AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Benchmarking - Posting Number 2

Remember, a couple of weeks back, I wrote something about benchmarking of company practices, and that this invokes the danger that in the end of the day, companies look alike, thei products and services look alike, and probably, that people look and act alike. This comment was based on experience, observations, a good dose of thinking and also a lot of gut feeling. But i am happy to report that the Financial Times reported something similar in their edition on August 11, 2003. And here is an extraction of the text - the text actually talks against the objective to put the observation of competition in the centre of attention of managers. But there is a piece in the text, that talks about the failings of benchmarking:

Think for a minute about five-star hotels in London or Paris. Other than their locations, what sets them apart? One could make the case that their offering - food, decor, staff uniforms, toiletries, even the way the toilet paper is folded into little triangles - is similar. The same goes for business-class service on the leading airlines, where food, seating, uniforms, films, even the boring offering of orange juice, champagne and water before take-off, are almost universal.

Yet companies are increasingly claiming that their cost structures are rising and their margins shrinking. This holds true for most industries, be they consumer products, financial services, industrial products, information technology, telecommunications or business-to-business.

"To achieve high growth in the future, companies need to break out of this vicious cycle of competitive benchmarking, imitation and pursuit."

Wah - here it is - doesn't it sound interesting?

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