The objectives of interfirm comparisons and benchmarking projects are to allow participants to compare their performance with that of other similar companies and to assist participants in improving profitability.
As such these projects are similar to ‘Industry Surveys’ but often provide a more specific solution to an individual company’s needs. The main aim is to help businesses to indentify strengths and weaknesses in their own operations and to allow managements to focus on those areas where action is most urgently required. These projects usually run on a regular annual basis and therefore also help participants to monitor trends over the longer term.
Projects are tailor made and can be set up to compare the operations of companies as a whole or alternatively can be targeted at a specific department within a group of firms. For example, individual studies can examine aspects of production costs, warehousing function, sales administration, etc.
Data is collected by means of a standard reporting form which is accompanied by notes & definitions to ensure that all data is compiled on a common and consistent basis. The results are then shown in ratio or percentage form.