Headlines: July 1st, 1998

Public sector managers involved in quality assurance and driving up standards can learn about the experience of Britain’s small and medium sized companies after the production of a report on an initiative by the Department of Trade and Industry.

‘Closing the Gap’ draws on the experience of around one thousand small and medium sized companies who have exploited the DTI-supported United Kingdom Benchmarking Index to compare their performance with that of competitors.

Small Firms Minister Barbara Roche said benchmarking was an important management tool in the drive towards making organisations more efficient and value for money: “This report demonstrates that benchmarking has clear benefits. Benchmarking can enable businesses to examine their performance critically, and assess how they measure up to acknowledged market leaders.

“Benchmarking looks at the individual aspects of performance in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. It can help highlight gaps in performance and unachieved potential.”

The United Kingdom Benchmarking Index allows companies to assess where they stand against their peers in 80 different aspects of performance, covering financial, management and business excellence issues.

The Index was introduced in October 1996. Almost 1,000 companies have been benchmarked through the Index.

Enquiries about the report should be addressed to: Winning Moves Limited, Lea House, Station Road, Barlaston, Stoke on Trent. ST12 9DA