The Benchmarking Process

What does a Facility Issues’ benchmarking program include?

Facility Issues provides different levels of benchmarking services depending upon your needs.  The process below is considered the core benchmarking process – designed to be easy to use, affordable, and provide useful information for a variety of purposes.  (We believe in continuous improvement and the program has evolved over the past 20 years and we continue to refine both the content and mechanics each year.)

Using online surveys, participants gather data related to the management of their facilities. Facility Issues analyzes this data and shares the results (anonymously) with the participants, who can see how they compare to high-performing peers.

How does the core benchmarking process work?

We believe there are six steps in the benchmarking process and you can (should) get value from each step.

1. Establish Objectives. This key first step is to clarify what you wish to accomplish. What topics are of interest and what metrics can be evaluated? Facility Issues has a steering committee for each group (participation open to all members of the group) that help determine which benchmarking measures continue to be used, which to change, and what items to add.

2. Collect & Normalize Your Data. Each participant assembles the data that they wish to benchmark (some basic items are required and other sections are optional). Typically, there is a need to “normalize” some of it to be consistent with the agreed data definitions. The data can be assembled in an Excel template or entered in a series of online screens, organized by topic.

3. Compare with a Target/Peer Group. Facility Issues analyzes the survey data submitted and publishes comparison reports with the results. We distribute these reports to members online and present summary results at best practice/association meetings. Each participant can see where they stand on all areas for which they submitted data.

4. Identify Apparent “Best Practices.” The real value in the benchmarking process is understanding how other organizations are doing similar jobs for less cost, or better performance, or both. Facility Issues’ metrics to identify the organizations / sites with the best apparent performance, and then discussion is required to confirm it is not the result of “under-performance.” The Best Practices meetings provide a forum for discussion about the practices used and lessons learned in implementing them.

5. Select Changes To Implement. Based on what you have learned about practices that have benefited others, you can select those that meet your objectives, provide significant improvement opportunity, and fit your organization culture for implementation at your own organization.

6. Track Progress. After implementing changes in your operations, it will be important to monitor costs and occupant satisfaction. This will tell you whether these changes are successful or require adjustment. The easiest way to measure progress is to re-benchmark; each cycle lets you build on the prior one and it may take a couple years to measure the benefits of some changes in practice.