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Xerox - The Bench Marking Story

Xerox - The Bench Marking Story

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We are truthfully to Institute of Productivity and Management, Meerut for providing us with the opportunity to prepare a project on Xerox- The Benchmarking Story

We are also thankful to Prof. Sham Sharma for guiding us in every stage of this project report, without his support it would have been very difficult for us to prepare the paper so meaningful and interesting. Learning is a never-ending process. The more we learn the more we feel like learning newer things. Abraham Lincon once remarked at his achievement that “He had counted only a small number of pebbles on the bank while the whole ocean on the lay ocean by unexplored”. We indeed this never ending craves of learning are the result of evaluation of present day of human beings, who had overcome all obstacles to make this earth a happy place to live in. We are also thankful to the librarian and the computer lab in-charge of Institute of Productivity and management, Meerut who have helped us during the course of this paper in difference ways.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………. 3 2. SWOT ANALYSIS……………………………………………………… 6 3. QUESTION 1…………………………………………………………….7 4. QUESTION 2…………………………………………………………….10 5. QUESTION 3…………………………………………………………….27 6. QUESTION 4…………………………………………………………… 31 7. CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………………35 8. BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………..36

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INTRODUCTION
Benchmarking can be defined as a process for improving performance by constantly identifying, understanding and adapting best practices and processes followed inside and outside the company and implementing the results. The main emphasis of benchmarking is on improving a given business operation or a process by exploiting “best practices”, not on “best performance”.

Haloid obtained all rights to Carlson's invention and registered the 'Xerox' trademark in 1948. Buoyed by the success of Xerox copiers, Haloid changed its name to Haloid Xerox Inc in 1958 and to The Xerox Corporation in 1961. The strong demand for Xerox's products led the company from strength to strength and revenues soared from $37 million in 1960 to $268 million in 1965. Throughout the 1960s, Xerox grew by acquiring many companies and a majority stake (51.2%) in Rank Xerox in 1969. During the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Xerox diversified into the information technology business by acquiring Scientific Data Systems. In the early 1980s, Xerox found itself increasingly vulnerable to intense competition from both the US and Japanese competitors. According to analysts, Xerox's management failed to give the company strategic direction. The company's operating cost (and therefore, the prices of its products) was high and its products were of relatively inferior quality in comparison to its competitors. Xerox also suffered from its highly centralized decision-making processes. As a result of this, return on assets fell to less than 8% and market share in copiers
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came down sharply from 86% in 1974 to just 17% in 1984. Between 1980 and 1984, Xerox's profits decreased from $ 1.15 billion to $ 290 million. Kearns quickly began emphasizing reduction of manufacturing costs and gave new thrust to quality control by launching a program that was popularly referred to as 'Leadership through Quality'. As part of this quality program, Xerox implemented the benchmarking program. These initiatives played a major role in pulling Xerox out of trouble in the years to come. The company even went on to become one of the best examples of the successful implementation of benchmarking. By the early 1990s, many Fortune 500 companies and other major companies were implementing benchmarking to reap the benefits it promised. Benchmarking also became a key criterion for winning the Malcolm Balridge National Quality Award. Truly successful practices take an additional step and use that information to develop strategic plans and make better business decisions, propelling them to greater success. Most quality improvement experts will tell you that in any successful effort to make improvements, there is a continuous circle: plan, do, check, and act. The pioneering efforts of Xerox in the field of benchmarking have undoubtedly been the most talked about and successful of such initiatives.

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The relationship between business performance strategy development and benchmarking

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SWOT ANALYSIS
Strengths:     Positive Brand Image Leadership quality Dominance on the Copier market Distribution channel Extensive Research wide range of product

Weaknesses:     Weak operating performance Weak financial position Expensive machineries Dependence on third party manufacturing heavy revenues from the office segment

Opportunities:    Potential foreign market Diversified product line Launch of carbonless paper Investment in developing products, technologies and solution

Threats: Intense competition  Economic slowdown  Paperless offices

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Q. 1) Explain the circumstances that led................................................. implement benchmarking practices at the company. Ans. There were many reasons that led to the adaptation of this program. The whole Xerox Empire had compelling reason for seeking self-improvement. By the mid 1970s Xerox found itself out of step with their customers and their needs. The market had changed and so had the standards for quality. This became evident when Japanese manufacturers established a position in the U.S. market with inexpensive desk-top copiers and began changing the industry. In the early 1980s, Xerox found itself increasingly vulnerable to intense competition from both the US and Japanese competitors. According to analysts, Xerox's management failed to give the company strategic direction. It ignored new entrants (Ricoh, Canon, and Sevin) who were consolidating their positions in the lower-end market and in niche segments. The company's operating cost (and therefore, the prices of its products) was high and its products were of relatively inferior quality in comparison to its competitors. Xerox also suffered from its highly centralized decision-making processes. As a result of this, return on assets fell to less than 8% and market share in copiers came down sharply from 86% in 1974 to just 17% in 1984. Between 1980 and 1984, Xerox's profits decreased from $ 1.15 billion to $ 290 million. In 1982, David T. Kearns took over as the CEO. He discovered that the average manufacturing cost of copiers in Japanese companies was 40-50% of that of Xerox. As a result, Japanese companies were able to undercut Xerox's prices effortlessly. Kearns quickly began emphasizing reduction of manufacturing costs and gave new thrust to quality control by launching a program that was popularly referred to as 'Leadership through Quality.' As part of this quality program, Xerox implemented the benchmarking program. These initiatives played a major role in pulling Xerox out of trouble in the years to come. The company even went on to become one of the best examples of the successful implementation of benchmarking.

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So, we can see the circumstances that led Kearns to adopt the ‘Leadership through Quality’ program. Improvement processes, tools and techniques were deployed across the corporation and centered on improving business processes to create higher levels of customer satisfaction, quality and productivity. The 'Leadership through Quality' program introduced by Kearns revitalized the company. The program encouraged Xerox to find ways to reduce their manufacturing costs. Benchmarking against Japanese competitors, Xerox found out that it took twice as long as its Japanese competitors to bring a product to market, five times the number of engineers, four times the number of design changes, and three times the design costs. Benchmarking simply means comparing one’s organization or a part of it with other companies. There are different types of benchmarking, but the one which Xerox adopted was a Comparative benchmarking or a Performance Benchmarking. This type of benchmarking is used by the company to compare its position with respect to the performance characteristics of their key product and services. It involves companies from the same sector. After that the company also adopted Functional benchmarking in which companies improve their processes or activities by comparing with other companies from different business sectors or area of activity but involved in similar functions or work processes. Xerox benchmarked with many companies like Florida Power and Light, American Express, Honda, Hewlett-Packard etc. The company measures its performance in about 240 key areas of product, service, and business performance. Derived from international studies, the ultimate target for each attribute is the level of performance achieved by the world leader, regardless of industry. During this period company was facing a tough time and it was the benchmarking program which helped the company to regain its position in the market. In line with the best practices, Xerox reduced the number of vendors for the copier business from 5,000 to just 400. The first major payoff of Xerox's focus on benchmarking and customer satisfaction was the increase in the number of satisfied customers. Highly satisfied customers
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for its copier/duplicator and printing systems increased by 38% and 39% respectively. Customer satisfaction with Xerox's sales processes improved by 40%, service processes by 18% and administrative processes by 21%. The financial performance of the company also improved considerably through the mid and late 1980s. Overall customer satisfaction was rated at more than 90% in 1991. Some of the other benefits Xerox derived were:  Number of defects reduced by 78 per 100 machines.  Defects in incoming parts reduced to 150ppm.  Inventory costs reduced by two-thirds.  Increased product reliability on account of 40% reduction in unscheduled maintenance.  Errors in billing reduced from 8.3 % to 3.5% percent.  Became the leader in the high-volume copier-duplicator market segment.

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Q: 2: Define benchmarking and discuss the various types of benchmarking ……………………………………………. Explain the various steps involved in the implementation of a typical benchmarking process. ANS: What is benchmarking? The term benchmark comes from surveying where it was used to denote a notch or mark representing a given altitude and against which other heights could be calibrated or 'benchmarked', since when it has come to mean any standard against which something is compared; and some of the leading exponents in business include Xerox and GE. In business terms there are numerous definitions of benchmarking, but essentially it involves learning, sharing information and adopting best practices to bring about step changes in performance. So, at its simplest, benchmarking means: 'Improving by learning from others - i.e. - benchmarking is simply about making comparisons with other organizations and then learning the lessons that those comparisons throw up' Another definition is: 'Benchmarking is the continuous process of measuring products, services and practices against the toughest competitors or those companies recognized as industry leaders (best in class)' Robert Camp's definition : 'A positive, proactive process by which a company examines how another company performs a specific function in order to improve how it performs the same, or similar function. Operational processes must be comparative or analogous if the highest degree of knowledge transfer between benchmarking partners is to be achieved' Benchmarking allows you to discover the gaps in your performance when compared with someone else. Nothing will happen, however, unless you actually do something to close the gap - or surpass it. The real payback comes from changing what you do to improve your operations - and as we all know change is difficult actual benchmarking is the easy part!
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Once a gap has been identified the key question is: 'How much of the gap do you wish to close?' Do you wish to improve a little, a lot or become best-in-class? I.e. what is the benefit from each stage of change and what will it cost? Some areas will need greater effort to change than others but all must be compared to probable benefit/return for that effort (e.g. revenue, cost efficiency or customer satisfaction). It may not be cost effective to go the whole way and in some cases best-in-class may be a step too far! But it may act as a stretch target to which you aspire - or re-visit later. In practice, benchmarking usually encompasses:  regularly comparing aspects of performance (functions or processes) with others;  identifying gaps in performance;  developing performance improvements to close the gaps thus identified;  implementing the improvements;  monitoring progress and;
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reviewing the benefits

The key questions on which successful benchmarking turns are:  How do we do it? and  How do they do it? In other words, a comparison of all processes with more successful organization(s) to establish exactly where the differences lie - and then taking steps to use the knowledge to close the gaps. What it is not Although benchmarking involves making comparisons of performance, it is not:  just competitor analysis - benchmarking is best when it involves collaboration  comparison of league tables - the aim is to learn about the circumstances and processes that underpin superior performance  a quick fix, done once for all time - benchmarking projects may extend over a number of months or even years, and it is vital to repeat them periodically so as not to fall behind as the background environment changes  catching up - in rapidly changing circumstances, good practices become dated very quickly and anyway you want to gain competitive, or possibly prime mover, advantage  copying - the fact that others are doing things differently does not necessarily mean they are better  spying or espionage - openness and honesty are vital for successful benchmarking The underlying reason for benchmarking is to learn how to improve your business processes and thereby increase your competitiveness. Organizations choose to benchmark outstanding companies whose business processes are analogous to their own - even if they are in different industries! Benchmarking allows you to identify those practices that have facilitated those successful companies' superior performance and that can be adapted to your own business. Accordingly, benchmarking is an operational process involving continuous learning and adaptation which enables you to improve your organization’s competitive position.

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Why benchmark? Although many organizations initiate benchmarking projects because of some dubious reasons; for practical purposes the only reason to benchmark is because you recognize that somewhere, somehow you are not as efficient or as capable of satisfying your customers as your competition - whether currently or because you have spotted a trend in the market that you need to exploit, follow or respond to. There are two key drivers for an organization - profitability and revenue growth (the former being a function of the latter after costs) and there are many variables that impact on these. The key to maximizing both is to understand where competitors are better than you - where customers value it. It is of little value having the best process for selling insurance if what customers really want is an easy to use claims process and yours isn't! Similarly it is no good having an extremely slick sales process for commodities if the delivery is poor, patchy and unreliable.

As the diagram shows, processes, although an ephemeral component of an organization (as opposed to more durable items such as hardware and fixed
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assets) because they change easily, are critical for profitability as delivery of products/services is crucial to customer satisfaction, payments and ultimately profit. Similarly reputation (ephemeral) is critical to growth but can be lost all too easily - especially if processes/people do not deliver [c/f Arthur Andersen]. Although benchmarking is a measurement process and does generate comparative performance measures, it also about attaining exceptional performance. The practices that lead to exceptional performance are called enablers. Thus the process of benchmarking results in two types of outputs: benchmarks, or measures of superior performance, and enablers. Process enablers are developed to meet a specific business need within the context of a specific business environment and company culture. This is why it is of little value to 'steal' from others because you will not have explored whether and where their business practices are relevant or transferable to yours. Benchmarking should not be considered a one-off exercise. To be effective, it must become an ongoing, integral part of an ongoing improvement process with the goal of keeping abreast of ever-improving best practice. Types of Benchmarking There are a number of different types of benchmarking, as summarized below: Type Description Most Appropriate for the Following Purposes -Re-aligning business strategies that have become inappropriate

Strategic Where businesses need to improve Benchmarking overall performance by examining the long-term strategies and general approaches that have enabled highperformers to succeed. It involves considering high level aspects such as core competencies, developing new products and services and improving capabilities for dealing with changes in the external environment. Changes
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resulting from this type of benchmarking may be difficult to implement and take a long time to materialize. Performance Businesses consider their position in or Competitive relation to performance characteristics Benchmarking of key products and services. Benchmarking partners are drawn from the same sector. This type of analysis is often undertaken through trade associations or third parties to protect confidentiality. Process Focuses on improving specific critical Benchmarking processes and operations. Benchmarking partners are sought from best practice organizations that perform similar work or deliver similar services. Process benchmarking invariably involves producing process maps to facilitate comparison and analysis. This type of benchmarking often results in short term benefits. Functional Businesses look to benchmark with Benchmarking partners drawn from different business sectors or areas of activity to find ways of improving similar functions or work processes. This sort of benchmarking can lead to innovation and dramatic improvements. -Assessing relative level of performance in key areas or activities in comparison with others in the same sector and finding ways of closing gaps in performance

- Achieving improvements in key processes to obtain quick benefits

- Improving activities or services for which counterparts do not exist.

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Internal Involves benchmarking businesses or Benchmarking operations from within the same organization (e.g. business units in different countries). The main advantages of internal benchmarking are that access to sensitive data and information is easier; standardized data is often readily available; and, usually less time and resources are needed. There may be fewer barriers to implementation as practices may be relatively easy to transfer across the same organization. However, real innovation may be lacking and best in class performance is more likely to be found through external benchmarking. External Involves analyzing outside organizations Benchmarking that are known to be best in class. External benchmarking provides opportunities of learning from those who are at the "leading edge". This type of benchmarking can take up significant time and resource to ensure the comparability of data and information, the credibility of the findings and the development of sound recommendations. International Globalization and advances in Benchmarking information technology are increasing opportunities for international projects. However, these can take more time and resources to set up and implement and the results may need careful analysis due to national differences

- Several business units within the same organization exemplify good practice and management want to spread this expertise quickly, throughout the organization

- Where examples of good practices can be found in other organizations and there is a lack of good practices within internal business units

- Where the aim is to achieve world class status or simply because there are insufficient “national" businesses against which to benchmark.

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More than just learning what benchmarking is and what it can do, the organization's leaders must develop a specific, organized approach to implementing benchmarking. It is fine to extol the virtues of benchmarking and encourage its use throughout the organization, but just like any other program, it must be established into the organization as a working process. The following 10 steps will keep any organization on track in its benchmarking endeavors. Step 1-Determine processes to be benchmarked This step involves defining as accurately as possible the process to be benchmarked. It is the cornerstone of the entire benchmarking process. An incorrect identification at this stage could result in a waste of precious resources at later stages. Consider the following questions:  Have departmental priorities been established? Determine whether the department has strongly defined its overall purpose. This includes setting long-term goals and short-term objectives.  What is the level of change? Does an entire system require rethinking? Perhaps a particular process within that system needs to be improved. Can improvement be achieved by upgrading some particular task within the process?  Has the work process to be selected been flowcharted? A good first step in gaining an overview of the entire process is to flowchart it. This will help identify problem areas and locate potential trouble areas. Then establish the critical measurements by which to compare future progress.  How much change is possible? Given your organization's resources and circumstances, find out whether reforming the process is affordable at the determined level of change.  Have critical performance measures been determined? Investigate whether measures have been determined in accordance with customer requirements.

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After you've accomplished step 1, you will have a sharply focused, clearly defined procedure that tells management what needs to be changed, how much change can be achieved within given limitations and how to measure accurately your processes against those of others and against your own future projections. Step 2-Determine organizations to be benchmarked This step determines which organizations should be studied by identifying "the best of the best"-organizations whose practices can be adapted to your requirements. An incorrect choice could lead to electing partners that are not true benchmarks for the selected process, that are uncooperative or whose practices are incompatible or irrelevant to your needs. Consider the following questions:  From which sources could an effective partner list most likely be created? Research which published sources (industry periodicals, annual reports, etc.) would yield the most useful, accurate and up-to-date information. Find out which reliable individuals or groups (industry experts, watchdog groups, etc.) could be consulted to expand the list. A good source to consult is a library, either corporate or public. Librarians usually are eager to help in such efforts.  Which of the preliminary organizations selected are really "the best of the best"? Determine which prospective partners truly are the benchmarks for your organization.  Are the systems of the selected organizations really comparable? Select the organizations with practices that are the most compatible with yours. Is sufficient and accurate data obtainable? Decide which prospective partners would be expected to produce the most reliable information. Then see which organizations (e.g., foreign entities) would present the fewest logistical problems when gathering data. Also, figure out which organizations would be the least likely to present legal problems when gathering data. From which organizations would cooperation most likely be obtained?

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When you've gone through step 2, you will have compiled a large list from which to choose organizations to contact as potential partners, based on the superior quality of their processes. Step 3-Gather data This step involves creating a plan for collecting data from selected targets, conducting site visits and creating a site visit report. The correct implementation of this step will result in data that can be used directly to enhance your organization's performance. Incorrect implementation of this step could result in data that is useless or inadequate to your purposes. Consider the following questions:  Has an adequate data-collection plan been created? Determine what are the simplest data sources and the most difficult. Then figure out which data would have the most value. Other important factors are the time and cost limitations of collecting data.  Which are the best sources of practice data? Decide which combination of the four types of sources-internal, published, external or original researchwould yield optimal results.  Have the best internal sources been consulted? Good sources to consult are your organization's library and other internal groups or teams.  Have the best published sources been consulted? Internal publications (e.g., annual reports, quarterly reports) of the target organizations should be studied as well as any periodicals and directories containing information about the target organizations. Appropriate data bases can also lead to pertinent information.  Have the best external sources been consulted? You can acquire significant information from professional organizations dealing with the business of your target organizations. You can also gain valuable information by contacting industry experts and independent consultants. Has original research been carried out? Identify the appropriate contact person of each benchmarked organization. Make sure to notify all contacts by telephone,
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explaining that their organization has been selected as a potential benchmarking partner. Explain the purpose of the process in clear language. Have the appropriate ethical issues been considered? In obtaining information from a competitor, avoid any possibility of misrepresentation. Be careful to identify whether any of the information prepared could be considered proprietary (e.g., insider trading).

Upon finishing step 3, your organization will have complete, accurate and relevant data with which to compare its own processes with "the best of the best." Step 4-Analyze for gaps This step involves analyzing the data collected, discovering to what degree present performance lags behind the best in each area and combining the best features from the best practices into an ideal process. The correct implementation of this step will result in a clear picture of your processes in comparison with others in your business or industry. The incorrect implementation of this step could result in vague information that would not ultimately be useful in improving your operations. Consider the following questions:  How can the data compiled in step 3 be most effectively analyzed? Make sure to properly analyze the results of the benchmarked organization(s) in terms of output and customer satisfaction. Also analyze thoroughly the results in terms of the work practices leading to them. Express both results quantitatively.  How does each best practice compare with your organization's practice for each procedure involved? Create a chart that compares the benchmarked organization's practice with your own. Have the correct measures been employed for comparison (e.g., cost, speed, ease of use)? Has the difference between the benchmarked organization's practice and your own been expressed in quantitative terms?  How can the best practices from these sources be combined? The best practice for each of the procedures involved should be combined into a
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single ideal process. How could the overall output of the process be projected? You may find that some procedures need to be eliminated because of cost or other considerations. After you've accomplished step 4, relevant features from each of the best practices will combine into an ideal practice that can be implemented within budgetary and other constraints of your organization. Step 5-Determine future trends During this step, your team will examine your organization's past performance in relation to its competitors, forecast potential change in your industry and project future performance, both with and without the proposed benchmarking changes. The correct implementation of this step will give management a clear idea of its options and allot it a realistic conception of the potential benefits of adopting the benchmarking practices. An incorrect implementation of this step will give management an incomplete or inaccurate picture of its options. Consider the following questions:  What have been the industry trends of the recent past? Determine the measure (e.g., revenues, productivity), related to the practice being benchmarked, by which your organization can most appropriately be compared to others.  What is the current performance gap? Compare your organization's current performance with the benchmarked organization. Is the gap widening or narrowing, according to recent trends? Discover the reason, based on the data analyzed in step 4, for the gap and its increase (or decrease).  What will be the future performance gap if no benchmarking changes are implemented? By projecting past trends into the future and allowing for anticipated changes, learn what the benchmarked competitors' position will be within the next specified time period. Decide what your organization's position will be if no benchmarking changes are made. Will the gap widen or narrow?  What will be the future performance gap if all proposed benchmarking changes are implemented? If the proposed benchmarking changes are
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implemented, determine your organization's position, in comparison with its competitors, within a specified time period. Has the change been expressed quantitatively (e.g., dollar amounts, percentages)? Has the potential benefit of the change been compared with the estimated cost (e.g., equipment, production delays, etc.) of its implementation? Upon completing step 5, you will have identified the quantitative benefits of implementing the proposed benchmarking changes. Step 6-Reveal results and sell the process This step involves communicating the benchmarking results and their implications to significant audiences in the organization and motivating them to carry out changes. The correct implementation of this step will result in a complete understanding by the target audiences of the necessity for changes in the processes involved and a desire to carry them out. Incorrect implementation of this step will leave both management and employees confused or inadequately informed, reducing the potential for effective change. Consider the following questions:  Which audiences should be addressed? Decide whether the organization's entire management needs to be "sold" on the changes or only some managers. Educate those departments that need to be educated about the changes, and inform the entities outside the organization (e.g., customers, suppliers) that need to be informed.  How is the report to be written? Determine what kind of publications (e.g., full-length report, newsletter, video presentation) would be most appropriate to communicate the benchmarking results, based upon the nature of the organization and its goals. Express the purpose of the benchmarking process in the appropriate manner. Has emphasis been placed on the results of the study, rather than methodology? Has emphasis been placed on fact rather than opinion?  Has understanding and commitment been obtained from the target audience? Check the feedback from the report to see whether it indicates that the target audiences understand the necessity for change. Gain
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management approval for the concept of an implementation program. Also ensure that nonmanagement employees are completely "on board" for the changes. Do the outside entities involved understand how the changes will benefit them? Step 6 will ensure that the advantages of change have been explained to the parties involved in order to motivate them to carry it out. Step 7-Achieve consensus on revised goals This step involves revising goals to close the performance gap determined in step 5 and achieving consensus on those goals. The correct implementation of this step will create realistic and unambiguous new standards for the processes involved. Incorrect implementation of this step could create poorly understood or unrealistic standards that would only increase the frustration level of both management and employees. Consider the following questions:  Have operational goals been effectively and realistically revised? Determine what type of change (e.g., basic goal priorities, measurement units, quantity or frequency of units processed) must be implemented. All goals should be expressed in quantifiable, easy-to-measure terms. The degree of change should also be realistic based upon benchmarking findings.  What impact will the revised goals have within the organization? Some departments may need to be reorganized, and some employees' positions will need to be redefined, created or eliminated. Also, some lines of authority may need to be altered. Analyze how the revised goals will impact departments not targeted for change. How will these changes be justified to the parties affected?  What impact will the revised goals have outside the organization? Try to ascertain what effect the changes will have on customers and suppliers. Then decide in what detail they should be informed of changes and how to present the changes to generate support rather than anxiety.  Has management committed to the specific revised goals? Management must understand the proposed goals and fully support them. And
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management must communicate the goals to all affected employees in such a way as to obtain their full commitment. Step 7 establishes clear-cut goals that management has approved and that all employees understand. Step 8-Establish action plans This step establishes the step-by-step plan designed to bring about the goals created and approved in step 7. Incorrect implementation of this step could result in vague procedures which would either be rejected by management or would prove unworkable if approved. Consider the following questions:  In what order should work practices be implemented? Choose the factors (time, cost, software, etc.) that are most crucial in determining priorities. Discuss the pros and cons of each factor. Then analyze all factors so that a schedule of action can be determined. Project future performance based on the schedule of action.  Has the procedure been prepared? Break down all tasks into comprehensible steps, with specified results. Then put the tasks in sequence. Determine which resources are needed to accomplish the tasks.  Has management approved the procedure? Clearly articulate the plan's elements (task breakdown, costs, etc.) to management.  Have individuals been empowered to manage the process? Identify the appropriate level of management for the procedure (e.g., line manager, management team, process owner). Select the employees and give them the training and authority to manage the process.  Has the implementation plan been printed and displayed? Create the complete plan in printed form. Display the plan so that tasks, responsibilities and deadlines can be clearly seen and understood. Upon completing step 8, management has approved the specifics of the plan, appropriate individuals have been empowered to carry it out, and every individual
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knows what changes in his or her work procedure are expected. Step 9-Implement plans and monitor results This step involves executing the approved best-practice procedures and the dayto-day monitoring of changes. The correct implementation of this step will result in a closely watched process in which deviations from the plan will be corrected and the ultimate goals achieved. Incorrect implementation of this step could result in inaccurate or spotty measurement, leading to poor control of the process and disappointing overall results. Consider the following questions:  Have timeline charts been created? Make sure that the charts accurately reflect the factor to be measured over the selected period of time.  Have control charts been created? Charts must accurately measure the factor to be controlled (e.g., unit cost, quantity per hour) over the selected period of time.  Has any variance from the plan been dealt with effectively? Appropriate action needs to be taken as soon as deviations are detected. Keep lines of communication open to all affected parties, providing feedback on the process.  Has final evaluation been made of the benchmarking process? Accurately record the results, and determine whether acceptable goals have been achieved. Prepare a final report, including which elements of the incorporated changes should be rejected and which should be accepted as permanent practices within the organization. Step 9 develops procedures to enable close monitoring of the changes and tracking of results so that, over time, successful elements of the new practices can be retained and the less successful ones eliminated. Step 10-Recalibrate benchmarks This step ensures the organization remains on the cutting edge by continuously evaluating the benchmarked practices and reinstituting the benchmarking process
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when necessary. The correct implementation of this step prevents complacency by creating the habit of evaluating procedures for their potential for improvement. The incorrect implementation (or nonimplementation) of this step fosters the illusion that any successful benchmarked practice creates a permanent improvement, resulting in a false sense of security and possible future loss of competitive edge. Consider the following questions:  How often do the processes need to be recalibrated? The period between benchmarking studies should be realistic in terms of the nature and goals of the organization. The organization may be planning systemic changes that would make new benchmarking necessary. The level of customer satisfaction must constantly be monitored for the potential need to recalibrate. Also, management must commit fully to repeating the 10-step process when necessary.  Has a plan been developed for recalibrating? The need for periodic recalibration should be communicated to all levels of the organization. Decide whether the new benchmarking process will be complementary to the previous one or will represent a new area of improvement.  What additional factors are relevant? Investigate what industry changes (systemic, technological) have occurred since the prior benchmarking process that would impact a new one. After completing step 10, the organization will understand when and how it needs to recalibrate benchmarks and will never put itself at risk by becoming complacent. The success of a benchmarking process depends on the organization's permanent commitment to the process. A particular benchmarking change will often be temporary. To sustain market leadership, however, the habit of benchmarking must be a permanent part of the organization's culture.

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Q: 3: Describe Xerox’s benchmarking model. How did Xerox …….In the company? Ans: Xerox defined benchmarking is finding and implementing best practices that lead to superior performances of an organization. Xerox developed its own benchmarking model. This model involved tens steps categorized under five stages - planning, analysis, integration, action and maturity The main goal of benchmarking is to identify the weaknesses within an organization and improve upon them, with the idea of becoming the "best of the best". The benchmarking process helps managers to find gaps in performance and turn them into opportunities for improvement. The five-stage process involved the following activities: Planning: Determine the subject to be benchmarked, identify the relevant best practice organizations and select/develop the most appropriate data collection technique. Analysis: Assess the strengths of competitors (best practice companies) and compare Xerox's performance with that of its competitors. This stage determines the current competitive gap and the projected competitive gap. Integration: Establish necessary goals, on the basis of the data collected, to attain best performance; integrate these goals into the company's formal planning processes. This stage determines the new goals or targets of the company and the way in which these will be communicated across the organization. Action: Implement action plans established and assess them periodically to determine whether the company is achieving its objectives. Deviations from the plan are also tackled at this stage. Maturity: Determine whether the company has attained a superior performance level. This stage also helps the company determine whether benchmarking process has become an integral part of the organization's formal management process.

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Xerox benchmarking model Xerox implementation of benchmark practices in the companySupplier Management System- Xerox found that all the Japanese copier companies put together had only 1,000 suppliers, while Xerox alone had 5,000. To keep the number of suppliers low, Japanese companies standardized many parts. Often, half the components of similar machines were identical. To ensure part standardization, Japanese companies worked closely with their suppliers. They frequently trained vendor's employees in quality control, manufacturing automation and other key areas. Cooperation between the company and the vendor extended to just-in-time production scheduling, i.e. delivery in small quantities, as per the customer's production schedule.
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In line with the best practices, Xerox reduced the number of vendors for the copier business from 5,000 to just 400. Xerox also created a vendor certification process in which suppliers were either offered training or explicitly told where they needed to improve in order to continue as a Xerox vendor. Vendors were consulted for ideas on better designs and improved customer service also. Inventory Management: The stocking policy followed by Xerox branch managers was to hold fully finished, fully configured products near to the customer. Because of this policy, they carried vast amounts of inventory, some of which was not even sold during a given period. Another innovative strategy, followed by Xerox to minimize inventory-carrying costs, was to delay the assembly of the product into the final configuration as much as possible. According to a Xerox executive, Graham Scout, "Some finished goods are language sensitive, software sensitive, voltage sensitive and cycle sensitive for different worldwide markets. We will build it to a level where it's generic and then configure it and finish it when we have an order for it. We may have to hold a little more work-in-progress inventory back in the plant but we can certainly avoid holding lots of finished products out in the field." Manufacturing system: The process of benchmarking helped Xerox revamp its manufacturing techniques. Each 'family unit' (a manager and his direct subordinates) was encouraged to identify its internal as well as external customers and to meet their needs. This process significantly improved the operational efficiency of the work groups. Xerox introduced a Customer Satisfaction Measurement System that integrated customer research and benchmarking activities. The company sent out over 55,000 questionnaires monthly to its customers to measure customer satisfaction and record competitors' performance. It then benchmarked against those competitors that had scored high marks on specific measures of customer satisfaction. Xerox also used the vast amount of information gathered by the system to develop business plans for improving quality and meeting customer needs. As a part of its Leadership through Quality program, Xerox reformulated its quality policy. The new policy supplemented the company's benchmarking efforts.
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Xerox's new quality policy stated, "Xerox is a quality company. Quality is the basic principle for Xerox. Quality means providing our external and internal customers with the innovative products and services that duly satisfy their requirements. Quality improvement is the job of every Xerox employee". Following this, the company embarked on a complete organizational restructuring exercise that focused on research and development, employee involvement and customer orientation. By the late 1980s, benchmarking had become a day-to-day activity in every division of the company. According to company sources, Xerox's guiding principle was, 'anything anyone can do better, we should aim to do at least equally well." By the mid-1990s, benchmarking was extended to over 240 key areas of product, service and business performance at Xerox. The initiatives were also adopted, at varying levels, at Xerox units across the world. The benchmarking process encouraged Xerox's employees to learn from every situation.

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Q: 4: What benefits did Xerox derive from the implement of benchmarking practices?……….initiatives undertaken by the company. Ans: The benefits Xerox derived from the implementation of benchmarking practices  Highly satisfied customers for its copier/duplicator and printing systems increased by 38% and 39% respectively.  Customer satisfaction with Xerox's sales processes improved by 40%, service processes by 18% and administrative processes by 21%.  The financial performance of the company also improved considerably through the mid and late 1980s.  Overall customer satisfaction was rated at more than 90% in 1991. Some of the other benefits Xerox derived were: number of defects reduced by 78 per 100 machines; service response time reduced by 27%; inspection of incoming components reduced to below 5%; defects in incoming parts reduced to 150ppm; inventory costs reduced by two-thirds; marketing productivity increased by one-third; distribution productivity increased by 8-10 %; increased product reliability  On account of 40% reduction in unscheduled maintenance; notable decrease in labor costs; errors in billing reduced from 8.3 % to 3.5% percent; became the leader in the high-volume copier duplicator market segment; country units improved sales from 152% to 328%.  Xerox went on to become the only company worldwide to win all the three prestigious quality awards: the Deming Award (Japan) in 1980, the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 1989, and the European Quality Award in 1992.  The success of benchmarking at Xerox motivated many companies to adopt benchmarking.

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To get the best results from this powerful performance improvement tool, you need a clear understanding of what it can do for you and a well-structured process for your initiatives. Largely unheard of in the business world until the mid-1990s, when Xerox Corp. used it to enhance its competitiveness, benchmarking has evolved to become an essential element of the business performance management (BPM) toolkit and a key input to financial and business improvement efforts. Despite this, it remains one of the most widely misunderstood improvement tools. The word means different things to different people, and, as a result, benchmarking projects all too frequently fail to deliver on their promise of real results. However, when executed correctly, benchmarking can be a powerful focus for change, driving home sometimes uncomfortable facts and convincing leaders of the need to embark upon improvement efforts. Benchmarking is a tool that enables the investigation and ultimately the achievement of excellence, based on the realities of the business environment rather than on internal standards and historical trends. There are two good reasons for organizations to benchmark. First, doing so can help them to stay in business by enabling them to outperform similar organizations, including competitors. Second, it ensures that the organization is continually striving to improve its performance through learning. Benchmarking opens minds to ideas from new sources, both within the same industry and in unrelated sectors. The causes of failed benchmarking projects are the same as those for other failed projects: 1. Lack of sponsorship—A team should submit to management a one- to fourpage benchmarking project proposal that describes the project, its objectives, and potential costs. If the team can’t gain approval for the project or get a sponsor, it makes little sense to proceed with a project that’s not understood or appreciated or that is unlikely to lead to corrective action when completed. 2. Wrong people on team—Who are the right people for a benchmarking team? Individuals involved in benchmarking should be the same ones who own or work in the process. It’s useless for a team to address problems in business areas that are unfamiliar or where the team has no control or influence.
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3. Teams don’t understand their work completely—If the benchmarking team didn’t map, flowchart, or document its work process, and if it didn’t benchmark with organizations that also documented their processes, there can’t be an effective transfer of techniques. The intent in every benchmarking project is for a team to understand how its process works and compare it to another company’s process at a detailed level. The exchange of process steps is essential for improved performance. 4. Lack of long-term management commitment—Since managers aren’t as familiar with specific work issues as their employees, they tend to underestimate the time, cost, and effort required to successfully complete a benchmarking project. Managers should be informed that while it’s impossible to know the exact time it will take for a typical benchmarking project, a rule of thumb is that a team of four or five individuals requires a third of their time for five months to complete a project. 5. Focus on metrics rather than processes—Some firms focus their benchmarking efforts on performance targets (metrics) rather than processes. Knowing that a competitor has a higher return on assets doesn’t mean that its performance alone should become the new target (unless an understanding exists about how the competitor differs in the use of its assets and an evaluation of its process reveals that it can be emulated or surpassed). 6. Not positioning benchmarking within a larger strategy— Benchmarking is one of many total quality management tools—such as problem solving, process improvement, and process reengineering—used to shorten cycle time, reduce costs, and minimize variation. Benchmarking is compatible with and complementary to these tools, and they should be used together for maximum value. 7. Misunderstanding the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives—All benchmarking activity should be launched by management as part of an overall strategy to fulfill the organization’s mission and vision by first attaining the short-term objectives and then the long-term goals. 8. Failure to monitor progress—Once benchmarking has been completed for a specific area or process benchmarks have been established and process changes implemented, managers should review progress in implementation and results.

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Conclusion
Benchmarking enables decision-makers to understand exactly how much improvement they will need to accomplish in order to achieve superior performance. Frequent and regular benchmarking helps us to create specific and measurable short-term plans that are based on current reality rather than historical performance, and which can support step-by-step improvements in performance over time. The objective is to overtake the top performers, turning a performance deficit into performance leadership. Successful benchmarking results in improvements to quality and productivity as well as positive financial outcomes; benchmarking promotes a “learning culture”, which is the key to continuous long-term quality improvement and competitiveness. Successful benchmarking organizations are continually looking for new ideas. They adopt the most useful new ideas and meet and beat the best performance they can find. Organizations with little experience in benchmarking often discover the best performance benchmark but stop short of discovering how the best performance was achieved. Additionally, they may start their benchmarking efforts by looking at external benchmarks while overlooking successful internal benchmarks that already exist. Further, inexperienced benchmarking organizations often fail to measure the project’s effects in terms of its costs and benefits. "If we don't change our direction, we might end up where we're headed", says a Chinese proverb. Benchmarking is a direction-setting exercise, and it is nothing more than a quality tool, just one of many ways to improve and become more productive. All these have been said, is our strongly belief that –because quality is becoming the hallmark for both products and services now-a-day, benchmarking has a very powerful potential and it can be used as a valid strategy for the long term, taking into account the fact that improvement must not be a one-time project

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BIBLIOGRAPHY
Book: -

Web addresses:     http://www.xerox.com http://www.xeroxcorp.com www.scribd.com http://tutor2u.net/business/strategy/benchmarking.htm http://management.about.com

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http://www.qualitydigest.com/feb/bench.html

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