Benchmarking is the act of comparing one thing (process, product, service, etc.) to another thing that is a known standard of high quality or performance.

In Operational Excellence and Lean implementation, we often look to product and service leaders to understand what they are doing to achieve top performance. These leaders are known as the benchmark for their product and service.

If you go on a benchmarking expedition, it is important to have a specific list of things to look for. Ask a lot of questions. Good benchmarking (comparing one thing to another) requires looking into the details of process, material, environment, and culture to understand how top results are achieved.

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