The process of comparing performance against the practices of other leading companies for the purpose of improving performance. Companies also benchmark internally by tracking and comparing current performance with past performance. Benchmarking seeks to improve any given business process by exploiting “best practices” rather than merely measuring the best performance. Best practices are the cause of best performance. Studying best practices provides the greatest opportunity for gaining a strategic, operational, and financial advantage. There are seven types of benchmarking: performance, best-in-class, strategic, process, functional, operational and price/cost.

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