Benchmarking and Quality
Benchmarking is related to quality. Benchmark means to adopt a parameter in order to make measure. Benchmarking is made of at least three activities:
- Select an item to measure (a performance)
- Select the benchmark
- Make the measure
Benchmarking is the study and sistematic assessment of the managerial actions and processes adopted by the excellent organizations.
Following Rank Xerox, the benchmarking is the continuous process of product, services and processus measurement through the comparison with the best competitors or the organizations recognized as leader in other sectors.
There are three parts in this definition.
The benchmarking is a "process". In other words, a structured activity that unifies in a planned way mans, competences and risourses.
It is a "continuous" process. The benchmarking constraints the organization to a permanent survey about the "pertinent best" wherever it occurs. Eventually, a short word about the term "comparison" found in the definition. In fact, when comparing two items, one known (because produced by the organization), the other acquired (the benchmark), it becomes difficult because most of the time the objects to compare are not as simple as the performances of a sprinter, (a time record for example) but are very complex. Furthermore, when benchmarking, it is necessary to have a benchmark. From a legal and ethical point of view the benchmark must have a qualitative aspect (it must be different from the industrial spying!) and also from a managerial point of view. The management must conceive the organization as a relationale subject, not an isolated one.
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