Modelling and benchmarking business processes: The supply-line example

F. Hewitt, S. Robinson, David J. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benchmarking techniques have evolved over the years since Xerox’s pioneering visits to Japan in the late 1970s. The focus of benchmarking has also shifted during this period. By tracing in detail the evolution of benchmarking in one specific area of business activity, supply and distribution management, as seen by the participants in that evolution, creates a picture of a movement from single function, cost-focused, competitive benchmarking, through cross-functional, cross-sectoral, value-oriented benchmarking to process benchmarking. As process efficiency and effectiveness become the primary foci of benchmarking activities, the measurement parameters used to benchmark performance converge with the factors used in business process modelling. The possibility is therefore emerging of modelling business processes and then feeding the models with actual data from benchmarking exercises. This would overcome the most common criticism of benchmarking, namely that it intrinsically lacks the ability to move beyond current best practice. In fact the combined power of modelling and benchmarking may prove to be the basic building block of informed business process re-engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalBenchmarking for Quality Management and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • benchmarking
  • BPR
  • logistics
  • modelling
  • supply


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