Manufacturing companies are compelled to develop and bring new, innovative products to market faster and faster in volatile markets and under rising cost pressure. Keeping and sharpening a company’s competitive edge requires optimizing costs right from the inception phase: Benchmarking helps companies evaluate their own products and services early on and simulate scenarios well ahead of time. Comparing average values from the same industry, other sectors or with internal best practices reveals potential for optimization.
Companies that want to look at their costs in a proactive and holistic way should use the benchmarking approach in different company divisions and processes. For instance, using benchmark data it is possible to simulate and compare technical solutions at an early stage of development. Purchasing agents use benchmarking to prepare target price calculations for meetings with their suppliers, for example. Benchmark data also provides a basis for location comparisons, target-setting as part of target costing, etc.
The prerequisite for the success of any benchmarking, however, is a database containing valid benchmark data. Cost management systems are a good resource for this as they already contain reliable benchmark data that is ready for immediate use. Especially EPC systems, which ideally integrate current, independent benchmark data for purchasing, development, production, sales, controlling and management. The advantage: The benchmarking process is optimally incorporated into proactive cost management.
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