Benchmarking is an exercise done by almost all companies to improve their overall business performance. Managers track the leading companies in their business for their best practices and bring in those practices in their company too. Though all spheres of work are benchmarked, operations and sales are key business areas that are benchmarked for best practices. The practices are emulated but are also adjusted as per company culture or requirements and at times may just work as a springboard for a new set of practices.
Benchmarking is used by companies to improve their overall performance in terms of operational efficiency as well as product design, to identify and improve the cost position of the company in relation to the market, build strategic advantage by focussing on specific capabilities, and improve innovation through learning and experience sharing in the organization. The year 2019 saw companies benchmarking for the following:
- Talent benchmarks: Talent is the key to business growth. Having great talent in your company means setting it up for success. Talent can, however, be a dynamic sphere and with new technology making old skills obsolete, the most talented individuals also need regular skill upgrades. From a business management perspective, it is important to conduct special training or promote skill enhancement through incentives for the employees. The business management must be aware of the latest skills in the market that would be relevant for their employees. Companies must also benchmark against the best talent in the industry and try to achieve those standards by either training or recruiting new talent.
- Service benchmarks: After-sale service and client servicing are important business growth practices. Benchmarking your services to improve their standard to match or excel the best in the industry puts you in a position of strategic advantage. For example, apart from the regular service you provide, you can conduct reviews which give an opportunity to the client or customer to provide feedback to help you improve. Regular assessment will help you match customer expectations.
- Digital benchmarks: There is no denying the fact that the global population is becoming increasingly tech-savvy. It is important to benchmark your company against the best digital practices in the industry which are relevant for your business. Big data, AI, machine learning, analytics, security and cloud usage have become common growth boosters, especially in 2019.
- Sales benchmarks: Your revenues and profits ultimately depend on your sales. 2019 saw companies benchmarking for the best sales practices. Due to heightened competition, it is important to review sales and pricing strategies and keep tabs on the best sales tactics and strategies in the industry and then innovate to offer something different but more attractive to the customer.
- Happiness benchmarks: The most successful companies are those whose employees are happiest. Benchmarking for happiness quotient was also a much-followed trend in 2019. Companies realise that in times as stressful and competitive as today it is important to keep the employees happy and stress-free.
If you are looking to enhance the performance of your company in 2020 then you will benefit from the above benchmarks in business management.