Webster’s Dictionary defines Benchmark as “A standard or reference by which others can be measured or judged”.
Benchmarking is a method of capturing performance metrics to measure products, services, and processes against an industry standard or peer group. By analysis of key indicators, benchmarking can provide important insight to assist an organization in comparing its performance to other similar organizations producing the same product or providing similar services.
A benchmark can be compared to an instrument cluster on a dashboard. A brief look allows one to determine the relative health of the organization. Similar to a dashboard (which allows for assessments of speed, gas level, temperature), a benchmark can help you examine areas such as revenue, expenses, production amounts, employee productivity, etc.
Companies use benchmarking as a method of becoming more competitive, in an increasingly competitive world. By understanding how other companies are performing, areas can be identified where they may be underperforming, providing the opportunity for improvement. Benchmarks are also a valuable tool to assist companies in identifying ways to refine their processes without having to commit extensive resources, by highlighting areas requiring improvement.
Why are benchmarks important? Benchmarking can be used to help identify areas, systems, or processes for improvement—either incremental (continuous) improvements or dramatic (business process reengineering) improvements. This then allows organizations to develop plans on how to make improvements or adapt specific best practices, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance. Benchmarking may be a one-off event, but is often treated as a continuous process in which organizations continually seek to improve their practices.
For some time now, at the request of our stakeholders, ABSA has been tracking and compiling results of implementation reviews (audits) conducted for Certificate of Authorization Permit holders. These results have been captured and compiled through the use of ABSA audit workbooks, which were developed to promote consistent and comprehensive audits. From these results, we have been able to determine an industry standard, or benchmark, for each AQP series. These benchmarks, listed below, identify two separate scores. The first score is the Overall Audit Average Score for that particular AQP series, represented by the horizontal green line. The second is the score for each individual element, required by that particular Quality Management System.