Benchmarking best practice in European manufacturing sites
Reports on a joint project between IBM and the London Business School, where over 700 factories have so far been visited in an international benchmarking study. The objective has been to understand how far they have adopted manufacturing best practice and what operational benefits they have achieved. Results have been independently published in the UK, Germany and The Netherlands while a consolidated report published in November 1994 combines these with those from an additional study in Finland. While 2 per cent of these sites across Northern Europe show practice and performance that could be described as world class, almost 50 per cent are well positioned to get there. Throughout the four countries, self opinion on global competitiveness runs ahead of that suggested by their use of manufacturing best practice. The effect of different geography, industry sectors, number of employees, ownership and major customers are all seen to affect the pattern of use of best practice and the consequent operational performance.