How To - Benchmark your business



There are normally 4 stages to benchmarking:

  1. Gathering together information.
  2. Comparing the results of that information.
  3. Analysing the information fully.
  4. Implementing strategies to improve.

 

  • Gathering Information
    Benchmarking can assist in the improvement of any business. Benchmarking allows the gathering together of information relating to your business and then measuring that against the results achieved by similar businesses in the marketplace. This will result in identifying areas where your business can improve its performance by strengthening its weaknesses and utilising its strengths more.

    The factual information extracted is easy enough to put together, but there are also other areas, such as customer reaction and satisfaction that are more difficult to gauge or record. In any case, the gathering together of information is the most important first stage of benchmarking.

  • Comparing the Information
    The data gathered is of no use unless there is a person with the experience able to understand the figures and other data generated. There must be a company or personnel that have the experience to be able to look at the information and make sensible comparisons with the results achieved by other businesses. Where there is comparison of database, it is necessary to have knowledge of how to profile your business, especially if you have more than one product or service line.

  • Analysing Information
    As your business grows and becomes more comfortable with using benchmarking techniques, you will need to learn how to analyse the date. Analysis is far more than just crunching numbers. It involves looking at the variation between your results and the standard results achieved by others in the industry, and then coming to conclusions that will enable the improvement in your operation, as well as your profits. Analysing the trends and understanding these areas is important.

  • Implementing Action to Improve
    When the benchmarking techniques produce results from your analysis, your business will then have to make a conscious decision of how to bring about the improvement suggested by its conclusions. The information is only a study and it is not strictly benchmarking until you have implemented any changes to your current and past business programmes to achieve more competitiveness and higher growth.

 


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