1. Benchmarking presentations on You Tube

    January 28, 2010 by

    Over the last year, I have been busy running benchmarking workshops in Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The training addresses the misconceptions surrounding benchmarking and aims to increase the professionalism of benchmarking through a certification scheme.

    Through my research and experience it is evident that many organisations have misunderstood benchmarking or applied it incorrectly with poor results. In one of COER’s recent studies on behalf of the Global Benchmarking Network we identified that:
    • 25% of respondents that used benchmarking had not been trained in benchmarking and another 30% of respondents indicated that “only a few of the employees had received training or that training was rarely given”.
    • 30% of respondents that used benchmarking do not follow a particular benchmarking methodology when conducting benchmarking projects.
    • 25% of respondents do not follow (or rarely follow) a benchmarking code of conduct when undertaking a benchmarking project.
    • 30% of respondents “do not, rarely, or sometimes” develop a project brief for their benchmarking project specifying the aim, scope, sponsor, and members of the benchmarking team – thus indicating poor project planning.
    • 35% of respondents do not (or rarely) undertake a cost and benefits analysis of the project once it is completed.
    The methodology that I promote is the TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology. TRADE focuses on the exchange (or” trade”) of information and best practices to improve the performance of processes, goods and services. Use of this methodology, and its prescriptive approach, ensures that benchmarking projects:

    a) are focused on key areas of importance

    b) have the buy-in of key stakeholders at each and every step of the project

    c) are conducted professionally using a sound research approach
    d) deliver results. After each stage of TRADE, the project is reviewed to ensure it is on-track. If it is not on-track, the project can be stopped or the direction of the project changed.

    TRADE significantly increases the likelihood that best practices will be found, often resulting in breakthrough improvements. On average, as identified in COER’s study, successful benchmarking projects produce a return of more than US$250,000 – therefore it is well worth investing the time in learning and adopting a proven methodology.

    To help organisations learn more about benchmarking, COER has just launched a series of You Tube videos on benchmarking showing snippets from a presentation I gave at the Business Excellence Global Conference in Singapore:

    1. A benchmarking example from the health sector

    2. What is benchmarking?

    3. TRADE best practice benchmarking and certification Part 1
     
    4. TRADE best practice benchmarking and certification Part 2

    5. Popularity of benchmarking

    6. Benchmarking is becoming easier due to advances in social media

    7. What is the BPIR.com? – and how it supports benchmarking

    I hope that you find them useful. Good luck with your benchmarking efforts!

    Best regards

    Robin

    Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz

     


  2. The BPIR.com and recession proofing your business

    October 20, 2009 by

    How has the recession affected your business and what are you doing about it? With the current economic climate organisations everywhere are thinking one thing: “How can we survive the recession?”

    There are a number of ways your business can survive the recession. Some positive (reducing costs, optimizing, expanding), and some negative (layoffs, downsizing). Either way the BPIR.com can help you to research ideas and provide information on best practices for successful implementation.

    The strength of the BPIR.com is found in its vast amount of content in the form of research and case studies, and the fact that it is all accessible by keyword searches. Our research can help to prove or disprove your current plans, and you do not have to reinvent the wheel but refer to case studies from award winning industry leaders.

    If you haven't already – why not join the BPIR right now? Our resources will not only help you to get through the recession they can also help to take your business to the next level.

    As a follow-up to our previous post on the telecommunications industry , check out the snippet below from one of our many cases studies.

     


    Digital Island Communications in New Zealand

    The following is a refreshing account of some well earned success achieved by Digital Island Communications in New Zealand. DI are a top ICT company that provides internet & data services, toll calling, phone lines & systems, mobile phone services, conference calling, phone cards and fax-to-email services. They were also winners of the Deloitte Fast 50 "Fastest growing technology company in 2008", and "Fastest growing telecommunications business" award in October 2007.  Ruth Le Pla [1] in NZ Business magazine writes that in a slowing economy DI was losing a lot of revenue and to overcome this it worked at improving its total operations and closely examined its underlying business model.  As a result instead of retrenching this led DI to make the following improvements:

    • Carrying out a re-branding exercise in order to put a new sparkle into its image,
    • Examining the products offered and eliminating poor performers,
    • Dropping some suppliers and picking up new ones as appropriate,
    • Proactively offering key customers better prices i.e. reducing costs!
    • Assigning additional staff to focus on loyal customers,
    • Improving service levels,
    • Leveraging technology by implementing sales-force software and efficient document management systems,
    • Implementing cost reductions by targeting areas where the greatest impact and maximum gain would be achieved and not by “nit picking”,
    • Managing debtors closely by following up personally on the 21st of the month.
    • Communicating well internally so that staff were always in the picture,

     As a result of these actions Digital Island achieved more than 25% revenue growth for the 2009 financial year. Blair Stewart of Digital Island said that "When times become tough, you need to make better decisions faster than ever,” and offered the following advice for achieving growth:
     

    • Stay in touch with cash flows.
    • Add value to customers.
    • Personalise offers.
    • Develop ways to up-sell.
    • Carry out contingency planning.
    • Work closely with key suppliers and banks developing a relationship of openness and honesty.
    • Guide customers through sales processes and keep them informed, customers value the experience just as much as they value the result.
    • Don't read newspapers. They spread negativity.
    • Be positive. (The attitude projected by management teams has an incredible effect on an organisation.)

      [1]  Le Pla, R., (2009), The tough get going!, NZ Business, Vol 23, Iss  6, pp 24-28, Adrenalin Publishing Ltd., Auckland
     

     
    Members may read the full article (click here)   which provides further helpful tips regarding three organisations that have bucked the trend by rising against the recession.


  3. Findings from a global survey on business improvement and benchmarking

    December 17, 2008 by admin

    Hello all

    Thanks to all those BPIR members/supporters that participated in the Global Benchmarking Network’s survey on “Business Improvement and Benchmarking.”

    In total over 450 people responded from over 40 countries. It was the most comprehensive survey to date on the use of business improvement tools and,  in particular, on benchmarking. Key insights were revealed into this increasingly popular technique and how organisations were applying it and using it to improve their performance.

    Key findings were:

    • Mission and Vision Statements and Customer (Client) Surveys are the most used (by 77% of organisations) of 20 improvement tools, followed by Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (72%), and Informal Benchmarking (68%). Performance Benchmarking was used by (49%) and Best Practice Benchmarking by (39%).
    • The tools that are likely to increase in popularity the most over the next three years are Performance Benchmarking, Informal Benchmarking, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and Best Practice Benchmarking. Over 60% of organizations that are not currently using these tools indicated they are likely to use them in the next three years.
    • When Best Practice Benchmarking is done well significant benefits are obtained with 20% of projects resulting in benefits worth $250,000.
    • Respondents indicated that the external help/service that they most want (out of 8 services) is access to a best practice database!  This is obviously good news for the BPIR.com and means we are on the right track with our collection of 1,000’s of best practices.

    BPIR members can read the full report here, once logged in, and non-members can read Excerpts from a Report on the Global Use of Business Improvement Tools and Benchmarking.

    Join now to read the full report.

    II hope the report’s findings will assist you all in undertaking benchmarking more effectively.

    Best regards

    Robin

    Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited.