How Social Media is Redefining Benchmarking


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This white paper provides an overview to benchmarking and explains its process and key concepts. Various types of benchmarking methods are introduced and the purposes and benefits of each are clarified.

It is shown that social media is fundamentally changing the way benchmarking is conducted. Social media can make benchmarking more effective, easier to carry out, and change the process from being project-oriented to a continuous one.

A case example from Nokia provides practical insight on using social media for benchmarking.

This presentation shows selected slides from a GIA white paper. To download the entire white paper that you are interested in, please visit

Published in: Business

How Social Media is Redefining Benchmarking

  1. 1. How Social Media is Redefining Benchmarking With Case Example from Nokia Webinar Slides, May 19, 2010
  2. 2. Table of contents This document contains excerpts from GIA’s “How Social Media is Redefining Benchmarking” White Paper. For the free white paper, please visit or email Included here: •  Introduction and history •  What to benchmark •  Benchmarking concepts Not available here: •  Benchmarking process •  Social media and benchmarking •  Case example from Nokia - page 2
  3. 3. Introduction – benchmarking in general Benchmarking is a systematic way of identifying the highest standards (best practices) for products, services, and processes by comparing these across companies. Moreover, an essential part of benchmarking is to implement changes and making improvements in order to reach those highest standards. •  Benchmarking emerged as a business practice in the 1980’s. •  In a recent study by Bain & Co, benchmarking was recognized, for the first time, as the most popular management tool. - page 3
  4. 4. Introduction - social media and benchmarking •  Social media are changing how benchmarking can be conducted. !  Communication tools that make it less purposeful to travel !  More work can be done on-line •  As a result, benchmarking has become less expensive. •  Lower threshold for companies to engage in benchmarking. •  From a one-time affair into a continuous, iterative process. - page 4
  5. 5. History of benchmarking •  Benchmarking practices started to emerge in the 1980’s. •  Faced with a superior competitor, benchmarking methods sought to answer the following questions: !  What company is the best in terms of a product, service, or process? !  How has that company achieved that position? •  Benchmarking emerged hand-in-hand with Total Quality Management. •  Over the years, the key ideas of benchmarking have evolved into: !  Identifying the best-in-class organizations !  Obtaining information appropriate data collection and making a self-assessment !  Improve by implementing changes to meet or exceed standards - page 5
  6. 6. What to benchmark Products and services !  Improves general understanding of one’s competitive position in the market !  Can be based to a large extent on secondary research !  Services are more difficult to benchmark and often require a fair amount of interviews or field research Financial performance !  Helps to quantify what can be achieved and to set targets !  Can sometimes be done at relatively low cost using publicly available information| Processes !  Benchmarking processes is very common nowadays !  Interesting characteristics are structure, efficiency and turnaround time !  Collecting information about processes is rather challenging and often requires lots of primary research !  Process benchmarking can be done both on competitors and on non-competing companies - page 6
  7. 7. What to benchmark Strategies !  Strategies are not easy to analyze, but lots of information can be found from public sources !  Using primary research and abductive reasoning good results can be obtained Functions, teams and organizations !  Attempts to discover how companies achieve superior performance !  Using social media has proven to be very fruitful - page 7
  8. 8. Benchmarking concepts Cooperative benchmarking •  Reciprocal benchmarking, voluntary exchange of information •  Usually involves on-site visits •  Individual needs of all companies involved need to be considered •  Common code of conduct Benchmarking partners = companies to be benchmarked (do not need to be from own industry) Competitive benchmarking •  Non-reciprocal benchmarking •  Usually requires competitive intelligence and independent research - page 8
  9. 9. Additional benchmarking concepts Benchmarking gap Difference in performance between two companies. Best practice Practices that have shown to produce superior results. The outcome of benchmarking. Enabler The processes, practices or methods that facilitate the implementation of a best practice. Re-engineering The radical redesign of business processes, organizational structures, management systems, and values of an organization to achieve breakthroughs in business performance. The ultimate goal of benchmarking. For more on benchmarking concepts, see - page 9
  10. 10. Benchmarking process - page 10
  11. 11. Benchmarking and Social Media •  Benchmarking can greatly benefit from social media: !  Cooperative benchmarking is inherently a social activity !  Social media provide new additional sources of information and channels for data collection !  Benchmarking is becoming more process-oriented and social media supports this •  The time reuired for one iteration of the benchmarking process becomes shorter, making the process more like a continuous activity. •  More and more of the interaction between benchmarking partners can be done on-line, making it less expensive and more efficient. •  The benchmarking team can be expanded and adjusted at any time. •  Social media is not without its challenges: !  Information security becomes more fragile !  Managing a continuous benchmarking process with an changing team is demanding - page 11
  12. 12. Thank You for Your Attention These slides are excerpts from Contact Us the GIA White Paper: “How Social Media is Redefining For additional information about the Benchmarking”. Global Intelligence Alliance and our services, please send email to or log on Download the entire White Paper to the GIA website for the contact information of the GIA company for Free nearest to you. The report has been published under the GIA White Paper series and is available for free download at
  13. 13. About GIA
  14. 14. GIA is a strategic market Intelligence and advisory group Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA) was formed in 1995 when a team of market intelligence specialists, management consultants, industry analysts and technology experts came together to build a powerful suite of customized solutions ranging from outsourced market monitoring services and software, to strategic analysis and advisory. Today, we are the preferred partner for organizations seeking to understand, compete and grow in international markets. Our industry expertise and coverage of over 100 countries enables our customers to make better informed decisions worldwide. GIA Industry White Paper 2 / 2010: Native or Web Application? How best to deliver content and services to your audiences over the mobile phone
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