Benchmarking: performance improvement toward competitive advantage

2014-11-21T13:46:45Z (GMT) by Ninatubu Mbora Lema Andrew Price
Benchmarking is a relatively new quality concept. It is the systematic search for best practices that leads to superior performance. This paper explores the definitions, scope, types, and applications of benchmarking. Various literature sources have been examined to establish a common understanding. Benchmarking is seen within the context of total quality management (TQM) as an accelerator toward achieving TQM by learning from others who have demonstrated excellence. Furthermore, this paper argues that it is a necessary tool that exposes internal activities of competitive organizations to external organizations, a competitive potential currently not fully used. A wide range of business successes achieved through benchmarking are cited, especially in manufacturing and service industries. These concepts are briefly discussed within the context of the construction industry, with the objective of provoking a debate on the applicability of the concept in construction.