What is Benchmarking?
The Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition defines a benchmark as:
A surveyor’s mark… a standard or point of reference in measuring or judging quality, value, etc.
David T. Kearns, chief executive officer, Xerox Corporation, where benchmarking was first developed said:
Benchmarking is a continuous process of measuring product, services, and practices against the toughest competitors or those companies recognized as industry leaders.
A working definition of benchmarking as it relates to you and your roofing practices is:
The process whereby an organization compares their own roofing management practices against those organizations that are known to have the best roofing management practices so that they can become the “best of the best”.
Benchmarking & Your Roof
Benchmarking was developed by the Business Systems Group of Xerox Corporation in the late seventies in order to more effectively compete with the low prices of Japanese plain paper copiers. Their first benchmarking project was with their Logistics and Distribution unit. From there it spread to other manufacturing units and departments throughout the corporation. Fortunately, Xerox was willing to share its successes with other companies. Now organizations all over the world are using benchmarking to identify “best in class” business practices, which when implemented, lead to exceptional performances. Lichy & Associates has researched the best companies to identify the best roofing management practices to enable you to implement the best roofing management program.
Roofing experts all agree that the life of a roof can be substantially increased by an effective roofing management program. Some claim fifty percent increases in the roof life span are possible, others claim as much as one hundred percent. Some go so far as to say that if a roof is properly designed, utilizes the right materials, is properly installed, and is effectively maintained it will last as long as the building it protects. Of course, any increase in the life of a roof can be translated into savings in cost.
Most organizations pay little attention to their roofs until it is too late. Unfortunately, once there are leaks or the roof needs to be replaced there are few opportunities to save money. A well-planned and developed roof asset management program can avoid the high cost of emergency repairs and premature replacement.
The replacement value of the typical building roof is between nine and twelve dollars per square foot. When considering the replacement value of the building components and contents that the roof protects, it is simply too large of an investment to ignore.
Changing from a reactive type of maintenance, where an organization simply reacts to leaks or other roof problems, to a more proactive mode of operating requires a significant commitment by management. The initial implementation cost is frequently the largest stumbling block. However, when one considers the financial savings that are possible and the fact that it really costs no more than reactive maintenance the questions become, “can I afford to NOT implement a well-planned and developed roof asset management program?”
The question then becomes, “how do I go about planning and developing an effective roofing management program?” The answer is simply: by benchmarking your current roofing practices against the practices of the organizations known to have the best roofing practices.
There are many reasons why the Benchmarking process should be utilized to build and improve your roofing management efforts. Among these are the following:
- Perhaps the greatest reason for using benchmarking is that it enables you to learn about practices used by other organizations that are better than those used by your organization.
- When you find the best roofing practices already being used by other organizations, it effectively negates any argument that the practice might not be usable.
- When you concentrate on finding and implementing the best roofing practices that are currently used by the best organization, you will naturally find your organization becoming the best of the best.
- Leaks and other roofing emergencies will be immediately reduced and eventually eliminated.
- Your roofs will last two, three, and even four times longer than they do now.
- Your overall roofing maintenance and management cost will be substantially reduced.
Lichy & Associates and Benchmarking
Lichy & Associates have researched the best roof asset management practices at the best organizations across North America and Europe. This has enabled us to establish benchmarks for all segments of a roofing management program. We have found that the best programs excel in design, materials selection, workmanship, and maintenance.
Benchmark: The best roofing management programs have the best roofing design.
We have identified the eight crucial areas of roofing design and have established benchmarks for each. There are certain steps that must be taken in order for an organization to meet the benchmarks. We have developed checklists and procedures that point the way to excellence in each crucial area.
Benchmark: The best roofing management programs include selection of the best roofing materials.
Some materials have proven over time to perform better than others. We have done extensive research to identify those materials that experts in North America and Europe agree perform best. We provide the results of that research that enables you to be sure you have chosen the correct materials for your roofing.
Benchmark: The best roofing management programs have specified quality assurance to make sure that they receive the best quality of roofing workmanship.
Whether the organization has in-house roofing personnel who install, repair and maintain their roofs or they use contractors to do all the work, the best organizations have specific quality assurance programs. We have taken the best features of these programs to arrive at the best quality assurance program for you.
Benchmark: The best roofing management programs have the best roof asset management / preventive maintenance programs.
The best programs have certain common elements. We have identified those common elements and have developed benchmarks around each one.