XEROX - The Benchmarking Story



Themes: Operational Restructuring
Period : 1982 - 2002
Organization : Xerox
Pub Date : 2006
Countries : USA
Industry : Office Automation

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Case Code : OPER012
Case Length : 14 Pages
Price: Rs. 500;

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About Benchmarking Contd...

• Competitive Benchmarking or Performance Benchmarking: Used by companies to compare their positions with respect to the performance characteristics of their key products and services. Competitive benchmarking involves companies from the same sector.
• Process Benchmarking: Used by companies to improve specific key processes and operations with the help of best practice organizations involved in performing similar work or offering similar services.
• Functional Benchmarking or Generic Benchmarking: Used by companies to improve their processes or activities by benchmarking with other companies from different business sectors or areas of activity but involved in similar functions or work processes.
• Internal Benchmarking: This involves benchmarking against its own units or branches for instance, business units of the company situated at different locations. This allows easy access to information, even sensitive data, and also takes less time and resources than other types of benchmarking.
• External Benchmarking: Used by companies to seek the help of organizations that succeeded on account of their practices. This kind of benchmarking provides an opportunity to learn from high-end performers.
• International Benchmarking: Involves benchmarking against companies outside the country, as there are very few suitable benchmarking partners within the country.

A typical benchmarking exercise is a four-stage process involving planning, data collection, data analysis and reporting and adaptation. The planning stage includes identifying, establishing and documenting specific study focus areas, key events and definitions. The best-practice companies are identified and appropriate data collection tools are selected and updated for use. The purpose of the data collection is to accumulate qualitative data and learn from the best practices of different organizations. Information is mainly collected through questionnaires administered to all best practice companies. This stage also includes site visits to organizations that follow best practices.

The data analysis and reporting stage involves the critical evaluation of practices followed at high performing companies, and the identification of practices that help and deter superior performance. A detailed final report is presented, which contains key findings. When these findings are discussed, best practice companies also take part through systematic networking activities and presentations. The adaptation stage includes developing an initial action plan to adapt and implement the practices followed by high performance companies.

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