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Method 4 Benchmarking

Purpose

To identify and fill gaps in performance by putting in place best practice,

thereby establishing superior performance .

When to use

As part of a total quality process when taking an independent look at

performance by comparing it with that of others.

How to use

There are three distinct types of benchmarking which can be used by an

organization progressively to stimulate the improvement process.

1 Internal benchmarking This is the comparison between functions,

departments or a similar organization as a means of improving

performance. The usual aim is to optimize process performance by the


removal of errors.

2 Competitive benchmarking This is a cross-comparison within one

industry sector aimed at establishing best practice through the identifi-

cation of gaps between your own and your competitors' performance.

This can be done on product, functional , departmental or on a

company-wide basis.

3 Comparative benchmarking This is the comparison across all business

sectors aimed at establishing best practice in all areas of operation.

The route to benchmarking is as follows:

1 Define the business mission. The mission statement lays down the

business that you are in and can be translated into roles, goals and

objectives; for example: 'To be one of the world's premier suppliers of


pharmaceutical products, distinctive and successful in what we do.'

2 Identify the critical success factors (CSFs) that must be achieved to

fulfil the mission. Each CSF must be necessary and, together, must be

sufficient to achieve the mission. The CSFs are the absolute minimum

set of aims to accomplish this. Examples for a pharmaceutical company

might be:

• technical excellence in new products

• excellent suppliers

• well-qualified staf