Mark Del Franco titles the article that I chose to review "Adventure in Benchmarking," The publication title is Catalog Age. The article discusses the importance of benchmarking in a company. The article gives a clear picture of how benchmarking is beneficial to different types of companies. They cover the important aspects from Cabela's, a based outdoor catalog, cooking catalogs, and Swanson Health Products.
The term benchmark when looked up in a dictionary can have multiple meanings. It can mean: (1) a reference or measurement standard for comparison, (2) a performance measurement that is the standard of excellence for a specific business process, and (3) a measurable, best-in-class achievement (http://retailindustry.about.com/).
Benchmarking is simply the systematic process of searching for best practices, innovative ideas and highly effective operating procedures that lead to superior performance. Cabela's states "benchmarking can increase the accuracy of your orders, boost worker productivity, and improve service levels in the call centers (Del Franco). For example, Sir La Table a cooking cataloger/retailer uses benchmarking to help pinpoint any weak areas that need improved upon. Swanson Health Products used the concept to "test" their Customer Service Representatives. Glen Prier of chief operating officer of Swanson Health Products states "you've got to make sure that you're comparing yourself with similar companies" (Del Franco). A manager/employer needs to make sure they understand why things are done a certain way, this is why the comparison aspect in benchmarking is so critical. Benchmarking provides information containing insight in the gaps to achieve desired goals and objectives. It helps to build the basis for recommendations on changes, and improvements to sales strategies, organization, cost, investment, and the ideas that will fix any gaps.
The article points out that many companies want to be a step higher than...