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Benchmarking is fundamental when managing facilities within all Industry sectors as it is key to enable the most appropriate levels of service delivery, define specifications for design and use, and to measure the performance indices and balance the books.
Internal - cross functional, like with like, non competitive, area to area
Competitive - Checking out the competition
Functional - similar activities, external, peers
Generic - business processes, none competitive, external
Within Science Facilities management there have been a number of benchmarking initiaitives in a general and industry specific direction.
General areas include: Cleaning, catering, security, utilities, space, maintenance, mail ,moves etc
When benchmarking it is important that you : Collect relevant data; observe the organisation and its environment; be realistic about what can be adapted and focus on what areas you can improve.
To improve performance following benchmarking you must ensure that you plan any change and make it public; allow time for discussion and listen to feedback. Often it is useful to set up a small pilot project to plan and test the changes. If you adopt a quick fix with lack of management commitment and inadequate planning and training you may encounter resistance to change and this becomes a blocker to implementation.
Benchmarking is very valuable and often time consuming to participate in as the need to gather relevant data is paramount but conducted with the right goals it offers a very effective way of measuring your company performance and highlights areas for improvement.
The ScienceGen team has been involved and supported a number of clients in the areas of benchmarking.
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