Benchmarking in a COVID Impacted World
By: Steve Schreiber
There are two basic realities regarding the world economy we are now dealing with. First, the economic world will never return to the specific norms of the “pre-pandemic” universe. Second, managing as though we will ultimately return to a status closely resembling the way our society worked before is both short-sighted and misguided. These two concepts need to be understood and internalized by all of those who are linked to your commercial enterprise. The next issue to grapple with is how an entity moves forward toward success. This is where an internally oriented benchmarking initiative can be a valuable tool.
Leveraging benchmarking in the pandemic impacted world may seem to be counterintuitive. After all, the airline, hospitality, healthcare, and food distribution fields have had their business models “turned upside down” due to the realities of dealing with the spread of COVID-19. Organizations in these spaces employ thousands of people with various skills sets, many of which are not transferable. They have witnessed substantial changes in service demand, resource allocation, and customer, client, and patient requirements and expectations. The only slight advantage that many legacy “best performers” across these markets have had has been access to more capital. Months of dealing with the pandemic’s effect, have changed the business models for stellar performers, and lagging entities alike.
Traditional benchmarking programs have often been based on identifying unique workflow characteristics from high performing entities and mimicking those processes to reach similar levels of success. But what happens when many of the top achievers are restructuring and recreating themselves to compete in the ongoing and subsequent post-pandemic world? New ways of operating are being developed, tested, and refined continuously. Does this make benchmarking useless as a tool to dramatically enhance the functioning of any organization? No, not if the benchmarking initiative begins with the premise that ownership of an entity knows exactly what optimal performance in their market looks like and the results it generates. Those with organizational oversight know the optimum standards against which to measure every functional process in their organization.
Given these circumstances benchmarking can begin with a vision of the end state in mind, while viewing every aspect of operational performance through their customer, client, or patient’s perspective.
This benchmarking process has three components:
1. A review of all workflows by function linking them to the value they bring to your customer, client, or patient and the established standard level that assures that value is recognized.
2. For each process, undertake an evaluation of how the value of it is impacted.
3. Focus on the workflows where the current levels of performance deviate from the preferred standard. This is the essence of the benchmarking initiative.
One ultimate truth for all entities operating across multiple verticals through the pandemic is that they cannot rely on traditional methodologies for addressing challenges. Underperforming organizations cannot simply copy the methods implemented by historically strong operators because those approaches will not work in a pandemic impacted world. In fact, at this point, every business is changing their way of doing business and those transformations are ongoing.
Therefore, a benchmarking program based on leveraging an owner’s thorough understanding of their unique standards of operational performance and linked directly to maximum customer, client, or patient satisfaction and account retention will drive overall optimal operational execution and successful results.
What is “Member Monday”?
Bergen County Chamber of Commerce, is excited to announce “Member Monday”! Every Monday we plan to highlight a Bergen County Chamber member by sharing an email blast containing either the member’s professional summary or an article written by the member about a topic within their industry. Every “Member Monday” email blast will contain the featured member’s contact information as well as a link to the member’s website. “Member Monday” provides value to our members by allowing them to highlight themselves in front of the rest of the chamber. To be featured click the link below: