Achieving internal process benchmarking: guidance from BASF

Mario Binder*, Ben Clegg, Wolfgang Egel-Hess

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of the work discussed in this paper is to understand, analyse and benchmark the "Packing and Filling" processes within BASF. A benchmarking project is described in detail which aimed to cover sites in different countries that supplied many different variants of finished goods in order to establish best practice and then to generate some options for their implementation. Design/methodology/approach - The project used an adaptation of accepted benchmarking methodology combined with other techniques (such as rich picture generation, and cluster analysis) to maximise the insight generated. Findings - The findings of the research showed that one of the main factors effecting the process was how third parties were used (e.g. extent and nature of out-sourcing, and its degree of centralisation). Research limitations/ implications - The exercise was challenged by the selection of suitably similar benchmarking candidates because the environment was complex and highly varied; the paper explains practical solutions for dealing with this challenge. Practical limitations - Strategic and tactical options are outlined at the end of the paper and will have applicability to other organisations and industries that are looking to find the answers to frequently asked questions about how to successfully implement an internal process benchmarking project in a large complex organisation that has high variety in end products and delivery methods. Originality/value - The methodology described in this paper is of a proprietary and unique nature. The paper is structured around some key questions commonly asked of benchmarking, and the answers are provided via a real in-depth case study from BASF that spans 4 sites in 3 countries using 15 different filling lines. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-687
Number of pages26
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2006


  • benchmarking
  • chemical industries
  • continuous production
  • operations management
  • performance measures


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