Secrets to Success: Best Practice Benchmarking
Big business calls borrowing strategies, tactics, or ideas from a successful industry or company, “best practice benchmarking”. Best practice benchmarking doesn’t look at trade secrets, or patents—those are strictly off-limits, however employee management, operations, sales, marketing, and logistics, those are all ripe for the picking!
Best practice benchmarking has helped companies save money, improve productivity, and innovate. Businesses that really do their homework, and take the time to do a focused, well researched survey can avoid costly mistakes by learning from others which best practices, in their industry and elsewhere, have already proven to work.
As a study abroad student to the US you were in a great position to take note of business practices that could be of real value to your company back home, and consequently, to your own professional development.
Let’s say you worked at an express courier corporate office in Atlanta while you studied in the US, and back home you work for a retail clothing chain—just as an example. Maybe your home company, the retail clothing chain, really needs to improve its online product deliveries (customers consistently complain about overdue orders). While you worked at this courier you noticed that the company managed to handle more than 15 million packages a day worldwide with very few lost or late shipments. How do they do that? And… how can you apply their best practices to your retail clothing company? That’s the kind of information that makes you an asset to your company back home.
Keeping your eyes, ears, and mind open as a study abroad student to the US allowed you to have a fresh perspective on problem solving. Working in a different business culture gave you the experience of operational practices that you may not have been familiar with.
You return to your home country armed with the business strategies that you learned in the US. You’re able to see business problems and opportunities with new eyes. If your home company looks to expand, and explore new markets, you have the ability to share your knowledge with coworkers in a way that will overcome cultural barriers, and allow everyone to successfully benefit from the secrets you learned as a study abroad student.