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Strategic Solutions assists organizations with benchmarking best practices, processes and products by helping identify industry standards and planning and designing new change initiatives. 

Specifically, SSI helps organizations use Benchmarking to

*       Make an organization more competitive 
*       Improve organizational efficiency
*       Improve programs, services and/or products
*       Expand customer, client or consumer base
*       Improve customer, client or consumer relations
*       Improve customer, client or consumer satisfaction

And ultimately to

*        Create greater fiscal solvency
*        Create greater productivity

SSI also helps integrate Benchmarking with other organizational learning initiatives such as Knowledge Management (KM) Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and Total Quality Management (TQM).

A brief overview of benchmarking and common uses is provided below.

What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is the process of identifying, understanding and adapting outstanding practices from organizations anywhere in the world to help your organization improve its performance.

—American Productivity & Quality Center

*  Benchmark is a measure of a best practice.  
*  Benchmarking is the process of identifying best practices.  

Benchmarking yields a benchmark, and is usually part of a larger organization reengineering or quality improvement effort.  It is the method for determining who or what is the very best, both within and outside an industry.  

To benchmark, an organization must first determine which company is the best; which has the most comprehensive programs or services; and how can that standard be quantified.  Once an organization decides what to benchmark and how to measure it, the objective becomes to discover how the best became the best, and what must be done to achieve the same results.  

Types of Benchmarking

There are three basic types of benchmarking depending on the information you wish to collect: 

*  Strategic
*  Data-based
*  Process-based  

Strategic examines tactics used to compete and the objective is to improve process performance; data-based analyzes how well other companies perform in comparison to each other; and process-based determines how they achieve this performance. ______________________________________________________________________

Why is Benchmarking Useful?

An organization that does not know the industry standard also does not know whether they have met, exceeded or fallen short of it.  And this is important if your organization has competitors, constituents or customers—and what company doesn’t?  

Nonprofits and for-profits alike have competitors, and it pays to know their status in relation to the industry standard to remain competitive. And when it comes to constituents, consumers or customers, it is to your advantage to know that your programs, services or products are of greater value or more cost effective than your competitors. 

Benchmarks and benchmarking can show you what can be achieved and how you can achieve the same type of results.  In short, benchmarking provides external references and best practices by which to base evaluations and design work processes and practices.

Common Reasons for Benchmarking & Reengineering  

*  Need to become or remain fiscally solvent
*  Need to become or remain competitive
*  Need to improve customer/consumer relations and satisfaction
*  Need to expand customer/consumer base
*  Need to improve quality of programs, services or products

What Can Be Benchmarked

*  Products
*  Services
*  Processes
*  Practices
*  Personnel  

Common Results of Benchmarking

*  Knowing who makes the best products
*  Knowing who offers the best services
*  Knowing who implements the best processes
*  Knowing who engages in the best practices
*  Knowing who hires the best personnel
*  Knowing which are most adaptable to your organization/company
*  Identifying ways to replicate best products, processes and practices