Benchmarking - What objectives have your company set?




We are an Analytical Instrument manufacturer and monitor various processes. We report on such things as circuit board re-work rates, instrument repair turnaround time, shipping accuracy,and others. What we do not really get from this is an idea of how we compare to other companies.

For example, we have a 20-30% circuit board re-work rate. We manufacture thru hole boards. Any board that needs any type of re-work because it fails electronic test makes up this percentage.

Another benchmark we have set is to repair customers instruments within 14 days of receiving the repair order.

I would be interested to know what objectives other companies have set for themselves and how they measure up.


Change Agent and Data Storyteller
Super Moderator
We compare ourselves to several benchmarks. We know our past history and what goals we are currently capable of meeting. Having around 22 plants in our family, we are also able to obtain 'family benchmarks'...although we never hear the "why-can't-you-be-more-like-your-sister" speech from our parent company. :vfunny: We have also entered into a technical agreement with the agreed-upon leader in many areas in our industry. Every four months, they send over some delegates to help us. Every four months, we send some of our people over to their organization to learn. Action Items are generated out of these meetings with the intent to get us closer to where they are. Being a somewhat "close knit" industry, it is fairly easy for us to find out how our competitors are doing...especially if they're doing better than us (they'll tell us in a flash!!! :) )

Basically then, we have three benchmarks: our own, the family's, and the industry's.


Super Moderator
Trusted Information Resource
Actually, Jim, there are a few industries that are pretty open to benchmarking against the competition. We have done some work with one competitor in particular that was mutually advantageous. they were better at shipping, we were better at tolerances. We sent people there, they sent people here.

Of course, if we got the chance we'd still run them out of business, but hey, use your friends wisely I say!:eek: :vfunny:
Why compare just within your industry?

You could also reach outside your industry...


I used to work at a spare parts warehouse (Construction equipment ). We wanted to improve FIFO (First in, first out) and the general flow of parts through the warehouse. We did not benchmark ourselves against another spare parts company.

We elected to cooperate with a food chain warehouse instead.

We were obviously not competitors but the problems were similar. They were excellent at FIFO, and able to teach us a whole lot: They have to be good at that, or they'll find rotten food on their shelves. Of course we had a few things we could teach them too.

End result: Both companies benefited.:):)



Change Agent and Data Storyteller
Super Moderator
Jim Wade said:

Or - more specifically - you have three opportunities for comparison, the first two of which allow benchmarking (in the sense of being able to follow through to share information about HOW others achieve better performance).

I presume that industry comparisons don't easily allow full benchmarking to occur (for competitive reasons)?

rgds Jim

Like SteelMaiden said, some industries are fairly open in this area. The acknolwedged leader in our industry has agreed to a technical agreement with our organization - information is exchanged over a specified period with an agreed upon number "exchange visits" from each party. It's a win-win scenario for everyone! :)
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