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Benchmarking Methods and Tools in Medium Sized Manufacturing Enterprises

The Key to Relevant Management Information
: Steinhilper, R.; Zeh, K.-P.; Briel, R. von

Salone Macchine Attrezzatture Ufficio -SMAU-, Milano; MIP Politecnico di Milano, Consorzio:
Il Benchmarking: Metodologi e Strumenti per la Misurazione e il Confronto dei Processi Aziendali
Milano, 1995
Smau <32, 1995, Milano, Italien>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Benchmarking; controlling; Mittelständisches Unternehmen; Unternehmensanalyse; Wettbewerb

The method of benchmarking for closing the gap between best in class and the company's performance has proven its efficiency for well structured processes in large or multi-national enterprises. Nevertheless, even today the method of benchmarking in medium sized enterprises is still a rarity. This is mainly based on the different constraints caused by the market- and technically based product specification, by customers and the internal organisation of medium-sized companies with a low level-specification. Therefore classical process benchmarking in medium sized companies, defined as the comparison of individual processes with a best in class benchmark, is much more time-consuming and, due to the financial possibilities of the enterprises in most cases not feasible. The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA), with its main activity of contract research for medium sized enterprises (>> 2000 employees and >> 500 million turnover), developed a special meth od dedicated to this problems and named the IPA Company Analysis. This method starts at the company level and compares the company's performance with a market standard and, if feasible, with a best in class competitor. This helps to take process interlinks into consideration. The IPA Company Analysis is done in three steps, starting with the data collection at the firm, followed by an expert and database routed analysis, and ending with a presentation at the company. The results of the contract research, based on the IPA Company Analysis, show a tremendous improvement, starting with this approach in medium sized companies.