Benchmarking is a continuous process of comparing an organisation’s products, services and processes against those of its toughest competitors or those of organisations renowned as world class or industry leaders. In modern management, benchmarking is a tool to find and implement best practices, thereby creating a competitive edge for greater organisational viability and agility.
Benchmarking has been proven to be the most effective business improvement approach and is widely embraced by business organisations in USA and Europe. Business process benchmarking, with its generic nature, is an effective method for facilitating benchmarking across different industrial sectors and across different companies of varying sizes and turnovers.
During 2003 to 2004, the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, in collaboration with the City University of Hong Kong, commissioned the CMA-CityU Center for Entrepreneurial Development to conduct a research project namely “Enhancing Competitiveness of SMEs Through Best-practice Business Process Benchmarking.” Sponsored by the SME Development Fund of Industry and Trade Department, the Project applied the technique of business process benchmarking to review, analyse and document best practices in business processes in 30 excellent local companies in Hong Kong (20 of them are winners of Hong Kong Top Brand Awards) and to adapt these best business processes to local SMEs in Hong Kong.
In implementing the Project, a team of consultants conducted for each company a two-stage audit; starting with an organisational viability and management system effectiveness audit, and followed by an in-depth Enabler Analysis. The first stage provides the information to pinpoint the particular functional best practice that is critical for the success of the company and the second stage focuses on the particular functional best practice, uncovering the critical success enablers for benchmarking transfer purpose.