The Best Prax Club's Conclave 2010 on 'Benchmarking aspects of Business Excellence' held at the Taj President on 28 and 29 April drew an enthusiastic response from professionals engaged in promoting business excellence across a wide spectrum of Indian manufacturing and service industry.
The conclave focused on leadership and strategic planning covering the theoretical underpinnings of the benchmarking practice as also the 'hands on' field experience and expertise gained by various organisations through the best practices. These included diverse groups representing the academia, healthcare, mining, manufacturing, consumer products, insurance, banking and other domains.
Setting the context for the conclave, Suresh Lulla, founder and director, BestPrax Club India, dwelt on the evolution of the concept of quality over time, starting with the consumer's expectation of better quality of the goods/services he purchased to better quality at less cost to better and cheaper plus faster delivery to the current quality paradigm of better, cheaper, faster and different offerings. Emphasising that consumers were no longer looking for clones of established product and service offerings but rather offerings that incorporated the wow factor, which innovation alone could best deliver, he said, this called for integrating the key core value of 'managing for innovation' in fostering performance excellence. Innovation itself would involve ideation which would come from 'Cross industry benchmarking' involving knowledge mining and bench marking survey.
Robin Mann, chairman, Global Benchmarking Network, offered an overview of the global benchmarking network and its activities and projects across 22 member countries. He said the current use of improvement techniques involved Informal benchmarking (68 per cent of organisations), Performance benchmarking (49 per cent) and Best practice benchmarking (39 per cent), according to a study conducted in 2008 by the Global Benchmarking Network (GBN). The study also showed an average financial return of $100,000 to $125,000 per best practice benchmarking project with over 20 per cent reaping benefits of more than $250,000 per project.
Elaborating on the theme, Bruce Searles, director- business development, GBN and managing partner, Benchmarking Partnerships, Australia, explained what constituted business excellence and how implementing a benchmarking framework could help organisations deliver improved and sustainable business results.
Following the proceedings on the opening day, the second day of the conclave saw 16 teams from organisations across manufacturing and service sectors, including banks, health care providers, heavy industry, utilities etc share 10 best practices they developed and implemented in their organisations to successfully drive excellence in their operations.