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Benchmarking for results training course
Benchm arking course description: During this event, managers w ill learn how and w hen to use benchm arking and best practice techniques to bring their strategic business plan into focus. Through benchmarking based group w ork and case study material, participants w ill learn the steps involved, addressing w hy, w hat, w hen, w here and how to carry out benchm ark ing. Using Hoshin Managem ent Principles participants w ill understand how to deploy strategy and policy throughout the organisation. Delegates from different organisations w ill be able to carry out benchmarking themselves against each other and use some of DHI's proprietary benchm ark ing data. Benchmarking w hich w as once know n as 'interfirm comparisons' is one of the most important external activities that an organisation can develop if it is to avoid threats in the market place and gain ability over the competition. Without Benchmarking, many organisations fail w ithout know ing w hy because they do not conduct benchmarking scientifically or even at all. The reason is that either they w ere complacent or that they w ere ignorant of the tools and techniques of Benchmarking. They w ere probably also unaw are that the main reason w hy a competitor beat them w as because the competitor had been cleverly benchmarking them w ithout them know ing it. They w ere also probably unaw are of the loose brick concept in w hich the aggressive competitor exploits a w eakness in your organisation that is market sensitive. This is w hy w e believe that Benchmarking training is fundamental to business success. Target audience: Executives, Strategic Planners and those involved w ith Policy Deployment and Benchmarking Duration: 2 days on site Course objectives: When conducted in house, Benchmarking for results has an unusually high level of group w ork. The objective being to involve participants in a planning exercise that they can reproduce in their ow n organisations, allow ing them to benchm ark themselves w ith other companies. Why conduct Benchmarking? Benchmarking effectively is essential to survival and to Hoshin Kanri and the principles should be thoroughly understood in order both to make sure that the Strategy remains sound and that the KPIs are valid. In the commercial or industrial w orld the term is used to describe activities w hich are aimed to make comparisons against `best' or `better' business practices not just in your ow n industry but across all industries w here valid comparisons can be made. Benchmarking is essential to be able to: develop a good business strategy, prioritise PIs to create and prioritise KPIs ensure that the organisation is not vulnerable to a ‘loose brick’ attack. enable a ‘loose brick’ attack on competitors. keep up to date on the latest practices regardless of industry ensure the use of the best methods w atch for extraneous threats from legislation, international developments etc. Ensure the correct priority for continuous improvement It is a w idely held but mistaken belief that Benchmarking can be applied only to our competitors. In fact, there is much more useful information that w e can obtain from benchmarking non competitors for a variety of reasons. The main one being that most business processes are not industry specific. For example, the Personnel Selection Process, Management and Financial Accounting, Training, Quality Management etc. are common to most industries and w e can carry out benchmarking of these in any industry to make comparisons. This is useful for tw o reasons. Firstly, it is much easier to obtain benchmaking information from a non competitor than it is from an organisation w hich is our sw orn rival. In this latter case espionage might be the only means of benchmarking such sources but that can lead to big problems as McLaren discovered in their Formula 1 rivalry w ith Ferrari. The second and more important reason is that w hilst people in the same industry tend to do the same things the same w ay, it is possible that people in different industries may do the same things but in very different w ays e.g. the case of Japanese Shipbuilding methods vs. those used to construct aircraft. The reason is that a lot of benchmarking information circulates in one industry by people moving from one competitor to another, trade magazines pass on information etc. How ever there is likely to be far less cross over from one industry to another. Therefore benchmarking non competitors can prove effective. Also, non competitors are far more likely to divulge information in benchmarking visits. When properly applied, benchmarking may be conducted in some principle categories. These are know n to us as the seven point benchmark plan. 1. Customer benchmarking surveys

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the development of the modular construction system for Shipbuilding w hich the Japanese developed came as a result of a now popular Benchmarking concept of studying parallel industries.The strategic approach to continuous improvement available through Amazon and other sources it w as published in September 2008 and contains a w hole chapter on Benchmarking an extract from w hich is as follow s: Chapter 6 Benchmarking (an excerpt) The term Benchmarking originates from Ground Survey w ork w here the relative heights of land or other features are `benchmarked' against some reference. a modular construction method w as used. the British w orkers w ere w orking w ell but the methods he saw w ere outdated and inferior to those currently used in Japan. As a consequence. Strictly speaking Business Intelligence might be a more appropriate term in the sense that it is more like Military Intelligence than surveying and w e are looking for many more features than simply highs and low s. These are know n to us as the seven point benchmark plan. enable a ‘loose brick’ attack on competitors. Internal cultural surveys 7. Neither is the term ‘Benchmarking’ the original term. the Head of Japanese Aircraft construction w as appointed Head of Shipbuilding. Best in class technological process benchmarking 5. Seeing w ho is on the high ground is just one of the objectives of Benchmarking. This is a classic case of Benchmarking one industry to benefit another. In those days. The same improvement resulted w hen the method w as applied to Ship construction. he w anted to study the methods used by the Shipbuilders in the UK. Customer benchmarking surveys 2. He said that from w hat he saw .1. senior managers from Toyota admitted that the Ford Motor Company had show n them everything they w anted to see. This method required greater accuracy in the manufacture of the units but overall it reduced construction times by a factor of ten. For example. In this case the `benchmark' feature is usually the highest hill or mountain in the vicinity. He claimed that w hen he arrived in the UK he w as barred from entering the Yards. In the 18th Century innovator Abraham Derby blocked the keyholes in his w orkshop w hilst he w as developing the technique for casting w ide bellied pots. Apparently competition w as so severe that this w as necessary to prevent spying! Benchmarking of sorts clearly existed all that time ago. the traditional method of building ships w as to lay the keel and then build the ship from the bottom up. Large but movable sections w ere constructed individually and then w elded or bolted together. For m ore inform ation and to acquire the skills to conduct Benchm arking effectively: Please contact us for the course regisration form. In one reference. Benchmarking is also essential to know the correct level of resource required to stay ahead using such concepts as Hoshin Kanri. Quality Circles and paradoxically Benchmarking itself. In another reference w hich w as broadcast some years ago in the BBC 2 series “Nippon” the former head of the Japanese ship building industry explained that after they had introduced the modular system of construction for the production of large oil tankers. Benchmarking is essential to be able to: develop a good strategy. prioritise PIs to create and prioritise KPIs ensure that the organisation is not vulnerable to a ‘loose brick’ attack. Best in class task performance benchmarking 6. This w as essentially a Benchmarking service. They commented that w hat they saw w as vastly superior to Toyota’s ow n manufacturing methods but they could see how they could improve even on the Ford methodology. When properly applied. to obtain the information he required. Financial performance benchmarking 8 ‘Green’ Teams 9. Benchmarking is also treated in detail in David Hutchins new book Hoshin Kanri . Interesting. Aircraft construction w as different. In this case. he used his camera and pair of binoculars and studied the yards from the outside. At that time the UK had over 50% of the World market in commercial ship production but it w as his opinion that by the 1960s Japan w ould be the World’s leading producer. Much of w hat the Japanese learned w as gifted to them by the Americans in the immediate years follow ing World War 2 as part of the Martial Aid Plan. Lean Manufacturing. in this case. follow ing World War 2. Competitor benchmaking analysis 3. in the 1950s and 1960s the now Chartered Institute of Management sold a product entitled ‘Interfirm Comparisons’. In the commercial or industrial w orld the term is used to describe activities w hich are aimed to make comparisons against `best' or `better' business practices not just in your ow n industry but across all industries w here valid comparisons can be made. benchmarking may be conducted in some principle categories. a situation from w hich the British Industry never recovered even w hen it began to adopt the same methods many years later. Effective Benchmarking is essential to Hoshin Kanri and the principles should be thoroughly understood in order both to make sure that the Strategy remains sound and that the KPIs are valid. in less than ten years Japan had replaced the UK as the w orld’s leading shipbuilder. Best in class business process benchmarking 4. . Six Sigma. So.

Financial performance 8 ‘Green’ Teams 1. Quality Management etc. trade magazines pass on information etc. There is more discussion of this aspect later in the chapter. The air is extremely dry for almost all of the year.. Competitor analysis 3. Customer surveys 2. Benchmaking. Training.. the loose brick approach w ould be to let them continue to w aste their money. Customer Surveys The objective here is to determine customer attitudes tow ards our organisation relative to the competitors.. This gave the impression that the foreign producers took more care by w rapping them hence the different perception. The challenge w ill be to try and change the perception.. How ever.. The reason is that a lot of information circulates in one industry by people moving from one competitor to another. Six Sigma Strategy and Policy Deployment. When properly applied. Another possibility is that there may be other features w here w e know that w e are good as or even better than our competitor but our customer’s ‘perception’ is otherw ise. 1. It is w orth noting here that w e might get some surprises. These are know n to us as the seven point benchmark plan. the Plant is located on a high plain in a desert region of the Middle East. Firstly.. For example. Best in class task performance 6. We investigated this and found that there w as no discernable difference so w hy the perception? Eventually. In this latter case espionage might be the only means but that can lead to big problems as McLaren discovered in their Formula 1 rivalry w ith Ferrari.g. are common to most industries. Registered in England as David Hutchins Innovation Ltd © 2009 Site map Terms and conditions . the Personnel Selection Process. The second and more important reason is that w hilst people in the same industry tend to do the same things the same w ay. How ever there is likely to be far less cross over from one industry to another. Best in class business processes 4.. the case of Japanese Shipbuilding methods vs. It is alw ays a good thing to check out the validity of perceptions otherw ise w e might attempt to improve something that is good enough anyw ay. It is a w idely held but mistaken belief that Benchmarking can be applied only to our competitors. The main one being that most business processes are not industry specific.keep up to date on the latest practices regardless of industry ensure the use of the best methods w atch for extraneous threats from legislation. Such w as the case w ith our Steel Corporation. Risk Management including ISO related training and Implementation and relevant leadership and People development. an automotive manufacturer. it is much easier to obtain information from a non competitor than it is from an organisation w hich is our sw orn rival. In this example. Best in class technological processes 5.. it is possible that w e may be concerned that our competitor is better than us on some features of the product or service but w e may discover from a Customer Survey that these features are not perceived to be important to our customer. This is useful for tw o reasons. w e might not w aste our scarce resources trying to catch up. In this case. The foreign products w ere transported by ship across oceans. In order to protect them from the salty atmosphere.. For example.. benchmarking may be conducted in some principle categories. the reason became clear. Lean Manufacturing. it is possible that people in different industries may do the same things but in very different w ays e. it w as the customer’s perception that the reels of steel w ere inferior to foreign imports. There w as no need to w rap the product to protect it against corrosion in such a dry atmosphere. David Hutchins International are leading consultants in Hoshin Kanri. Their cold rolled product w as sent directly on the back of an open truck to their main customer. there is much more useful information that w e can obtain from non competitors for a variety of reasons. those used to construct aircraft... Content copyright David Hutchins International Limited.. In fact.. Management and Financial Accounting. Six Sigm a. they w ere packaged in oily paper. Internal cultural surveys 7. international developments etc.

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