This is a term discovered during the ancient days by cobblers to measure their clients' feet for the purpose of making for them shoes. They used to place someone's leg on the 'bench' then mark it out to make the pattern of the shoes. later on the term was borrowed by other business industrial sectors to commonly measure performance using a specific indicator (cost per unit of measure, productivity per unit of measure, cycle time of x per unit of measure or defects per unit of measure) resulting in a metric of performance that is then compared to others. Today, benchmarking is the process of comparing one's business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and/or best practices from other industries. Dimensions that are typically measured are quality, time, and cost. Improvements from learning mean doing things better, faster, and cheaper. Benchmarking involves management identifying the best firms in their industry, or any other industry where similar processes exist, and comparing the results and processes of those studied (the "targets") to one's own results and processes to learn how well the targets perform and, more importantly, how they do it.Types of benchmarkingProcess benchmarking
- this is a type of benchmarking whereby the initiating firm or any business company focuses its observation and investigation of business processes with a goal of identifying and observing the best practices from one or more benchmark firms. Activity analysis will be required where the objective is to benchmark cost and efficiency; increasingly applied to back-office processes where outsourcing may be a consideration.Financial benchmarking
- it is performing a financial analysis and comparing the results in an effort to assess your business companys'overall competitiveness and productivity in relation to related business competitors in the same sector.Benchmarking from an investor perspective
- this is the extension of the benchmarking universe to also compare to peer companies that can be considered alternative investment opportunities from the perspective of an investor.Performance benchmarking
- this in most cases is used to allow the initiator firm to assess their competitive position by comparing products and services with those of target firms.Product benchmarking
- it is another form or the process of designing new products or upgrades to current ones. This process can sometimes involve reverse engineering which is taking apart competitors products to find strengths and weaknesses in a company's business.Strategic benchmarking
- it involves observing how others compete. This type is usually not industry specific, meaning it is best to look at other industries.Functional benchmarking
- A company may focus its benchmarking on a single function to improve the operation of that particular function. Complex functions such as Human Resources, Finance and Accounting and Information and Communication Technology are unlikely to be directly comparable in cost and efficiency terms and may need to be disaggregated into processes to make valid comparison.Best-in-class benchmarking
- this involves studying the leading competitor or the company that best carries out a specific function then learn from its operations if at all challenged with the aim of improving in your operations.Operational benchmarking
- this embraces comparison of everything from staffing and productivity to office flow and analysis of procedures performed.Metric Benchmarking -
Another approach to making comparisons involves using more aggregative cost or production information to identify strong and weak performing units. The two most common forms of quantitative analysis used in metric benchmarking are data envelope analysis (DEA) and regression analysis. DEA estimates the cost level an efficient firm should be able to achieve in a particular market. In infrastructure regulation, DEA can be used to reward companies/operators whose costs are near the efficient frontier with additional profits. Regression analysis estimates what the average firm should be able to achieve. With regression analysis firms that performed better than average can be rewarded while firms that performed worse than average can be penalized. Such benchmarking studies are used to create yardstick comparisons, allowing outsiders to evaluate the performance of operators in an industry. A variety of advanced statistical techniques, including stochastic frontier analysis, have been utilized to identify high performers and weak performers in a number of industries, including applications to schools, hospitals, water utilities, and electric utilities.One of the biggest challenges for Metric Benchmarking is the variety of metric definitions used by different companies and/or divisions. Metrics definitions may also change over time within the same organization due to changes in leadership and priorities. The most useful comparisons can be made when metrics definitions are common between compared units and do not change over time so improvements can be verified.Benchmarking process should be used in management and particularly strategic management, in which the Ramada hotels' management will evaluate various aspects of their processes in relation to best practicing companies' processes, usually within a peer group defined for the purposes of comparison. This will then allow the hotel management to develop plans on how to make improvements or adapt specific best practices, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance. Benchmarking may be a one-off event, but should often be treated as a continuous process in which organizations continually seek to improve their practices for the best service to clients.Who should Ramada Benchmark Against? Do they benchmark, yes, who?Other industries that have similar processes i.e. the 4star hotels- For instance if one were interested in improving hand offs in addiction treatment he/she would try to identify other fields that also have hand off challenges. These could include accommodation, facilities and amenities, proper treatment of employees' e.t.c.Organizations that are leaders in these areas i.e. the 5star hotels - the Ramada hotels should look for the very best in this industries and in any country and where possible consult the management, customers, suppliers, financial analysts, trade associations, and magazines to determine which companies are worthy of study.Survey in companies for measures and practices - Companies should target specific business processes using detailed surveys of measures and practices used to identify business process alternatives and leading companies. Surveys are typically masked to protect confidential data by neutral associations and consultants.Best practice companies with identify leading edge practices - Companies typically agree to mutually exchange information beneficial to all parties in a benchmarking group and share the results within the group.
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Ramada should benchmark against the first six hotels on the ranking list. This is considered vital because the hotels ranked first on the ranking list have already proved themselves smarter than Ramada hotels or at least they have or offer what Ramada does not have to offer to its clients in terms of customer services. The management of Ramada hotels should compare their services to those of the first six hotels, other 4star hotels and the five star hotels. When accommodation preferences are put into consideration, the involvement of facilities and amenities come into place. Not only that, it could not also be denied too that the involvement of the service provisions extended by the service staff of the hotels is also a part of the issue. Through mandating the proper recognition of the employees towards assuring that the guests gets the best service that they deserve from the hotel. Likely, right from the time of checking in, the guests do expect to be served well. Once the staff of employees in charge fails these expectations, the management of the Ramada Company should prepare itself for the reputation of the hotel to come down is a staggering result. This is why it is advisable to have numerous employee tests handled annually among hotel staffs to be able to assure that these individuals are able to perform their duties well especially during high seasons. (Robbert Kemp, 1989).Codes of conduct
Code of conduct for any organization is vital for their operation. They serve as a bearing in their daily operation, and most operators capitalize on the codes provided by the organization for the results in any given organization. Providing the employees with the assistance that they need to be capable of providing the clients with the satisfaction that they need to realize affects the company and its operation in a chained reaction. Constantly giving attention to the demands of the clients without thinking the needs of the employees to be under training is a specific downfall for many business organizations in the field of modern commercial industries today. As for a fact, this truth binds the capability of organizations like that of the Ramada group of companies to withstand the challenges of the changing attitudes of consumers have in effect o the operations that they are handling in the organization that they are basically taking good care of. Mandating the proper recognition of the employees towards assuring that the guests gets the best service that they deserve from the hotel right at the time of checking in as the clients do always expect to be served well. Once the staff of employees in charge fails these expectations, the management should be ready for the reputation of the hotel to come down is a staggering result. This is why there are numerous employee tests handled annually among hotel staffs to be able to assure that these individuals are able to perform their duties well especially during high seasons. The utilization of charters and the code of practice among employees of the organization come into light in connection with this requirement. it is the only requirement through the recognition of the responsibility of the employees to follow protocol procedures of operation shall the business be actually able to complete their task in a manner that is uniformly related to other operations in the entire hotel. For instance, if the responsibility of the clerk is to receive the guests, this responsibility goes on towards the service staff which means that the hierarchy of responsibility to respond to the needs and demands of the clients should be specifically outlined so as to assure that each employee is aware of the professional situation that they are actually involved in and the fact that they are serving their clients in a way that they are practically told to. Personal initiative on the part of the employees could also be appreciated so long as the procedures taken into account by each employee do not diverge away from the main mission and vision imposed by the company.Identifying your problem areas in benchmarking can be applied to any industrial business process or function, a wide range of research techniques may be required to state clearly where the pitfalls are coming from in the business. Informal conversations with customers, employees, and suppliers is vital for it will help the management to easily point challenges facing their business given chance to give their opinions on the business operation. Before embarking on comparison with other organizations it is essential that the Ramada hotel management the hotels function, processes; base lining performances which provides a point against which improvement effort can be measured. Failure in the realization of their problem area may result in them not realizing their main weaknesses affecting their business operation thus living with the problem for a good time. Failure in this will too give them a challenge comparing their business with others for they have no point of comparison or consideration.This is the process where servicing becomes empowered towards gearing up on the service that they are providing for the clients. This then involves the heightened concern for increased customer satisfaction level. It is already a common knowledge that in any field of business operations, those that are able to comply with the needs of the clients in at least the most specific and accurate way are the ones that get the most number of clients who become loyal and trusting to the services and products that the said business organizations could provide them with. Besides that, the organizations providing the utmost source of customer satisfaction are the ones who are able to benefit from the most effective process of marketing and that is "by word of mouth".Imposing of loyalty schemes for customers may include the impressive application of "freebies" approach. Meaning giving special considerations to the needs and demands of regular clients is an utmost loyalty scheme that is used by the organization. Through giving the regular clients an extra special treatment, others who come in the hotel for the first time would be enticed to come back again and be regular so as to simply get the provisional treatment provided to the regular; thus building loyalty among guests of the hotel. At the end of the day and with all these activities, the public image in terms of services to its clients will have greatly changed positively and this implies that most clients will prefer this particular hotel to others due to its perfect customer care services. Failure in loyalty schemes basically means failure in business for no client will be attracted to your business with poor quality services.How does Ramada Hotels collect information?
Through survey and feedback system. This is a client-centered approach towards assuring customer satisfaction that provides the company's management with to see through the different operations of the organization and assures the capability of these operations to provide the best support that they could give to respond to the clients' needs. Considering the hotel branches of the business, this type of survey is usually presented in paper form handed to guests as they check out of the hotel. Through this paper-based feedback gathering, the management becomes aware of the matters that they could still adjust and the situations that they might need to deal with in connection to the servicing capabilities of their staff.The online feedback option. Through this system the company is able to gain proper reactions from the guests that they have served within hotels or those others who have simply been served through their online reservation services. Through these feedbacks, the management is able to understand whether or not their online and offline services meet the standards of the clients that they ought to give assistance to. Through the implication of this process also that the management become aware of the different situations that might include the incapability of the organization's staff to provide ample attention to client satisfaction as per collected and analyzed from possible complaint reports from the guests.