What is Benchmarking?

"Benchmarking is a tool to help improve business processes."

"Benchmarking is the process of identifying, understanding, and adapting practices from other organizations to help your organization improve its performance and guide the effective allocation of resources."

"Benchmarking is the process of seeking out and studying the best internal practices that produce superior performance."

"Benchmarking is a highly respected practice in the business world. It is an activity that looks outward to find best practices and high performance and then measures actual business operations against those goals."


Over the past ten years, CLMI has worked with many companies that have delivery fleets. Specific work with the Pepsi Bottling Group, Frito Lay, G & K Services, Corporate Express and others allowed us to identify common trends or issues among all these organizations. Safety is important to these companies, and each has well developed programs at the plant or facility level. However, when it comes to their delivery or sales sector they lack the same level of sophistication and control. Benchmarks do not exist.

The idea of pulling together several of these companies with direct store, local delivery, or route services came during a conversation with the Fleet Safety Manager of Frito Lay. As CLMI and Frito were putting together a new supervisory safety training program, we discussed what other companies have done in regarding safety supervision and what some of the "best practices" might be. After discussing and then researching the question, we found that not only Frito Lay, but very few other companies had a handle on not only supervisory safety, but the entire issue of direct delivery safety. The idea was born to create a benchmark conference, bringing many of these organizations together to begin discussing their common safety issues and tactics.

This paper, written in a report format, and then the subsequent ASSE PDC presentation are intended to provide an overview of the process used by the Direct Delivery Leadership Council (DDLC) during the past two years to benchmark their organizations. It includes some of the findings from the benchmark studies, and the methods that are being used to define "best Practices" for their type of work. Moreover, it details the interactions of many of the top. companies in our country, engaged in local or direct delivery, as they wrestle with the multitude of safety issues to define "Best Practices".

The DDLC is a work in progress. As of this writing, the group is forming a Steering Committee to better define the organization and set a course for the future. It is an exciting endeavor that should result in significant changes in procedures and practices.

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