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Benchmarking | Marketing Concepts.

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Background

It emerged in the early 1980s but it was until the early 1990s when it became an accepted means to improve the performance of the company.
In 1985, there was almost no activity of benchmarking between the companies cited by Fortune 500; by 1990, half of the companies cited by that same publication were using this technique. The single most likely cause for the slow increase in use of benchmarking is the wrong understanding of the concept.
The word benchmark comes from lifting geographical studies, in which means measured with respect to a reference point. In the lexicon of the improvement of the quality, a benchmark is that managed to be "best in class". This achievement, then, becomes the reference point or recognized pattern of excellence with respect to which similar processes are measured.

Definition

While the benchmark is a measure, benchmarking is a process of measurement. It is a business process that can contribute to achieving a competitive advantage.
Benchmarking is the process of comparing and continuously measure an organization with respect to the business leaders from all over the world to obtain information that will allow the Organization to take the necessary steps to improve their performance.
Benchmarking is a proactive process to change operations in a natural way and achieve superior performance. It is defined as the continuous process of improvement of products, services and methods with respect to the stronger competitor or those companies considered leaders.
Benchmarking, look to the best anywhere in the world, and compare it to improve or in an almost literal translation perform "reference studies", is a technique of collecting information about competitive practices. The primary purpose of your application is to provide management practices that deliberately give the customer higher values.
Process in which companies of different industries are "associated" to share information about their performance to learn from each other.
Benchmarking has become a practice standard management between companies recognized for their excellence.
Tool to gather information about performance to change vital processes of the organization. It enables organizations to invest in a process of learning and applying what they learned directly to its negotiation problems
You must differentiate between benchmarking and competitive analysis, the latter includes comparing a product of the competitor against yours. Compare the features and the price of the product. Benchmarking goes beyond, by comparing as it is designed, manufactures, distributes and supports a product. Benchmarking emphasizes not what the product is and what it costs, but in the fundamental processes used to produce it, distribute it and support it.
Finally, and most importantly, benchmarking is a tool to help establish where you must assign resources for improvement.

Benchmarking categories

Internal benchmarking

In most of the large companies with multiple divisions or international there are similar functions in different units of operation.
One of the easier benchmarking investigations is to compare these internal operations. You must you have easily with data and information and there is no confidentiality problems. Data and information may be as broad and full as desired.
This first step in the research of benchmarking is not only an excellent base to discover differences of interest but also focuses attention on the critical issues that will face or that they are of interest to understand from practices of external investigations. It can also help to define the scope of an external study.

Competitive benchmarking

Direct competitors of products are against whom it is more obvious to carry out benchmarking.
They would meet, or should do, with all races of comparability. In short any research benchmarking should show what are the advantages and disadvantages of comparative between direct competitors.

Functional benchmarking

It is not necessary to focus on the direct competitors of products. There is a great possibility of identifying functional competitors or industry leaders for use in benchmarking
Benchmarking is not a process of recipes from cookbooks that only require to find the ingredients. It is not a fad, but a winning business strategy. It is a way of doing business. Forces to use an external point of view that secure the correction of the targeting.
It eliminates the subjectivity of decision-making because it promotes teamwork to focus attention on business practices to remain competitive

Approach and process of Benchmarking

1 get commitment to the address:
Benchmarking requires long time key people and resources for transfer to the facilities of the benchmarking partners.
You need authorization from the Directorate. The exchange of information on processes also requires authorization.
The aim of benchmarking is to discover processes that replace yours or less making sensitive changes in them, authorization is required for this.
Without the direction mandate there is benchmarking.
Without commitment to the address, do not proceed in this sequence.
2 highlight your own processes:
If there is total quality in the Organization, it is possible that you did anything of delineation in your processes; before you can use continuous improvement, and before using statistical process control, the proceedings in question must be understood.
Processes should be characterized: capacity, flow charts, etc. It is important to understand them before comparing them with others. Important is also the documentation of the processes.
3. identify your strong and weak processes and document them:
Weak processes are candidates for radical change through benchmarking. The strong will not initially; It is best to treat them with continuous improvement techniques. It may be difficult to classify processes in weak or strong, especially when we don't set expectations of them. Focus on the weak without removing the strong view
Above all, document all processes, only then there will be benefits for your members
4. Select the processes that will be submitted to benchmarking:
Never do a benchmark to a process that you don't want to change. In the list of benchmark processes are those that we know are below
5 teams of benchmarking:
The teams that will make the benchmarking must be people who operate the process (input and output): these people are the best to recognize the differences between your process and your partner
The team should include someone with research capacity to communicate with the counterpart
Every team must have a representative of the direction, not only to keep her informed, also to provide the necessary support of the same, to implement a change
6 investigate the best in its class:
You may find and that you are ready. Since it is about processes, benchmarking may occur in a different industry
7. select candidates better in its class:
The team decided that it would prefer to work, considering location and if it is a competitor, you must remember that you share information
Best benchmarking partners provide some benefit for both parties
Most of the best organizations in their class, are willing to share their expertise and experiences
8 form agreements with benchmarking partners:
The team contacts the potential partner to form an agreement covering benchmarking activities. Often the most difficult part is to identify the person in the position and authority on the potential company
Determine the disposition of the company to participate, otherwise find another candidate.
The agreement will contain the Organization of visits to both companies, disclosure limits, and points of contact. Keep this company as reserved as possible
9. collect data:
Observe, collect and document all about the process of the partner, try to determine the factors and underlying processes
What is it that makes them successful in this area?
Use of maintenance productive Total TPM, continuous improvement, empowerment of staff, use of statistics?
Understanding what your process (flowchart), your support needs, stroke, control, relationship with preceding or subsequent processes.
On the floor of the partner is receptive to new ideas that are not directly associated with the process
The observation of the culture of another organization is useful
10. analyse data and set the gap:
With the data in hand. compare them against data taken from your process. In the majority of cases, the team will establish the gap (difference in performance between the two processes) numerically. Example: 200 pieces / hour vs. 110 pieces / hour; 2% vs 20% waste
When the team concludes that the partner is better, questions arise such as: "can your process replace the US? How much will cost? Can we pay for it? What will be the impact on adjacent processes?
The answer to these questions is the form that has the team to conclude that the implementation is possible.
11 planning action to close the gap / exceed it:
Suppose that the team decides that change is desirable, feasible and respaldable, and that he wants to adopt it. The implementation will require some planning to minimize confusion as the change is made and the operators are accustomed to the new process.
It is important to approach the implementation with the intention of doing so, without haste. Note the contingencies and how to avoid them, or at least be prepared to confront them.
The physical implementation may accompany the training of operators, suppliers and customers...
The Organization must implement change only after a preparation and training fund.
Not just transplanting the partner process; Remember that the goal is to use the process that is best in its class, the Organization must exceed the performance of the process of your partner.
This may not be possible at the beginning, however, the initial planning of the team should provide the development work necessary to succeed in a given period of time.
12 implement change:
The easiest stage of all may be the implementation, assuming that the planning team has been deep and execution are attached to the plan.
It is possible to have equipment and staff new or more or less personal, but there will be new procedures that will take time to become routine.
Don't be surprised that the initial performance does not compare with the benchmark, after a period of adaptation to changes and initial problems, performance of closer to the model.
If not, he was not considered an important factor, and will need another visit to the benchmarking partner to determine which is.
13 monitoring:
Once the process is installed and operating, performance must be approaching rapidly from the benchmark. Continuous improvement will allow the Organization to exceed the benchmark, however this will be possible with constant attention: monitoring.
All processes require constant attention on the monitoring
Statistical process control, and other types of graphics can be very useful.
14 update benchmarks, continuing the cycle:
The ultimate goal of the benchmark is to become best - in-its-class. This makes those with best-in-its-class processes continue to striving for a better performance.
It is possible that new ideas will generate a single improvement, putting your organization at the forefront of your benchmarking partner. If that happens, your company will be sought as the best-in-his-genre.
Although this does not happen, and the benchmark was not exceeded, the important thing is keeping the goal of being the best.
The benchmarks should be regularly updated. Keep in touch with the best.
Continue the process.
Let the continuous improvement to deal with the best processes, focus the benchmarking for processes that are still weak.
Published for educational purposes
Concepts of Leadership and Marketing

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