Benchmarking is a process of comparison of process of a firm performance to the best practices of other industries for the purpose of improvement (Lee et al., 2006). Since mid 1980s many of known business such as AT&T, Xerox and Motorola are using benchmarking as standard. Benchmarking is an important strategic tool in TQM that intensify performance and transparency after entering the public domain (Braadbart, 2007). Kyro (2003) says that benchmarking is " a tool to improve organization's performance and competitiveness in business life".
Role of Benchmarking in TQM
Benchmarking is a tool that needs to be used constantly to assure the appropriateness of standards within the internal sections of business to vitalize and improve the process. In spite of other TQM tools, benchmarking makes the company to use external elements for progress of improvement (Van Schalkwyk, 1998). Benchmarking takes a lot of effort and time to collect information from other industries & external sources that benchmark across the industry.
Benchmarking in Xerox
Xerox was the biggest factory of copiers in the world. Since Japanese manufacturer had better quality and price in the market, Xerox began to compare itself with rivals to identify their deficiencies and areas that Xerox could improve (Blakeman, 2002). Xerox benchmarked the firm and found following things: