Unless you track how your business efforts are faring, you will not know what you need to do more or how you need to change your tactics. This is where the role of benchmarking comes in to set goals for your business operations using defined metrics. Bench-marking is the ultimate move to track the progress of your brand and meet goals faster. With benchmarking, businesses get a chance to measure themselves against external standards, as well as to measure internal progress.
Now, when it comes to the process of bench marking, it doesn’t just boil down to tracking certain metrics. The complete package is when you identify and assess the key metrics depending on your business goals and align the metrics based on where you want to be. The process completes a full circle only when you create an action plan to achieve more goals.
How to zero down on a bench-marking system for your business?
Before you implement a bench-marking system to manage operational progress and development, there are several things to keep in mind.
Depending on the industry, you must meet specific standards that consumers expect from a brand that is worth the salt. Now, how do you figure out whether your brand is meeting those standards? A single bench-marking system does not fit more than one company because every brand is unique and has different paths to success. With a robust bench-marking system at your aid to analyse and compare your processes and offerings to what your contenders offer.
It’s pertinent for business leaders to be aware of what the brand’s niche industry is offering, how the trends are changing, and the new technologies to adapt to stay ahead of others. Unless you have a definite plan to monitor your operations using benchmarks, you will not know what is happening in your business environment.
That brings us to the next crucial question – What are the types of Bench-marking?
3 Types of Business Bench-marking
Based on the standards to monitor, a business can choose from three types of bench-marking. These are:
1. Internal bench-marking
Using internal bench-marking, a business can improve its strategies by comparing the historical data of the brand itself. You can compare the data of two different organisational departments or two branch locations to uncover the most efficient practices for your company.
The benefits of using internal bench-marking are:
- Internal bench-marking of business assignment help companies avoid a sheer wastage of time and money in a business.
- Internal benchmarks can be used to focus on employee performance and efficacy as utilisation of business tools.
- Internal benchmarks also help brands build resilient teams by identifying employee talent and what designation best suits them.
- Internal bench marking makes it easy for management and employees to weed out erroneous or unnecessary organisational processes.
2. Competitive bench-marking
In competitive bench-marking, a brand sets goals after studying the standards and practices of competitors. This type of benchmarking helps brands exceed the industry status quo and gain a competitive edge.
Here are certain things to remember about competitive bench-marking:
- Competitor benchmarks monitor various factors – employee salaries, products and services offered, employee morale, and more.
- Use this method to stay ahead of the competition by understanding what your competitors are doing.
- Your next step would be to create a suitable work environment for your employees so that they are willing to stay with your company and give it their all.
3. Strategic bench-marking
In strategic bench-marking, a brand emulates certain performance standards of the best brands in the niche – usually top-rated organisations. It does not necessarily have to be within your niche. You can venture out and take inspiration from cross-industry brands. If and when you choose to go with this bench-marking process, make sure to assess whether the techniques will work for your brand or not.
Next up, let us look at what benefits bench-marking has in store for your company. Here we go!
5 Benefits of Bench-marking for Businesses
Unless you go in for consistent practice, you will not be able to benefit from bench-marking. To that end, here are five reasons for businesses to make bench-marking a regular practice:
1. To improve internal operations
Bench-marking business operations, be it internal or external standards, can make your team more efficient and productive.
2. To understand what’s working
Bench-marking gives you goals to achieve and makes it easier for you to move closer towards the objectives by assessing your business’s past performance. You can study trends and patterns to get a clear picture of what practices can improve overall business results.
3. To improve upon contenders’ practices
Studying what your contenders are doing helps you understand the formula behind their success or the mistakes leading to their downfall. By adopting the right practices and avoiding fallacies, your brand can optimise its position in the market by appealing to the target audience.
4. To reduce costs and increase efficiency
Bench-marking can improve performance and improve efficiency by eliminating the irrelevant parts of a process. This could be monetary costs, time or effort spent. As a result, bench-marking streamlines business operations and retain more revenue.
5. To focus on customer satisfaction and loyalty
When you collect feedback and other information from your customers, you get insights into what they like and what they don’t. You can use this data to your advantage by altering your strategies to please your customers and meet every requirement they have.
As you can see, bench-marking can help you improve your business operations by giving you a clear goal to meet and letting you know about your progress. But that will only happen when you tick all the right boxes and steps of a bench-marking process. Wondering how? Read on to know.
5 Steps of a Bench-marking Process
Usually, a typical bench-marking system includes five stages starting from determining where you are planning to get there. I have broken down the process into five distinctive stages, which are:
1. Know what to benchmark
Start by identifying which performance metrics you want to measure based on the goal you want to achieve or the sector you want to improve. Whether it’s sales, marketing, or team development, define the activities you want to benchmark along with the relevant metrics to track progress.
2. Conduct in-depth research to gather data
Connect with the people related to the metrics. This can be customers, employees, business stakeholders or competitors. Conduct surveys or initiating singular or group conversations to collect valuable feedback for your benchmarking process.
3. Determine where you want to be
Use the collected data to figure out how your current operations are faring-against other departments or brands. Study the results to determine a realistic goal for further improvement. Use graphs and charts to map out your data holistically so that it is easy to understand.
4. Develop a proper action plan
This is where you implement the bench-marking process by developing actionable steps to reach your business goals. In this step, try to define the goal you want to attain as clearly as possible to develop an action plan that serves as a clear path for hitting your objectives.
5. Monitor your progress
Once you have put the bench-marking system to use, track the progress of the revised action plan at regular intervals. You can create a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual system to track the relevant metrics consistently. If you fail to meet any of the benchmarks, it is a clear indication that you must change the plan of action.
Always remember that there is no single formula to come up with a bench-marking process for your business. Moreover, don’t ever make the rookie mistake of copying the bench-marking system of one brand for yours. Every brand out there, even the ones in your niche, is dynamic. So, you need to develop a unique bench-marking process depending on your current state and the goals you want to reach.
If you have tried a bench-marking process and have some tricks up your sleeve, do not forget to share them with us.