Information Centre Benchmarking

„Benchmarking is the search for industry best practices that lead to superior performance“ Robert Camp 1989. 

This definition by the founder of the benchmarking method describes the central idea of this modern management tool to the point. Enterprises which compete in national and international markets have to strive for potential success factors in the increasingly competitive markets. Today, this is essential for the competitiveness and the survivability of an enterprise. 

Benchmarking helps to search consequently and in a structured way for new ideas concerning methods, procedures and processes outside of the own organization structure or even outside of the own branch. Benchmarking aims for the thinking in analogies and the innovation within enterprises. It is a tool which contributes to the realization of business objectives, in addition other tools like Reengineering, Total Quality Management or Kaizen. In contrast to these instruments which enable only a narrow, internal perspective, benchmarking allows an external perception which can already be understood as an innovative approach. 

The focus of benchmarking is not only to point out the differences between enterprises. Furthermore, the main objective is to systematically identifiy best practices. Thus sustainable competitive advantage can be gained. 

In the USA, benchmarking has a considerably longer tradition than in Germany. Nevertheless, in recent years this modern management tool has established itself in Germany, too. Since the foundation of the ICB in 1994 and the creation of the Global Benchmarking Network in 1995, a continuously rising interest in benchmarking can be noticed, not only from German enterprises. 

The fact that benchmarking can be used very flexibly and varies from the improvement of business processes to the support of decision making concerning questions of the strategic orientation makes this method so successful.