Benchmarking for Philippine Libraries : A Proposal

CORAZON M. NERA

Director of Libraries, Lyceum of the Philippines University
Chairman, Board for Librarians, PRC

Definitions of benchmarking
a management technique to improve business performances. used to compare performance between different organizations or different units within a single organizations undertaking similar processes on a continuous basis. aim to document and measure a key process and then compare the resulting data with those relating to similar process in other organizations.

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Types of benchmarking
1. Competitor – comparing with leading organizations with similar products or services and adapting their approach. 2. Generic – comparisons of business process or functions that are very similar, regardless of industry. 3. Internal – a comparison of internal operations by different departments within the same organization. 4. Functional – comparisons to similar functions within the same broad industry, or to industry leaders. 5. Customer – the aim of the improvement program is meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

Customers develop their own benchmarks of performance when selecting and judging suppliers. Customer Benchmarking – the benchmark is customer expectations. The improvement program is aimed at meeting and exceeding customer expectation. .Appropriate to Libraries Generic Benchmarking – focuses on measuring and comparing key processes in different organizations e. inquiry services and interlibrary loan.g.

Approaches to benchmarking A. Identify the process to be benchmarked B. Establish management commitment to the benchmarking process C. Identify and establish the benchmarking team D. Identify metrics and collect process data . Define and understand the process to be benchmarked E.

4.A. Comparisons with other organizations enable participants to exchange ideas and analyze gaps in performance. The approach ensures elements crucial to customer satisfaction 3. . A learning experience 5. Identify an appropriate benchmarking model 1. The generic model is selected as the most appropriate 2. Facilitates an in depth scrutiny of the way operations are currently run.

Document or map the sub-process 3. Identify a key process.g. methods used by benchmarking partners for adoption to improve one’s own level of service. critical to the success of the service 2. 5. Analyze the results of exercise and identify gaps in performance. . Select benchmarking partners. arrange visit to compare the results of the exercise. Take measurements of factors critical to the success of the process 4.Procedures representing the approach taken: 1. Identify “best practice” e. 6.

Exemplify best practice b.due to concerns of confidentiality.g. Holders of quality awards e. extreme caution when disclosing information or competitors intelligence 2. Interested in benchmarking and willing to participate in the exercise . Partners are selected from organizations known to the team and they should : a. Most difficult aspects of benchmarking .Selecting benchmarking partners 1. Involved in quality management programs c. IQuaME compliant 3. ISO 9000. Level IV accreditation.

Demonstration organizations will arrange for the visits at their most convenient time . Formal letter will be sent stating procedures for the exercise to the partners 6.Selecting benchmarking partners cont… 4. Not in competition with the demonstration organization 5.

to be led by demonstration organizations with researchers observing. Meeting is informal. . 2. 4. 3.to compare the data and exchange ideas on the process. Best practice will be identified and establish. Aim .The benchmarking visit 1. Meeting is set up by the demonstration and the benchmarking partner.

. .quality management is a gradual or organic process involve cultural change and holistic approach to management. libraries must give up the quick fix philosophy and understand the change is now the norm and stability is a thing of the past.to survive.time might be better spent on other task or more important matters .Necessary Underpinnings of Benchmarking 1. Time management – time consuming.

.benchmarking is time consuming process.viewed as a learning experience leading to a higher level of awareness and will benefit the library in the long term. .visits to partners take up valuable work time.Necessary Underpinnings of Benchmarking cont… . requires planning. team work and frequent meetings .

Necessary Underpinnings of Benchmarking cont… 2. telephone.Meetings between senior management and staff involved in the exercise should be setup in advanced and reporting mechanism in place . fax et. E-mail.g. lines of communications may affect location of the library. . Communications – essential for quality management initiative.al. availability of channels of communication e.

Informal methods of evaluation may be used such as: .Regular team meetings and storming sessions .Necessary Underpinnings of Benchmarking cont… 3.Student course evaluation . Formal vs. impractical and bureaucratic.Participation in university wide survey .Service level agreements.Course review document . informal approaches – formal methods are theoretical.Liaison thru Library Advisory Committee .Informal comparison of statistics . service standards .

Information skills program evaluated on regular basis .Quality of service implicit in Library’s Written Operational Policy Standard .Book availability survey .Charter mark .Access the board comparison with a member of other universities .Necessary Underpinnings of Benchmarking cont… .

Confidentiality and Learning organization – the aim is to test benchmarking techniques and to compare work practices and establish best practices. expressing client confidential information to outsiders. . . .misapprehensions : information about procedures are compared and no need for confidential information to be implicated. getting into the hands of a competitor making use of it top their detriment.g.areas of concern : confidentiality as a problem e.4.those who are apprehensive about showing information are not ready to participate in benchmarking .

depends on network of partnerships and alliances as organic structures that continually change and grow thus the need to cultivate an open minded approach and macrocosmic approach by interacting with organizations in their own in terms of culture and work practice. .visits can be conducted away from the workplace to avoid accidental exposure of confidential documents.Learning Organization Concept is based on people. information and relationships.4. Confidentiality and Learning organization cont… . .

It is a value to organization involved in quality programs.3 To make staff understand the necessary mapping and measuring stages of the process and supply the data and the needed documentation. 3.1 What benchmarking is? 3. training must be implemented first: 3. 2.Recommendations: 1. . It is a quality tool and most used where the culture and practices are focused on achieving best practice. what it involves and why it is being carried out? 3.2 How implemented within the organization. Where it is to be introduced.

the process is difficult. The training covers tools such as flowcharting and fishbone designs. or guidelines or how to set about it. Where benchmarking is felt to be most useful. to establish current procedures and identify problem areas. 8.Recommendations cont… 4. 7. 6. is a means of raising staff levels of awareness. and the benefits may not be apparent for sometime. The selection of benchmarking partners is problematic. Benchmarking may need detailed procedures. if at all. The concepts and ideology of benchmarking represent good management practice. 5. .

and helps to foster a mindset receptive to new ideas and change. .both of which are prerequisites of successful benchmarking. which enables staff to distance themselves from a process and view it in an organizational context. Awareness extends to outside organizations during benchmarking visits.Recommendations cont… 9. 10. which by focusing on process owners. 12. Promotes teamwork and better communication between junior and senior level staff . enables professional staff to play a more proactive role in the identification of problems and implementation of change. The process of analyzing procedures and identifying gaps in performance can be a learning experience. Benchmarking can be perceived as an empowering tool. 11.

Modes of benchmarking process used by the demonstrator organizations for the benchmarking exercises Identify key process Document / Map Sub Processes Identify Critical Success Factors (CsFs) Measure CsFs Analyze Results Identify Gaps in Performance Select Benchmarking Partners/Arranged Visits Identify Best Practice .

to ensure that plans are being carried out 4. to assess aspects of management (include the level of management competitiveness) . to develop relationships/partnerships with other organizations and 9. to justify the existence or value of the service 7. to focus evaluation on the most useful areas 5. as part of an ongoing continuous improvement mechanisms 3.Why benchmark? (Australian Experience) 1. as part of change management process 6. to facilitate dramatic process improvement 2. to demonstrate areas of merit to stakeholders 8.

procedures and processes in other organizations 5. high regard of library clients for staff .Benefits ? As an improvement tool (Australian Best Practices) 1. processes and procedures 3. a view of work flows. new ideas leading to continues improvement and breakthrough change 4. improved understanding of work flows. continuous improvement in work flows. high regard of staff for library clients 6. processes and procedures 2.

participation in decision making 9. shelving .Benefits ? Cont… 7. Interlibrary loans 2. improved productivity Processes suitable for benchmarking (activities) 1. pride in performance 8. breakdown of traditional barriers between branches and management and staff 10. original cataloging 4. copy cataloging 3.

document delivery 8. technical services 9. research support 11.Processes suitable for benchmarking (activities) cont… 5. library system costs 10. acquisitions of core texts 7. materials availability 13. acquisitions > cataloging > processing 6. information skills 12. customer satisfaction . staff perceptions 14.

cost comparison 2. organizational comparison 16. reduction in error rates 4. reduction in turn around times 3. establishing meaningful performance indicators / realistic output measures .Processes suitable for benchmarking cont… 15. university enquiry points 18. leading and managing improvement and change Back Reasons for benchmarking (Australian Libraries) 1. costing core processes 17.

framework for benchmarking. performance and quality . explore appropriate roles and activities of cataloguers 9.Reasons for benchmarking cont… 5. develop bet practice model 13. investigate in sourcing. as an instrument to achieve change 12. pilot benchmarking / instill value of benchmarking 11. establish individual performance targets 8. develop statements of good practice 15. feasibility of collaboration to achieve cost saving 6. develop improved outcomes for customers 10. outsourcing and collaborative opportunities 7. validation measure 14.

Brockman. . Best Practice Handbook for Australian University Libraries (2000). London:Bowker Saur.al. Training and Youth Affairs. John et. Higher Education Division. (1997) Quality Management and Benchmarking in the Information Sector. 2. Department of Education.References: 1.

Give Benchmarking a Chance Its Worth It .

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The Property Officer receives books from suppliers .Title Scope LIBRARY PROCEDURES ACQUISITION OF BOOKS PURCHASE General Policies and Guidelines Determination of the educational resources of the SHL library is a professional consideration of great magnitude. requiring the cooperative efforts of the acquisition librarian and the faculty members with the College deans and the Library director.The Director of Libraries directs the Acquisition Librarian to invite book suppliers in batches and assigns staffs to attend book fairs and coordinates with the College Deans for faculty members to attend book fairs 2. Procedures 1.

The Acquisition Librarian prepares list of books as “recommended” and “not recommended” per supplier in triplicate 9.The Acquisition Librarian transmits all books to Property Office with the duly signed Book Requisition Slip .3.The Director of Libraries re-evaluates books recommended and endorse acquisition 8.The Faculty/Department Chair evaluates/recommends books to purchase 5.The Acquisition Librarian segregates books per college and prepares book acquisition to go with the books 4.The Dean evaluates/approves the Book Requisition Slips 6.The College Secretary returns/transmits all books to Acquisition Librarian 7.

The Acquisition Librarian forwards the list of catalogued books to Property Office. 13./P. The Cataloger catalogues the books.10.R. prepares RR for the purchased books per the approved P.O. The VP/Treasurer approves the P. 14.O. The Acquisition Librarian records all purchased books into the Accession Book 15.O.O. The Purchasing Officer sends approved P. The Property officer returns books “not recommended” to suppliers. The purchasing Officer prepares purchase requisition/purchase order 11. 12. to Property Officer and to Accounting for payment. to supplier.O. then forward the approved P. and transmits books per approved P. Back . 16.

Book Acquisition Procedure Back .

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