“You can’t be best at everything so don’t try to be - you need to understand what’s important to your business”
At Carcharodon, we are huge believers in benchmarking; after all, it’s one of the services we provide our clients. In fact, we use benchmarking a lot when shaping improvement programmes and have lots of benchmarking tools at our disposal. However, whilst it’s a useful activity, it can also be the cause of a huge amount of wasted effort and money if not executed correctly.
We see many examples where organisations have benchmarked without thinking in advance and have launched projects just to meet ‘best in class’ standards without understanding the overall business benefits. Unfortunately, you can’t be good at everything so our advice is to not try to be the best as everything – you should focus on what’s important.
The starting point to achieve this is to look at your overall business strategy and use this to define the critical performance factors for your organisation. Is it safety? Reliability? Costs? Manpower? Once you have determined these factors you can benchmark around them accordingly.
The next phase is to carry out a ‘first cut’ evaluation, determining the following:
- The potential level of improvement you want to make
- The value of this to the business
- How difficult achieving this will be
- How much it will cost
- How much effort it will require
- What are the risks of failing?
You should scrap the jobs that have a poor return on investment, go after the quick wins and plan and prioritise the rest. Trust us, this is not easy but it is achievable - we have spent years developing tools to make this process easier and more effective.
If you would like some advice or help on effective benchmarking, please contact me on 01469 530905 or email [email protected]