Benchmarking for Best Practices – 2 day workshop, 9.00 to 17.00, 3/4 December 2012


So you think you know how to do benchmarking? There is probably no other improvement approach that is so often misunderstood and incorrectly applied. At this workshop you will be introduced to TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking – called TRADE as it focuses on the exchange (or” trade”) of information and best practices to dramatically improve the performance of processes, goods and services. Whether you are seeking to improve employee morale, customer satisfaction or cycle time – TRADE will accelerate your learning and improve your bottom-line results through providing innovative solutions. This workshop has been designed to enable individuals or teams to kick-start benchmarking projects immediately when they return to work. TRADE was initially developed for New Zealand Benchmarking Club members but is now used extensively internationally particularly in Singapore whereby it has become the methodology for the whole state sector.

Facilitators – Michael Voss and Dr Robin Mann.

Michael Voss will be the main facilitator. Dr Robin Mann and Michael Voss are co-developers of the TRADE workshop. TRADE is owned by COER. Dr Robin Mann will provide the introductory session on Day 1.

Fee = NZ$1,460 GST Inclusive                Register Now

Note: 1. Workshop delegates can register for the Congress at “Organiser member” rates (NZ$250 less than standard fees).
2. If 3 or more people from the same organization attend a workshop subtract $220 per delegate from the Workshop fee.
3. Congress registration fees increase on 1 November.

Workshop Objectives

  • To provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of benchmarking
  • To provide participants with the skills necessary to conduct a benchmarking project that delivers significant operational and financial benefits
  • To kick-start a benchmarking project of relevance to the participant’s organisation.

Who Should Attend

  • Business Leaders
  • Senior Managers
  • Improvement specialists who want to hone their understanding of benchmarking
  • Benchmarking/improvement teams (team members should consist of the stakeholders that have a good understanding of the process that has been selected for benchmarking).
  • Business Leaders


Day 1

1. Purpose of Training

–    Expected outcomes

2.    Introduction to Benchmarking

–    What is Benchmarking?

–    Types of benchmarking

–    Relationship of benchmarking with business excellence, innovation and productivity

–    The case for benchmarking

3. Benchmarking maturity – from awareness to experts


–    To assess current benchmarking maturity.

4. Overview of the Benchmarking Process (TRADE)

–    Terms of Reference (plan the project)

–    Research (research current state)

–    Act (undertake data collection & analysis)

–    Deploy (communicate & implement best practices)

–    Evaluate (evaluate the benchmarking process & outcomes)

5. Terms of Reference (plan the project)

–    Introduction

–    Determine area of focus for benchmarking project

–    Develop project brief

–    Form project team

–    Train project team

–    Understand benchmarking code of conduct

–    Prepare Terms of Reference

–    Develop documentation system

–    Review Terms of Reference process

–    Obtain approval to start the next stage of TRADE

EXERCISE – TRADE – Develop Terms of Reference.

Day 2

6. Research (research current state)

–    Introduction

–    Understand area of focus to be benchmarked

–    Define performance measures

–    Identify current performance

–    Review Research process

–    Obtain approval to start the next stage of  TRADE


Presentation on – Benchmarking and Best Practice Website resource

7. Act (undertake data collection & analysis)

–    Introduction

–    Establish criteria for selecting benchmarking partners

–    Select potential benchmarking partners

–    Invite and acquire benchmarking partners

–    Prepare for data collection

–    Collect and store data

–    Analyse data

–    Formulate recommendations

–    Review Act process

–    Obtain approval to start the next stage of TRADE


8. Deploy (communicate & implement best practices)

–    Introduction

–    Communicate findings

–    Develop action plan

–    Obtain approval for action plan

–    Implement actions

–    Review deploy process

–    Obtain approval to start the next stage of  TRADE

9. Evaluate (evaluate the benchmarking process & outcomes)

–    Introduction

–    Perform cost /benefit analysis

–    Review TRADE process

–    Share experiences and project outcomes

–    Close project

Issue of Certificates and Photos


Benefits from Attendance

  • Participants will know how to plan and conduct an effective benchmarking project.
  • Participants will have developed a Terms of Reference for a benchmarking project that they can then undertake once back at work.
  • All participants will receive TRADE’s Training Manual material (hard copy). This includes:
    • Full slide set
    • Workshop instructions
    • TRADE stage instructions for each step in the five stage methodology
    • TRADE resources (over 30 template forms that can be used to assist a benchmarking project)
    • TRADE spreadsheet (encompassing the TRADE project management system) – Electronic version.
  • All participants will receive 3 months free access to – a benchmarking resource.
  • Successful participants will be awarded the TRADE Benchmarking Trained Certificate (Bronze) upon completion of the program which leads ultimately to the Trade Benchmarking Mastery Certificate (Gold).

Preparation work prior to the workshop

It is preferable that participant’s identify a benchmarking area of focus (a process, activity, or level of performance which needs to be improved) prior to the workshop. At the workshop participants will develop a Terms of Reference for the benchmarking area of focus, plan the project and begin undertaking the benchmarking steps. On completion of the training participants will understand what is required to complete the project.

The area of focus should be selected for one or more of the following reasons:

  • it is of major strategic importance
  • there is pressure from customers or other stakeholders to improve performance in this area
  • there is evidence that performance can be significantly improved
  • improving performance will result in significant benefits.

Examples of areas of focus:

  • Leadership and governance e.g. Best practices in leadership
  • Customer complaint management e.g. To improve our customer complaint management process to a world-class standard.
  • Balanced Scorecard e.g. To identify and implement best practices in the application of the Balanced Scorecard
  • Supplier relationship process e.g. To become an industry leader for our supplier relationship process.
  • Team culture e.g. To develop a winning team culture
  • Recruitment time e.g. To reduce the time to recruit new staff
– Please think of areas of your organisation to improve before the workshop –


Michael Voss

Organisation: Pyxis Consulting, New Zealand

Bio: Michael has been delivering training, facilitating workshops and speaking since 1978. He worked for the New Zealand and US governments and in private enterprise before establishing his own business improvement consultancy to focus on raising the performance of organisations. He has designed organisational assessment processes, a number of organisational improvement tools, is co-developer of a best practice benchmarking methodology and a frequent commentator on organisational excellence.

Michael has worked with Airways Corporation, Air New Zealand, Civil Service College (Singapore), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation, New Zealand Fire Service, New Zealand Police, New Zealand Organisation for Quality, New Zealand Steel, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Scanpower, Tait Electronics and The New Zealand Refining Company.

Michael has been benchmarking for over 20 years and has delivered training and oversight to benchmarking projects in New Zealand and Singapore.

Robin Mann

Organisation: Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand

Bio: Dr Robin Mann is the Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand,, Chairman of the Global Benchmarking Network,, Advisory Board member at the Hamden Bin Mohammed e-University, Dubai and Co-Founder of Limited, – a leading benchmarking website resource.  Robin’s experience includes managing the UK’s Food and Drinks Industry Benchmarking and Self-assessment Initiative (1995-1998), New Zealand Benchmarking Club (2000-2004), Sheikh SAQR Government Excellence Program, UAE (2005-2007), reviewing the Australian Business Excellence Framework (2006), chief expert for APO’s project on business excellence in Asia (2009-2011) and the developer of the TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology. Robin worked in Edinburgh (1992-1995) for Burton’s Biscuits as a process improvement manager and obtained his PhD in TQM at Liverpool University in 1992. Robin undertakes consultancy on business excellence and benchmarking all over the world. Robin was awarded the Harrington/Ishikawa Medal in 2011 for contributions to the advancement of quality in the Asia Pacific region.

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