A typology of "best practices" for a benchmarking process
Purpose - The paper aims to provide guidelines of companies in identifying their best practices with reference to a French example. Design/methodology/approach - The paper describes first the evolution of benchmarking, which nowadays is more and more based on the identification of good practices to acquire or transfer. Then we present a typology of best practices which can help a company to discern more effectively what could be relevant to exchange in benchmarking. Finally, we describe the best practice specification (BPS) method, which helps a company to locate and specify its good practices likely to be transferred within the framework of benchmarking. Findings - The paper underlines the difficulty of a company to clearly define what a "best practice" is and the lack of methods which could help it to identify its best practices. Research limitations/implications - Future research will be to develop a method of acquisition and representation of the best practices. In particular, it will be a question of studying if certain models that are currently proposed to represent knowledge (GAMETH, KADS, MKSM, MEREX, ...) can be used for the acquisition and the formalization of these best practices. Practical implications - The BPS method is presently applied in TECUMSEH Europe on its Cessieu site (France). The company is identifying the best practices currently put into place by the various sectors of manufacturing of the site on the process "To deploy progress effort (SPC and TPM)". The long term objective of the company is to apply these practices in all of the manufacturing sectors of the site, as well as on those other three sites in the group. Originality/value - This paper offers practical help to a company to identify and characterize its best practices.