How to Benchmark? Is Benchmarking of any value? Seeking advice

Is Benchmarking of any Value?

  • Yes - We use Benchmarking all the time but it's not very important.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No - We use Benchmarking but it's of no value.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    12
  • Poll closed .

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#31
Re: How to benchmark (seek advice)? Is Benchmarking of any value?

well, it's moderately expensive process, but most organizations find that it more than pays for itself.
You mean something like these:
Xerox: The Benchmarking Story

Benchmarking for Best Practices: Winning Through Innovative Adaptation

Best Practices for Benchmarking

...etc. .... etc. ... etc. ...

I am sure you will find nicely filtered stories of the benefits - or costs - of benchmarking if one sifts through the internet, research and marketing media.

Will it benefit every case? Not always. As you peruse the citations, one of the biggest downsides is inadequate preparation for benchmarking. I think and other is interpretation. What you might interpret as a good idea on the surface simply might not be one. Benchmarking holds many of the same issues as surveys.
Your third link is broken--it has an extra "HTTP" at the beginning. Nonetheless, of the other two, one leads to an abstract of a paper recounting stuff that happened nearly thirty years ago, and the other is just a "Yay! Benchmarking!" article. The thing I was questioning was the blanket statement that most organizations find that benchmarking pays for itself. There's no reliable evidence that I know of to indicate that the statement is true. I've personally seen (at a large OEM) large amounts of money squandered on it. While there might be some benefit to be derived from benchmarking for some companies on a relatively small scale, I still say the best benchmarking strategy is to recognize that the companies you want to emulate have smarter people and smarter management. Get the best people you can get and let them do their jobs.
 
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bobdoering

Stop X-bar/R Madness!!
Trusted Information Resource
#32
Re: How to benchmark (seek advice)? Is Benchmarking of any value?

Your third link is broken--it has an extra "HTTP" at the beginning.
I fixed it for you and the other readers.

Your third link is broken--it has an extra "HTTP" at the beginning. Nonetheless, of the other two, one leads to an abstract of a paper recounting stuff that happened nearly thirty years ago, and the other is just a "Yay! Benchmarking!" article.
I did not do an exhaustive search, nor do I intend to (that is better left for someone working on their thesis).

The thing I was questioning was the blanket statement that most organizations find that benchmarking pays for itself. There's no reliable evidence that I know of to indicate that the statement is true. I've personally seen (at a large OEM) large amounts of money squandered on it. While there might be some benefit to be derived from benchmarking for some companies on a relatively small scale, I still say the best benchmarking strategy is to recognize that the companies you want to emulate have smarter people and smarter management. Get the best people you can get and let them do their jobs.
My comment on the results of such a search being "filtered" is I doubt you will find any research designed specifically to test the negative (benchmarking may be so expensive that its expense outweighs its benefits). So, there is no reliable evidence that it is not true.

The problem is benchmarking is a broad concept, not a specific methodology like 8D corrective action reporting. Benchmarking can be a full blown project - and yes, those may be difficult to prove to be cost effective. But, it can also be a simple thought of "I noticed that they use this technology in their website and we don't. I can see we are missing a great opportunity." Now, that is pretty cheap. So, generalizing (or debating) - pro or con - on the overall concept is dubious. Its true measure of its benefits goes back to my cardinal rule: "It depends."


I still say the best benchmarking strategy is to recognize that the companies you want to emulate have smarter people and smarter management. Get the best people you can get and let them do their jobs.
Yes, of course. One way people become smarter is look at the mistakes others make and don't do them, look at the things they do right, and do them. One might see that as either "benchmarking" or simply the basis of learning. That is clearly one of the the benefits people find by stopping by the "Cove".
 

DrTBurns

Starting to get Involved
#34
Professor Deming's view:

"True: anyone could make a list of companies that are doing well, even though their management follows one or all of the above bad practices. These companies are saved by good luck, coincidence, having a product or service that commands good market. Any of these companies might do much better were the management to learn some theory of management. If anyone were to study without theory such a company, i.e., without knowing what questions to ask, he would be tempted to copy the company, on the pretext that 'they must be doing some things right.' To copy is to invite disaster."

"Too often this is the story. The management of a company,...knowing not how to go about it, having not guidance from principles, seeking enlightenment, embark on excursions to other companies that are ostensibly doing well. They are received with open arms, and the exchange of ideas commences. They (visitors) learn what the host is doing...Devoid of guiding principles, they are both adrift. Neither company knows whether or why any procedure is right, nor whether or why another is wrong. The question is not whether a business is successful, but why? and why was it not more successful? One can only hope that the visitors enjoy the ride. They are more to be pitied than censured."
 

msbettyhunt

Starting to get Involved
#35
Re: How to benchmark (seek advice)?

I've always thought of benchmarking as comparing to a similar industry / process. So, if I'm a metal stamper and I find that my die change takes 45 minutes, and I find that a competitor which does very similar work and has similar equipment does die changes in 20 minutes, I may be able to look at my die change process and see what I can do to reduce my die change time.

Granted there are differences between companies and processes, not to mention specific manufacturing equipment, but there are aspects which can, and should, be benchmarked if only to see 'where you stand with respecct to one or more competitors'.
Exactly, the benchmarking also became the reason of improvement and innovation in many organizations.
 
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