Business Process & Training

Generic Benchmarking

Generic benchmarking broadly conceptualizes unrelated business processes or functions that can be practiced in the same or similar ways regardless of the industry (e.g., transferring funds, bar coding, order fulfillment, admissions, replenishing inventory, warehousing, etc.). Generic means without a brand. It is a pure form of benchmarking,. (Camp, 1989). The focus is on being innovative and gaining insight into excellent work processes rather than on the business practices of a particular organization or industry. The outcome is usually a broad conceptualization, yet careful understanding, of a generic work process that works extremely well. Generic benchmarking is occurring when a Veterans Administration hospital's check-in process is contrasted against a car rental agency's check-in process. Adapting grocery store bar coding to control and sort airport luggage might be another example.


• High payoff; about 35 percent
• Noncompetitive/nonthreatening
• Broad,new perspective
• Innovative
• High potential for discovery
• Examines multiple industries
• Can compare to world


• Difficult concept
• Can be difficult to identify best-in- class
• Takes a long time to plan
• Known world-class companies are inundated with requests
• Quantum changes can bring high risk, escalate fear
• Class organizations in your process