Ready-made rather than tailor-made
Benchmarks help answer two important questions: How does my organisation’s performance compare to others in my sector? And, more importantly, what are the underlying causes for existing performance gaps?
Many benchmarks run aground on high ambitions, a plethora of indicators, definition-related problems and insufficient coordination with the participating organisations. Ultimately, this results in a benchmark report packed with figures that are of little use to executives. In 2001, working closely with its customers, Berenschot started to systematically develop benchmarks on the basis of high value-for-money. In return for a modest participation fee, organisations are engaged in a participative research projects that results in a benchmark report with relevant and comprehensive information, aimed at the decision makers in the organisation.
Since then, over 1,500 organisations in 25 sectors of the economy have completed the Overhead Cost Benchmark. Nearly all Dutch municipalities took part in our Local Authorities Staff Capacity benchmark.
We use a standardised approach with an applied scientific basis for our benchmarking research. In other words: high quality, based on in-depth knowledge of the sector, ready-made rather than a tailor-made approach.
To ensure the highest quality, Berenschot established a Benchmarking Expertise Centre in the Netherlands in 2003.Our combined knowledge of benchmarking and of all economic sectors is brought together in this Centre. The value derived is evident in the high level of appreciation we receive from our customers.
What is the value of the benchmark results?
The overhead benchmark report offers information and insight on the volume, size, the quality and costs, and the degree of centralisation of your overhead functions and departments (such as Management, Administration, Finance and Control, IT, HR, Facilities, Marketing and Communication), compared to your peers in the sector. It answers the question: Is the size of your overhead competitive?
Besides answering these questions, we report company findings on a number of overhead-performance indicators, such as span-of-control, span-of-support and average workload per employee. We will also report back on management and support structures as compared to other companies in your sector (e.g. centralisation of support functions). At last, the report includes a number of ‘best practices’ from your own sector.
Our experience shows that the benchmarking results in combination with our workshops and presentations have proven invaluable in decision making processes related to cost reductions, outsourcing, budget planning and the development of shared service centres.