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Benchmark with Other Farmers: Compare Yourself to the Best to BE the Best

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As the famous monk and poet John Lydgate once said, “Comparisons do often great grievance.” For the most part, this rings true in life. Comparing yourself to others can oftentimes make you feel depressed and lacking in material possessions or traits that you wish you had instead of being grateful and satisfied with what you have now.

In the realm of business, however, comparing your business with other businesses in your industry is actually a positive thing to do!

bean field.jpgProducers who share a vision for what the row crop industry is becoming and how they can position themselves to successfully compete into the future will share best practices with others in their peer group through both structured and unstructured interactions.

Luckily, FamilyFarms also offers valuable benchmarking and shared intellectual property!

So how can you see if you’re doing the best you can in your field? One of the most effective ways in evaluating your processes, and performance is benchmarking yourself against the crème de la crème of the industry you’re in!

Not sure what benchmarking is? Well, benchmarking is when you compare the processes and performances of your business to the processes and performances of the best businesses in your industry. A little comparing and contrasting can be quite healthy for the soul, so feel free to let loose!

The dimensions that are typically measured whilst benchmarking your company to others include the quality of the work that is done, the time that the work takes to get done, and the cost of all the work and time put into any projects you accomplish, big or small.

In the process of benchmarking, management identifies the best firms in their industry, or in another industry where similar processes exist, and compare in the results and processes of those studied (the “targets”) to one’s own results and processes. In this way, they learn how well the targets perform and, more importantly, the business processes that explain why these firms are successful.

Also referred to as “best practice benchmarking” or “process benchmarking,” this process is used in management and particularly strategic management, in which organizations evaluate various aspects of their processes in relation to best practice companies’ processes, usually within a peer group defined for the purposes of comparison. This then allows organizations to develop plans on how to make improvements or adapt specific best practices, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance. Benchmarking may be a one-­‐off event, but is often treated as a continuous process in which organizations continually seek to improve their practices.

While it is difficult to do this with your local competition, a national organization like FamilyFarms can provide like-­‐minded operations to benchmark against. FamilyFarms also offers access to training, implementation assistance, expert consultant help, and other resources so that family farms can survive and thrive in the long run.

So if you’re ready to learn what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better in your industry, why not give us a call at 1-­‐877-­‐221-­‐FARM or visit our website for more information? We can help you benchmark yourselves against other businesses and train you to go from mediocre to superior in your own business!

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Written By

Jill Miller

Jill Miller

Marketing Manager

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