April 2008 from the Supply Chain Management Review – “…Another important reality is that benchmarking brings a necessary level of objectivity to performance evaluation. The subjective notion that “We think we’re pretty good” isn’t really good enough. That was the trap we fell into at Compaq when it came to order cycle time until the benchmarking told us otherwise. The reality is that self-opinion doesn’t truly matter to customers, who are comparing you against other suppliers…

The biggest hurdle to benchmarking is coming up with standard ways to compare one company’s operations with another’s in order to make “like-for-like” comparisons…”

Read more

180 View – Although the article is old, we only just became aware of it. It is an extension of our theme of benchmarking for this month. The article makes a distinction between qualitative and quantitative benchmarking. In qualitative benchmarking, managers compare their techniques to those of similar organizations. They then analyze the differences, looking for opportunities to improve certain processes. Quantitative benchmarking refers to comparing internal key performance indicators (KPIs) to those of similar organizations. The goal is to identify any performance differences and note which processes need to be improved and by how much.