identify function to benchmark a key first step in planning a benchmarking study is to identify the function to benchmark. the way in which this work process is performed or the method used (âthe howâ of a process) is often referred to as a practice. for example, ovals are often used to represent the start or end of a process but boxes and rectangles are used for tasks or activities performed as part of the process. process mapping can be an important tool to examine business operations that affect the environmental performance of a company. identify best-in-class organizations in that function an important component of designing a benchmarking study is the selection of organizations to be used for pur- poses of comparison. in general, benchmarking studies can be classified according to the type of partner that one wishes to benchmark against, the nature and objective of the study, and the purpose of the partnership. 16 handbook on applying environmental benchmarking in freight transportation select performance measures performance measures are used to gauge the results of implementing practices. the following provides an example of how the terms key performance indicators, metrics, and measures would be used in a benchmarking context. although it is helpful to identify the metrics used by partner organizations in order to make noteworthy comparisons, the focus of the benchmarking study should be on identify- ing the effective practices that allow an organization to meet specific targets and become an industry leader. for the instances in which the goal of data collection is to measure the frequency of a practice and create a large representative sample, paper or electronic sur- veys are typically used. it is important that consent to release information is obtained from all partners and the data collector should be clear about the intent and use of the data collected.
a full understanding of how practices and metrics are used by the partner organizations is necessary to appropriately analyze performance data and make comparisons. for negative gaps, it is important to understand the contextual factors and enablers that may account, in part, for those gaps. identify best practices to close the gap there are a wide range of strategies that can be used to reduce air emissions and other environmental impacts associated with freight transportation. to gain accep- tance and implement change, it is important that all employees understand the rationale for changes, have specific knowledge of how the changes should be implemented, and are given a voice in the process. these goals should be based on new strategies from benchmarking findings, a thorough review of data on employee perspec- tives concerning the benchmarking findings, and an outline of factors to consider in the implementation of practices. another key element of this phase is the frequent measurement of performance and change in outcomes to ensure the practices are being implemented true to their intent. 26 handbook on applying environmental benchmarking in freight transportation 4.5 maturity this phase in the benchmarking process refers to the point at which benchmarking becomes institutionalized within the sponsor organization and is viewed as a critical component of the management process. steps in benchmarking process 27 identify function to benchmarkâas a participant in the cdp, cn has selected ghg emissions as one of its environmental benchmarks. the cdp reporting protocol allows a company to identify the top performer in its industry and see the magnitude of emissions from that performer. in order to develop ton-mile metrics, cn collects mileage and traffic data to determine the total gross ton-miles of shipments. action in the action phase of the benchmarking process, the strategies and action plans are implemented throughout the organization in order to achieve emission reduction goals. the report provides a step-by-step overview of the benchmarking process and describes a framework for applying this process to freight carriers, shippers, and freight hubs.
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