Tips for Successful Six Sigma Benchmarking Efforts

Making operational improvements is often an effort that companies are heavily focused on and eagerly anticipate throughout their growth struggles. Companies are now often mandated to perform more output with fewer resources which is often quite difficult to complete when balancing such a competing base of obligations on a regular basis. Anyone focused on this particular need should know the most effective tips for successful benchmarking efforts to ensure best practices are fully implemented throughout the business.  Benchmarking is a process often used in correlation with the Six Sigma quality improvement method.

Benchmarking is the process by which an organization takes the processes and ideas of a competitor or organization in a different sector to determine if they are applicable to their needs. Many leaders focus on this process as part of a Six Sigma or lean manufacturing initiative to ensure that their efforts are well coordinated and actually considered as being appropriate for their needs. Business owners that complete this process are usually able to learn quite a few tips and helpful suggestions along the way from Six Sigma trained and certified professionals.

Companies that are focused on this process are often unclear on where to begin their efforts. Many businesses find that taking ideas from others can be laborious and confusing without an appropriate guidance point on how to begin their efforts. Learning the most common and effective tips for benchmarking is quite helpful on a multitude of levels.

Leaders are encouraged to initially determine what aspects of their company must be focused on for improvement. Many owners discover that benchmarking areas that are not appropriate or not required to be addressed can actually be counter-productive and lead to adverse results upon implementation. Understanding areas of weakness is always the first step toward successful process completion.

Focusing on businesses that are in similar operational categories is an additional source of appeal in this effort. Many companies find that completing this process with companies that are beyond their operational scope is difficult to complete as the processes and regulatory concerns that may be faced are completely different in many instances. Working with competitors within similar markets usually creates the most viable information sharing program.

Companies are also encouraged to ensure they only implement what would be applicable to their operational needs. Attempting to find improvements is always helpful while many leaders attempt to copy too many aspects of other operations that are inappropriate and unable to be successfully applied to their organization. This particular complication is actually quite common and should be readily avoided throughout the course of creating effective changes through Six Sigma Benchmarking.

Focusing on all operational departments is an essential tool in this process as well. Many leaders only focus on the most critical areas of operation when comparing operational formats which can be somewhat challenging to consider when ensuring the entire organization is able to improve. Focusing on each department helps create a much more holistic approach to ensure that improvements are readily implemented.

Six Sigma Benchmarking should also be performed as often as possible by any company in need of a quality improvement boost. Changes in consumer preferences and the industry in general can create the need to ensure that information sharing is performed as often as possible. Continual efforts are also helpful in providing the opportunity to ensure that best practices are always readily managed.