The ability to benchmark your organization’s performance is expanding quickly. Services for metric benchmarking, as well as qualitative (or best practice) benchmarking are growing and expanding. The market has solved barriers around security and confidentiality. If you don’t have a benchmarking source that can guarantee you that level of trust, you need to find another relationship.
Benchmarking is enduring
Bain & Company just released the update of their research into the management tools used by global organizations, Management Tools & Trends 2013. Benchmarking has never fallen out of the list of top 5 most often used tools, and this year, they created a quadrant diagram showing the tools rated for usage and satisfaction. As seen below, benchmarking landed in their magic quadrant.
Bain also notes a significant trend among all the tools, benchmarking included.
“Given the challenges to growth and the competing demands for investments, companies now take a more thoughtful and strategic approach to tools instead of jumping on the latest tool fad… Among the key lessons we’ve learned over the past 20 years is that executives need to champion an enduring strategy, find the right tools and then adapt the tools to the companies—not vice versa.”
APQC’s research shows the same trends of enduring use of benchmarking, as well as coupling benchmarking with other long-term focused process improvement approaches, tools, and methodologies. It is here to stay and expanding.
If you snooze, you lose (competitiveness, that is)
As I’ve covered in other posts in this series, excuses about relevance like “they aren’t like us” are all just easy ways to get out of having to actually think . And while you are making excuses, others are expanding their learning through benchmarking.
Some stats from APQC’s benchmarking services help show this expansion in consumption.
Within our metric benchmarking service focused solely on finance and accounting processes, there are:
Over 1,500 discrete measures describing various enterprise processes regarding cost, cycle time, staff productivity, etc.
Over 400,000 discrete metric values from over 12,000 submissions (and resulting benchmarking reports issued) for those measures across various peer groups like industry, organizational size (measured by either annual revenue or headcount), geography (down to the Country level), etc.