Benchmarking: analyzing competition as the best performance indicator

Jeroen Lustig
Published on
July 16, 2021

According to research by Harvard Business Review, 52% of Fortune 500 companies have disappeared since 2000 because of digital disruption, of which data is a big part. Yet some companies are hesitant to rely on data, simply because it is a relatively new source of information and they have never worked with it before. However, now the data is available, and it can help your business move forward in profound ways. Such is the case with benchmarking.

Performance benchmarking provides companies with an objective indicator of their business, by comparing their performance with that of similar companies. You cannot judge your performance by just looking at yourself. Compare it to a race that you run on your own, without a stopwatch: how do you know if you've done well when you cross the finish line?

Benchmarking: Qualitative & quantitative analysis

According to McKinsey, “Companies in the dairy industry can substantially improve their performance by acting upon the insights of a benchmarking process that draws data from not only their own operations but also industry peers.”

In benchmarking, all these insights are extracted from an analysis with both qualitative and quantitative information. What does the data tell you about your position in the market? In what areas are you outperforming the competition? Where should you improve? The answers to these questions help you determine the right strategic ambitions, in perspective of the market.

The perfect place to start working with data

The 'success' of benchmarking lies in making conscious choices, supported by data. Using data this way as a company is the road to becoming 'best in class'. And with all the data that is publicly and internationally available, this competitive advantage is within reach for any company that takes a step towards data-driven working.

For companies that want to dip their toe in the water, benchmarking is the perfect place to start. It uncovers a company’s potential to improve. When your personnel costs have doubled in the past five years, that may seem like a lot. But if the analysis shows that for the competition those costs have tripled in the same period, it is not so bad.

In our Whitepaper Benchmarking we dive deeper into the benefits of benchmarking, and explain why companies really can’t do without it (download it via the button below). On top of that, it offers a detailed six-step guide, demonstrating where you can get the data from, what to look at, with whom and when, and how to apply benchmarking in your own organisation. In other words, it offers everything you need to take the step today that helps your company move forward.

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