Measuring performance against a recognized business excellence or quality framework can deliver a range of benefits for firms. It is pivotal to a firm to know one’s own standard and compare it against others in today's complex and competitive corporate environment. Benchmarking is a technique for assessing a firm’s performance against the performance of other firms. It is used to find the best practice and to take necessary actions to improve the firm’s own performance so that it meets or exceeds that of its competitors. It is usually a process of reengineering or quality improvement initiative, and focuses on the ongoing quality management efforts of strategic business units. This has resulted in the establishment of a conceptual framework for evaluating users’ needs identified in market opportunity analysis, a new service concept, the user’s ombudsman, relationship marketing and a citizen charter. The article highlights the significance of using benchmarking as performance indicators, process reengineering and quality improvement in organizations. The article describes an overview of organizations benchmarking and views of the author. The article finds that organizations have tried to find consensus on a common set of performance indicators for benchmarking purposes. The indicators chosen for such organizations differ between countries and type of firms. The article reveals examples where sets of indicators are used on a regular basis and compares the indicators used and the methods of benchmarking. The article depicts the difficulties of reaching an agreement when starting an initiative business unit and points to results and success and to problems that occurred in the benchmarking process. The article provides useful information for organizations with existing competitive advantage and helps to find adequate methods for different purposes.
Key words: Benchmarking, best practices, performance indicators, process reengineering, quality management.
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