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Chapter 1: Introduction to Benchmarking WHY BENCHMARK? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? There is a great deal of Benchmarking can transform your organization or workgroup in wisdom in the collective many positive ways. You will be more focused on the customer. experience of the 50 states; Resources will be applied where they will do the most good. By 3,000 counties; 19,000 systematically measuring your performance in terms of municipalities; and 75 customer-driven outcomes relative to the resources used while bridge, tunnel, and turnpike controlling for factors outside your ability to influence, you will authorities. Customer-driven gain many insights regarding how to improve maintenance benchmarking is a way to operations. The benefits of benchmarking are numerous: tap the combined experience of the road It is the most expedient way to discover and implement maintenance organizations better practices that lead to better performance. within each of these You can learn from the observed successes and organizations. There is experiences you want to emulate or improve upon. additional wisdom to be found in other industries You can minimize trial and error and avoid making the and in other countries. mistakes of others. It leads to continuous improvement. It stimulates creativity. Specific customer outcomes will improve: The value customers receive will increase, Customer satisfaction will increase, Condition of assets will improve, Life-cycle costs will decline, Traffic delay will decline, Safety of road users is likely to improve, and The quality of the environment will be enhanced. One can deal more effectively with the groups that insist on accountability, such as the legislature. You will better understand how various factors--labor, equipment, materials, and external factors--affect performance and, therefore, you will be better able to allocate scarce resources. Job satisfaction of maintenance managers and field personnel increases as a result of serving the customer better and continually doing a better job. 12