What's the Business For?
Establishing Business Relations
How to Win over Customers
Product and Price
Technology and Change
The expression benchmarking has become one of the fashionable words incurrent management discussion. The term first appeared in the United States inthe 1970s but has now gained worldwide recognition. But what exactly does itmean and should your company be practicing it？One straightforward definition of benchmarking comes from Chris Tethermanaging director of a New Zealand-based consultancy firm specializing in thisarea. "Benchmarking involves learning about your own practices, learning aboutthe best practices of others, and then making changes for improvement that willenable you to meet or beat the best in the world." The essential element is notsimply imitating what other companies do but being able to adapt the best ofother firms' practices to your own situation.Companies can use benchmarking to inject an element of imagination andcommon sense into their search for progress. It is a process which forcescompanies to look closely at those activities which they may have been taking forgranted and comparing them with the actives of other world-beating companies.Selfcriticism is at the heart of the process although in some cases this may upsetmanagers who are reluctant to question long established practices.