How to Conduct Benchmarking in TQM Implementation

Dr. LM Foong

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This TQM article is written to share some common practices in Benchmarking during TQM Implementation.

During the initiative start up of implementing TQM, we often asked: How to start the TQM journey? Someone suggested why not we Benchmark other successful TQM organization? Sounds like a great idea! But the question often asked is what exactly to benchmark?

In implementing TQM, one need to understand what is TQM and what it takes to succeed. Fortunately, there are vast knowledge about TQM available in many resource such as references books from TQM Guru's, Internet articles etc. There are several TQM principles we ought to understand, to name a few:-

  1. Leadership commitment
  2. Customer Focus
  3. Employee Involvement

Here is a good starting point to address what to benchmark issue. You may pick on one or more of these TQM principles to benchmark. Once you have decided what to benchmark, the nest obvious question to ask is how to benchmark. There are many approaches you may take to address the how to benchmark. most common and easily available information are results of an organization. Example listed below:-

  • The Financial Results such as Profitability, Earning per Share, Return on Investment etc
  • Customer or Market Result such as Revenue, Market share etc
  • Process Result such as New product launched, Customer response Cycle time, Order lead time etc
  • Organization Growth Results such as knowledge worker, New kill developed etc

While it is fairly easy to obtain these data, it must be recognized that these are the outcome of the effort put in by the organization. The process of getting these results is normally not available hence makes it challenging to understand how to get there. Therefore, effort should be put in to benchmark the process of getting these results.

In summary, while there are limitations in Benchmarking, it must be noted that the Benchmarked results are real and proven. Adopting benchmarking the result is the starting point to drive for process improvement. Execution is the key to make benchmarking a reality.


Disclaimer: This article is written by the author based on his practical application experience. All definitions and interpretation of terminology are his point of view and has it has no intention to conflict with experts in similar topic. The author holds no responsibility for the use of this article in any way.


Free to reprint or re-publish: All rights reserved. You are free to reprint or re-publish this article as long as you include my resource box at the end of this article. Please ensure that the URL in the resource box remain intact and it is linked to the author's website.


About the Author: Dr. LM Foong, PhD
The author provides consulting services specializing in TQM Implementations in manufacturing and service sector. He provides facilitation workshops and hands-on application in Cost Reduction and Productivity Improvement projects. He publishes TQM articles, ebooks, case studies, trainer manual and presentation slides. To View Free TQM articles, please click OR Please Visit my Web Site for other TQM related matters. He can be contacted via email at


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