By Katie Takacs, Marketing Manager, Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech
Companies that effectively benchmark have greater success in reaching their goals. By learning from the experience of others, you can avoid many bumps and potholes in the road to success. Before deciding if benchmarking is right for your company, answer the following questions:
- Does your company have clear and common goals?
- Does your company know where it stands in relation to those goals?
- Is your company willing to learn from others?
- Are you willing to share your successes and failures with companies partnering with you in the benchmarking experience?
- Is your organization open to change?
Benchmarking can be a powerful tool for all types of companies and can be done within numerous areas of your organization. Whether you are benchmarking ways to grow profits, cut costs, implement safety measures, develop incentive programs, increase retention, or attain other goals, the first step is to identify a company or companies with similar goals and issues, both inside and outside of your industry.
Several years ago, the GaMEP at Georgia Tech designed a benchmarking program within the South Metro Atlanta region to help companies achieve success in lean implementation. This effort became the Lean Consortium, which has now grown to 70 companies in seven regions, with an eighth regional group on the way. By attending events throughout the year, touring peer company facilities, having access to a private forum for discussion, and utilizing discounted training, these member companies have realized an impact of $146 million in combined sales increases and cost savings.
Take advantage of this unique opportunity that benchmarking provides. Learn from others about what works and what doesn’t, develop and implement a best practice methodology that works for your organization, and jump-start your efforts to get ahead.