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All entrepreneurs have a common goal, to continuously improve the quality of their products and services. This way they can correct existing mistakes, they will achieve higher sales and increase the success of their company.
Something that has proven very useful for many of these entrepreneurs to achieve this goal is to employ Benchmarking. This is nothing more than an ongoing and systematic process that is responsible for analyzing, measuring, comparing and applying the best practices of famous companies or organizations.
Benchmarking is not about carbon copying competitors’ strategies, but rather about learning from those tactics that have made them the most successful companies of the moment. This process can be applied in different ways, below, I will tell you what they are.
Types of Benchmarking
To achieve a higher competitive level you can employ the different types of benchmarking, among which are competitive, internal and functional benchmarking.
This seeks to improve the company’s efficiency by analyzing the services offered by the competition. Competitive benchmarking has been considered the most complicated process of all, as it requires a lot of time investment in research and analysis.
You can also ask your competitors to collaborate, although this is a bit more expensive, since not all of them want to share the techniques that have made them the best. Of course, this does not mean that none of them will give their help, but because they consider us their direct competition, they may ask for something in return.
Internal benchmarking is applied within the same company, usually those with several departments. The internal benchmarking consists of an exhaustive analysis of the techniques used by the different areas in order to identify which one has given the best results. In this way, this will be taken as an example to follow.
This is certainly a simpler and less expensive process. It is faster, as each area will simply be asked to give a report on the techniques they have used. In addition, it also allows you to identify those things where you are failing.
This process seeks to get the best of any enterprise, industry and company; not necessarily the competition. It tries to identify which internally applied processes have improved the quality of products and services.
Functional benchmarking has proven to be the most effective process for many entrepreneurs. Since they are not dealing with competing companies, they are not limited in their ability to collaborate with them.
What isn’t Benchmarking?
- It is not a program
- It is not about imitating other companies
- It is not always a simple process
- It is not the ultimate solution to your company’s existing problems
- It is not a process that will make your company the leader
- It will not miraculously increase your company’s growth
Steps for Benchmarking
Benchmarking like any other process requires the application of a series of steps so that everything is carried out in the right way and we don’t have to waste too much time. These steps are: planning, data collection, analysis, implementation and follow up.
For the proper functioning of any project it is necessary to have a previous planning. For you will never have a good result from chaos. Any activity that you want to carry out must have a good basis, especially if it is a company. For that reason it is important that you ask yourself the following questions:
What is my goal? What do I want to measure? Why can this strategy work? How am I going to do it? This series of questions will help you get a sense of what you really want to accomplish.
You also must take into account the personnel to be employed, who must be well trained. After this, you will proceed to delegate the work, letting them know the objective you want to achieve.
This is about obtaining the best business techniques. Data can be obtained from various sources, such as from associations, organizations or internally. This stage is very important, as the success or failure of your benchmarking will depend on it.
In this step we must analyze those elements that differentiate our company from others, to try to find improvements. Of course, not all the successful strategies of other companies will be viable in your case, but you can choose the most effective and accessible ones.
Once you have identified the best business techniques, you can proceed to implement these in your company. Adapting the application to your company’s needs.
This process is nothing more than making an evaluation of the different strategies applied for the improvement of the company. A detailed report of these can be made in order to visualize the degree of success of the same. This will also set the basis for good results in subsequent projects.
If you apply these simple steps you can make significant advances in the operation of your business or project. And you’ll work just like the best companies in the world do.