Keywords: benchmarking, reengineering, goal-setting, process mapping, strategic planning, productivity, customer satisfaction, quality
Benchmarking and reengineering: alternatives or partners?
Both Benchmarking and Reengineering are widely practised around the world, but they are not often found together. They sound quite different to the untrained ear. Benchmarking sounds like a heavily intellectual exercise to generate more realistic goals, many good anecdotes, and an occasional good idea. Reengineering sounds like the management equivalent of slash-and-burn agriculture; major downsizings are made in operations under the banner of better customer services. Actually, the two techniques have much in common, and reengineering can greatly benefit from integration with benchmarking. The benefit comes mainly in two areas: (1) targeting the processes to reengineer is done better guided by systematic benchmarking studies than through casual or arbitrary selection by executives or consultants and (2) reengineering's technique of creating a new customer-oriented approach through use of mainly internal thinking would be greatly enhanced by systematic input of benchmarking partners' experience.