To properly design and carry out a benchmarking process in your company, the following steps must be followed: planning, data collection, analysis, action and follow-up.
Benchmarking step by step
The main objective of this first stage is to plan the research to be carried out. At this stage we have to answer these questions:
What do I want to measure? – All research must have a reason, and it must be related to an area of our company that we want to improve.
Who am I going to measure? – To answer this second question we have to consider what type of benchmarking we are going to follow: competitive, internal or functional. Once we have made the decision, we will know whether we will compare ourselves with our own department or with a company from within or outside the sector.
Data collection is fundamental to benchmarking, and the success or failure of the whole process will depend to a large extent on it. We can obtain data from different sources: internal, professional associations or own research among others.
Once we have collected the necessary information, we have to analyse the elements that cause the differences between our company and the companies studied, in order to identify opportunities for improvement.
Once we have identified the magnitude of the differences, it is time to propose the improvements we are going to carry out. It should be borne in mind that we will only select those improvements that are feasible for our company in terms of size, resources and infrastructure.
The next step after analysing the information and having selected the benchmark aspects in the selected companies, it is time to adapt them to our company but always implementing improvements.
In other words, after analysing the information and identifying the best aspects of the companies we have selected, we take them as reference points to adapt them to our company but always adding some improvement or some advantage that will bring value to our clients.