A benchmark is defined as “something that serves as a standard by which others may be measured.”

The first step in the benchmark development process is to design the benchmark audit document which is nothing more than an in-depth questionnaire which allows you to gather information on suppliers to compare them on:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Availability
  • Selection
  • Reliability
  • Functionality
  • Relationship
  • Service levels
  • etc.

Other areas should be added which are appropriate and important to your business.

A simple benchmark process might comprise the completion of the following grid.

In-depth Bench-marking.

To take an example – Quality Assurance – questions could include:

  • Does the supplier have a documented quality system in place?
  • Is a copy of their Quality Assurance manual available for you to review?
  • Is there a continuous quality improvement plan in place?
  • Does the supplier set annual quality target objectives with transparent measurements?
  • Does the supplier have a QA department and do they have the requisite authority to stop material at receiving, inspection, production and or final shipping?
  • etc.