Benchmarking is a tool which can help you to improve your processes, products and services by comparing your business' performance with that of similar organisations. It can help you to identify processes that you can adopt to reduce your business' use of water and cut costs.
There are different approaches to benchmarking. Quantitative benchmarking involves detailed measurements and requires investment in research and manpower. Qualitative benchmarking, which focuses on identifying good business practice, is used to consider a specific process (eg purchasing or logistics), business performance (such as service delivery) or strategies. You should tailor the process to suit your particular business needs and objectives.
An important element in benchmarking is the identification and use of key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are factors you can use to measure the success of your business through achieving targets - see how to set environmental performance targets.
Using benchmarking to improve your business' water efficiency can often be achieved at relatively low cost, but can deliver significant benefits. The full cost of water - ie the cost of delivery, use and disposal - can be a lot higher than you realise. There are also other benefits of improving your environmental performance, such as an improved reputation - see how to improve your environmental performance.