||The benchmarking concept -- The benchmarking process -- Stage 1: determining what to benchmark -- Stage 2: forming a benchmarking team -- Stage 3: identifying benchmark partners -- Stage 4: collecting and analyzing benchmarking information -- Stage 5: taking action -- Ethical and legal issues -- Keys to benchmarking success. "Benchmarking has been discussed, admired, and launched by many people in many organizations. But when it comes down to actually carrying out the process, benchmarking can quickly turn from a great idea to a great burden. The truth is, this revolutionary process can be a complex, confusing task, if the would-be benchmarkers don't know where to start." "In The Benchmarking Book, Michael J. Spendolini, one of the original benchmarking proponents at Xerox, simplifies the whole process for you by presenting a distillation of how the best benchmarking programs in the United States are run. Spendolini went straight to highly successful benchmarkers such as Boeing, AT & T, Du Pont, DEC, Motorola, 3M, Xerox and many others. He researched their processes, their errors, and their breakthroughs, and arrived at a universal model--a synthesis of the best ways to carry out each step in the benchmarking process. In essence, the author benchmarked the benchmarkers." "This synthesis of "lessons learned" provides you and your company with a solid, practical platform from which to launch an effective benchmarking program. Using everyday terms, the book covers every aspect of benchmarking, from set-up to final results. The Benchmarking Book shows you how to determine what products or processes to benchmark so you don't focus on an area that's either too broad or too narrow to be effective; form a benchmarking team using people that have the right mix of experience and analytical skills; identify benchmarking partners that truly represent the "best-in-class" for exactly the product/process you need to study (you may even find these partners in a different division of your own company); look outside your industry for benchmark partners (even though your company may produce steel products, you may want to benchmark Federal Express for its outstanding distribution and tracking systems); collect benchmarking information using personal interviews, site visits, surveys, and archive research; deal with the many ethical issues that can arise when you get "insider" information about another company; and analyze the data you've gathered so that you finish up with pragmatic, relevant results." "Avoid the blood, sweat, and tears of trying to learn the intricacies of benchmarking by trial and error. The Benchmarking Book puts together the best ways to measure the best so you can spend less time wrestling with the process and more time finding solutions."--Jacket.