Order Release Strategy Essay

4306 Words Aug 28th, 2011 18 Pages
Benchmarking Supply Chain Management: Finding Best Practices
By Bjørn Andersen, Tom Fagerhaug, and Stine Randmæl SINTEF Industrial Management, Trondheim, Norway Jürgen Schuldmaier, Profactor, Steyr, Austria

ABSTRACT This paper represents a more popularized adaptation of the complete report written (Fagerhaug, Randmæl, Andersen, 1998) as documentation of the benchmarking activity in the project SMArTMAN SME. The objective of using benchmarking in the SMArTMAN SME project was to increase the knowledge about the supply chain management process and to enable the industrial partners to learn from the best practice. This was done through identification and study of other enterprises in Europe and their processes. The two key findings from
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The project is divided into six tasks: 1. Current State and Requirements. 2. Benchmarking. 3. Make-or-Buy Tool (in parallel to). 4. Organization Scenario. 5. ICT-Systems. 6. Validation and Demonstration.


What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking can somewhat philosophically be defined as follows (APQC, 1992): Benchmarking is the practice of being humble enough to admit that someone else is better at something, and being wise enough to learn how to match them and even surpass them at it.

This definition captures the essence of benchmarking, namely learning from others. The core of the current interpretation of benchmarking is:


• Measurement, of own and the benchmarking partners’ performance level, both for comparison and for registering improvements. • Comparison, of performance levels, processes, practices, etc. • Learning, from the benchmarking partners to introduce improvements in your own organization. • Improvement, which is the ultimate objective of any benchmarking study.

Benchmarking emphasizes attaining so-called breakthrough improvements, as shown below (Andersen and Pettersen, 1995):
Continuous improvement

Benchmarking accelerates improvement & change Breakthrough

Continuous improvement


Breakthroughs of the type illustrated by the star are usually accomplished by introducing practices that are new to an industry, through generic benchmarking. Some

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