ICF views benchmarking as a proven way for an organization to learn about the best practices in organizational functions and processes, measure how well the organization's practices compare, and make whatever changes are necessary to raise up the organization's practices to the standards of industry leaders. Benchmarking is, in short, learning to be better by observing the best.
ICF conducts three general types of benchmarking studies:
- Process benchmarking—focusing on specific work processes and operating systems (e.g., order fulfillment)
- Performance benchmarking—assessing competitive position by focusing on performance characteristics (e.g., price and technical quality)
- Strategic benchmarking—identifying the winning strategies used by high performing companies
The final step in our benchmarking process is to give an organization tangible steps for improvement by developing an action plan to rank recommendations, agree on an implementation strategy, and develop and assign responsibility for measurement criteria and schedules.