources in Quality, Manufacturing, Marketing, and Engineering magazines. A quick walk through your different departments may yeild a few sources.
Minor on not formally benchmarking business parameters? Not sure on this one exactly, I need more information. I am surmising that you are QS9000.
Good that you are benchmarking within the industry, that is more than most organizations alone. However, likely more important (beneficial) is benchmarking outside of your industry (real innovations can be made in your industry from borrowing from another). Benchmark one organization good in Customer Service, another in Shipping for example. But you probably already realize that, just difficult making connections.
Our registrar came asked us this question....
"What outside source(s) do you use to develope benchmarks?" We are kinda of lost with this one. First of all, I need a clear understanding of what a "benchmark" is. I have looked up the definition in the glossary of the QS9000 manual, but still I can not make heads or tails of it. If we were to use an outside sourse (other than the machining industry), what would we ask them? How could we obtain these benchmarks? Maybe you guys in this wonderful forum can shed some light on the whole "benchmarking" thing. Please assist with any info.
Thanks so much,
PS: Did I mention that this forum was the greatest?!
Our company is trying to implement QS-9000 at several of our divisions. One has already been through their registration audit. A weak area was benchmarking. In trying to address this requirement I found it difficult to determine the best way to show the auditor that we benchmark. Basically, our stance was that the business plan goals are established (in part) through benchmarking other companies. We are documenting what data we benchmarked to determine business plan goals in the business plan however, since the business plan information cannot be audited, how do we show compliance? Is a policy statement the answer?
Anyone who has some feedback on what the auditor wants to see for benchmarking would be apprecitated.
Benchmarking is probably easiestly done through the business plan or management review. Try one of the free benchmarking services, I will try to remeember one although they are available through a search of this site.
Thanks for the information however, I'm still not sure what the auditor will want to see in the business plan or management review to convince him/herself that we are benchmarking. Are they looking for a section in the business plan dedicated to benchmarking? Are they looking for a documented benchmark for each goal and objective in the business plan? And in the case of the management review, will they be looking that benchmarking has been discussed as a specific topic or as part of review of other measurables?
For example: In the business plan we state that "we established such and such a goal because we benchmarked such and such a company". In the management review minutes, we state that "we reviewed customer complaints and had 13 while our benchmark company had 11".
Is this the type of thing that the auditor will look for or am I off track?
so other than a statement, what do you have? How did you determine that, what did you look at? you got the info from somewhere, that is what they want to see,,,,what did you/whoever review, how did you go about it and how did you make that determination? Not necessarily that they review the stuff in detail, just so that there is a trail to the statament.
There are several groups to support this out there....meeting agenda/minutes etc, copies of presentations...or notes from a presentation...it all depends on what you have/do. There is no magic solution, although there are many who will try to tell you there is.
Ted remember this is YOUR system and company. I always cringe when someone says we need to do something for the auditor. Benchmarking can be as simple as the competition uses Lotus Notes so we are looking into the feasibility of changing our system. It should fit with your business plan because it needs to fit your company. Are you looking at new technologies (can be new to you not necessarily to the industry i.e. off line programing), are your competitors ISO 14000 certified, etc.. You will find that your continuous improvement initiatives can and will drive your benchmarking because they should align with your business planning process.
One of ours a few years ago was to replace sales reps with engineers. It may sound different, our auditor thought so, but who are they to tell us how our business should move? We wanted to align ourselves as the best in class for engineering and design and it was one of our stepping stones to get there. the U of M MBA program suggested it and we benchmarked their study.
Keep it simple, ensure it fits your business and that it has a good possibility of being value added.