Resources - Benchmarking

The Benchmarking Code of Conduct

By the SPI Council on Benchmarking, Cambridge, MA.

Benchmarking, the process of identifying and learning from best practices anywhere in the world, is a powerful tool in the quest for continuous improvement. To contribute to efficient, effective, and ethical benchmarking, individuals agree for themselves and their organizations to abide by the following principles for benchmarking with other organizations:

  1. Principle of Legality. Avoid discussions or actions that might lead to or imply an interest in restraint of trade, market or customer allocation schemes, price fixing, dealing arrangements, bid rigging, bribery, or misappropriation. Do not discuss costs with competitors if costs are an element of pricing.
  2. Principle of Exchange. Be willing to provide the same level of information that you request, in any benchmarking exchange.
  3. Principle of Confidentiality. Treat benchmarking interchange as something confidential to the individuals and organizations involved. Information obtained must not be communicated outside the partnering organizations without prior consent of participating benchmarking partners. An organization's participation in a study should not be communicated externally without their permission.
  4. Principle of Use. Use information obtained through benchmarking partnering only for the purpose of improvement of operations within the partnering companies themselves. External use or communication of a benchmarking partner's name with their data or observed practices requires permission of that partner. Do not, as a consultant or client, extend one company's benchmarking study findings to another without the first company's permission.
  5. Principle of First Party Contact. Initiate contacts, whenever possible, through a benchmarking contact designated by the partner company. Obtain mutual agreement with the contact on any hand off of communication or responsibility to other parties.
  6. Principle of Third Party Contact. Obtain an individual's permission before providing their name in response to a contact request.
  7. Principle of Preparation. Demonstrate commitment to the efficiency and effectiveness of the benchmarking process with adequate preparation at each process step, particularly at initial partnering contact.

Source: USN Benchmarking Handbook

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