As we get ready to enter the last year of the millenium, many of us will use some time to take stock of where we are and what we want to do. Stock taking helps us meet our personal goals of how to get what we want and need out of life. Have you applied the same questions to your plant or job lately?
Where are we? Where do we go now? Without knowing where we stand today, mapping a path to more effective unit performance is impossible. Without knowing where we want to go, why worry about where we are today? After all, without a destination in mind, your plant performance will wander aimlessly.
Questions are easily asked, but more difficult to answer. Today, let's look at the first question, "Where are we?" How do we answer this question?
Benchmarking, the process of establishing known performance
parameters for comparison purposes, gives us the answer to the
question of where we are today. However, benchmarking does not
come in a one size fits all approach. The details of how you do
your benchmark differ based on the type of objectives you want
to move toward. A benchmark to decide on strategic investments
to purchase one plant versus another is very different from a
benchmark to decide on how to invest to improve a specific unit's
operation. Levels of detail differ and factors to include also
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