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Benchmarking

Benchmarking

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Published by Khursheed23
An analysis of how benchmarking can help to understand a sysytem.
An analysis of how benchmarking can help to understand a sysytem.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Khursheed23 on Nov 13, 2012
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12/04/2012

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Benchmarkings‘ positive influence extends beyond improving a particular businessprocess. It also promotes the emergence and evolution of a ‗learning culture‘ throughout
the organization. Discuss.
 
 Introduction:The mind set of organizations has become competitive, comparative, and evaluative innature. The goal of organisations is to be the best in class; hence, claiming the statusand prestige that come along with the goal (Spendolini 1992; Zairi 1996; Alstete 1995;Bender& Schuh 2002). Indeed, the application of quality has led to the emergence of many successful organisations. One critical tool that businesses can take advantage of to improve quality, is benchmarking, a methodology that shows how to improveperformance dram
atically by comparing the performance of one‘s own organization with
the best practices of others.Benchmarking is rightly recognized as an essential tool for continuous improvement of quality. In the pursuit of status, prestige, and accreditation, most corporations employthe benchmarking process as the tool for pushing themselves towards the best standard(Zairi 1996; Coding 1993). There are various definitions of benchmarking, butessentially it is the process used in management by which organizations compare andevaluate various aspects of their processes and performances in relation to the bestpractices of leading organizations in same class. Indeed, it is the common-sense
proposition to learn from others what they do right and then to imitate it. ―W
hy reinvent
the wheel if I can learn from someone who has already done it?‖ For decades,
practitioners in the public and private sector have adopted the benchmarking approachas a useful tool for performance and quality assessments (Collins et al., 2006).Landmark benchmarking studies have been performed and the results widely publicizedover the years (Camp, 1989; Kolarik, 1995; McNamee, 1994; Yasin, 2002). (Zairi, 2000)Let us not forget that in order to obtain certification, organizations need to demonstratethe following:
An operational command of leadership through quality tools and processes;
Good business results through continuous improvement; and
Good prevention-based processes.
 
 
The American Productivity and Quality Center (O‘Dell, 1994) defines
benchmarking as
―the process of identifying, understanding and adapting outstanding practices and
processes from organizations anywhere in the world to help other organizations to
improve performances.‖ Spendolini (1992) explains benchmarking as ―a contin
uousand systematic process for evaluating the products, services or work processes of organizations that are recognized as representing best practices for the purpose of 
organizational improvement‖.
 Benchmarking is a multifaceted technique to identify operational and strategic gaps, andto search for best practices that can be applied to close any existing gaps (Yasin, 2002).The definitions emphasize the value of learning from best practices both internally andexternally for the purpose of achieving superiority (Bessant et al., 2003). For the aim of our assignment benchmarking is defined in accordance with Massa and Testa (2004) aslearning process that involves observation of external practices and performances,comparison with internal ones, identification of knowledge gaps and finally the decision:bridging the gaps acquiring new resources or leveraging on internal ones and investingin upgrading. The result of this learning process is something new; deriving both fromthe integration of external inputs with internal previous knowledge as well as frombridging knowledge gaps.The goal of benchmarking is to provide key personnel, in charge of processes, withreputable standards for measuring the quality and cost of internal activities, and to helpidentify where opportunities for improvement may reside (Alstete, 1996).Benchmarkingcan be an effective diagnostic instrument and it may give rise to alternative solutions,but that the judgment about how far those solutions can be applied must remain in thehands of management. A central purpose of benchmarking is therefore to providemanagers with an external point of reference or standard for evaluating the quality and
cost of their organization‘s internal activities, practices, and processes (Alstete, 1995
).Benchmarking will not be effective if it simply takes a snapshot of a comparativesituation. It needs to be an on-going, systematic process. We need to remember that

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