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Explain why a two-stage benchmarking methodology, which utilizes performance evaluation metrics followed by continuous improvement metrics, can be a useful tool for achieving competitive advantage

Read the required sources listed in the Background Info.

An organization can do things the same way indefinitely unless it stops to think about them. The process of stopping to think, and then acting, is called process improvement. DHL finds that it’s critical in driving down costs, both for itself, and for its partners. “Within the retail and consumer group at DHL Exel Supply Chain, we’ve already held almost 100 Process Improvement/DMAIC workshops this year, which have contributed to continuous improvements and identified effectiveness equating to four million pounds sterling.”

One thing to look at is the whole value chain— the flows of goods, information and money, business systems, business structures and functional silos, corporate culture, etc. “We offer our customers these as ‘Value Chain Assessments’ (VCA), where a customer may have a broad question—where is the risk in my supply chain? Where are my major costs and how can I impact them? Answering these questions is often easier said than done as many in-company logistics or supply chain managers lack visibility beyond their own supply chain operations. We can fill in the gaps in the picture—especially with today’s highly complex and extended retail supply chains. With a wide range of clients, 3PLs can provide benchmarking and information on best practice drawn from a range of industries, as well as practical deliverable solutions. Our VCA methodology challenges our customers to embrace change—but it also challenges our own teams to do likewise. Success is not in the delivery of VCA report—it’s in being a catalyst to deliver benefits to our customers.”

Write an essay responding to the following questions.

  1. Explain why a two-stage benchmarking methodology, which utilizes performance evaluation metrics followed by continuous improvement metrics, can be a useful tool for achieving competitive advantage.
  2. Discuss why the inclusion of the second phase, related to continuous improvement, represents a step forward from traditional benchmarking approaches.
  3. Evaluate the general adequacy of the major performance criteria used in the AHP article for assessing other organizations’ logistics. Feel free to suggest additions to, or modifications of, the performance criteria if you believe these are inadequate.
  4. Describe the role a 3PL could play in implementing an effective benchmarking strategy.

Display an in-depth understanding of benchmarking, benchmarking metrics, and how benchmarking is integrated into the strategic management effort. Display a critical assessment of the benefits and limitations of the two phases of a double Analytic Hierarchical Process approach to benchmarking. Display critical thinking, rigorous logic, and synthesis of the current course materials with previous courses to assess the relationship between the AHP approach and continuous process improvement. 


Write a well-constructed essay. Feel free to use tables and bulleted lists, if appropriate.

There is no page requirement. Write what you need to write, neither more nor less.



Anonymous (2008 Dec) Time to take stock of the supply chain, Logistics Manager, London: p. 34 [ProQuest doc ID:  219567721]

Chan, F. T. S., Chan, H. K., Lau, H. C. W., & Ip, Ralph W. L. (2006), An AHP approach in benchmarking logistics performance of the postal industry, Benchmarking, Bradford 2006, Vol. 13, Iss. 6, pg 636 [ProQuest doc ID:  217396336]

Gilmour, P. (1999) Benchmarking supply chain operations; International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management; Bradford: 29:4, pp 259-266 (1999). [ProQuest doc ID: 232588675]

Smyrlis, L. (2006 Nov/Dec) Supply Chain Benchmarking, Canadian Transportation Logistics, Don Mills: Vol.109, Iss. 11; pg. 60, 3 pgs.  [ProQuest doc ID: 203028299]

Dibenedetto, B, (2007, Apr 23), Keeping SCOR, Journal of Commerce, New York, pg. 1. [ProQuest Document ID:  312979381]

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