Financial benchmarking

Benchmarking, learning from best practices, is something that supports businesses by helping them to investigate and outline their organisational performance. As well as purely financial information, business processes such as production workflows, management techniques and products are also put under the spotlight.

Benchmarking is necessary for businesses to keep up with the fast pace of the innovation spiral and the constant pressure from business rivals. Benchmarking gives businesses a broad perspective on crucial indicators, their own market position in relation to rivals and the potential of the various business areas. Benchmarking is not only a method, but also a tool for management to enhance business performance.

Benchmarking is a learning process

Benchmarking is seen as a continuous learning process, where products, services and particularly workflows and methodologies used for business functions are compared across different companies. Your company is compared with the average of a comparable group of other companies.

As an aid for optimising business workflows, benchmarking provides much more than just a comparison of company results. Because the main question is not what has been achieved, but above all, how it was achieved. Or to put it another way: rather than being just about EBIT and ROS, what matters is the rate of innovation, the rate of turnover returns and level of staff fluctuation - just some of the many possible indicators of process efficiency.

PwC has been working with benchmarking for decades

Benchmarking supports the systematic search for weak points in business processes, and in certain cases points to solutions for structures and workflows. It does this by locating where these differ from other businesses and identifying practices that lead to above average results.

As partner in various industrial associations, PwC has decades of experience in benchmarking.

Its industry experience ranges from hospitals and energy providers to the automotive industry.

In order to create focussed studies, solid knowledge of the value drivers in each industry is required; PwC's industry experts bring this to projects, together with associations and businesses. As a public auditing company, PwC understands all the workflows involved in a benchmarking study, and the confidentiality with which sensitive data must be handled. At the same time, the success of a benchmarking study also depends on the correct use of the appropriate information technology (IT) systems.

The systems used by PwC have been tried and tested in practice, and are constantly being reviewed. PwC is already in a position to roll out many of the functions involved in a benchmarking process - with data security always the top priority.

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Stefan Reisch

Senior Manager, PwC Germany

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