Benchmarking – Definition & Meaning

Benchmarking is a term that is commonly used in the business world. It is a process that involves comparing and measuring the performance of an organization or product against the best practices of other similar organizations or products. Benchmarking is an important tool for businesses to improve their performance, identify areas of weakness, and stay competitive in their industry.


According to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), benchmarking is “the process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and/or best practices from other industries.” The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines benchmarking as “the process of comparing the performance of one organization against that of another which is best in class.”


The origin of benchmarking can be traced back to the early 1980s when companies in the United States started to use it as a tool for improving their performance. The concept of benchmarking was popularized by Robert Camp, who was a consultant at Xerox Corporation. He developed a benchmarking methodology that was later adopted by many other companies.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, benchmarking is “the practice of comparing a company’s performance with that of others in the same industry.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines benchmarking as “the process of measuring the performance of a product, service, or organization against that of its competitors or peers.”


Benchmarking is often associated with quality management, process improvement, and performance management. It is used by businesses to identify best practices, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. Benchmarking is also used by governments and non-profit organizations to improve their performance and achieve their goals.


Some synonyms of benchmarking include comparison, evaluation, measurement, analysis, and assessment.


There are no direct antonyms of benchmarking, but some related concepts that are opposite to benchmarking include complacency, stagnation, and resistance to change.

The same root words

There are no direct root words of benchmarking, but some related words that share the same root include bench, which refers to a long seat or table, and mark, which refers to a symbol or sign.

Example Sentences

  1. The company used benchmarking to compare its customer service performance with that of its competitors.
  2. The government agency implemented a benchmarking program to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
  3. The consultant recommended benchmarking as a tool for identifying best practices and improving performance.
  4. The company’s benchmarking analysis revealed that it was lagging behind its competitors in terms of product quality.
  5. The NGO used benchmarking to measure its impact and effectiveness in achieving its mission.
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