Facility Maintenance Benchmarking

Facility Maintenance Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a process that compares current business practices to those of leaders of the industry. It is intended to help you move from where you are to where you want to be, using the knowledge gained over the duration of the process. Benchmarking in facility and maintenance management is heavily focused on processes related to assets, such as fixing and maintaining them. There are many different types of benchmarking, some going by multiple names, but these four are generally accepted as the main categories.


Internal benchmarking, as the name implies, involves comparing two metrics and/or practices within the organization. These metrics are from different units, departments, or programs. This type of facility maintenance benchmarking is easy and cost-effective, as everything you need is already available to you. Internal benchmarking is an excellent starting point as it offers insight into the current standards for performance. However, you are unlikely to see any major changes if the entity performing better had relatively lower numbers, to begin with.


Competitive benchmarking is also referred to as ‘external benchmarking’. It examines the metrics and/or practices of industry competitors. This makes it possible for you to set reasonable and practical goals using a proven baseline. It is the ideal approach for an entity looking to reach industry standards, but it can be difficult and time-consuming. Proper comparison requires approaching a competitor and asking for their data, knowing that they may not answer truthfully. Some may instead choose to go through a third party to collect the data for them. 


Functional benchmarking is the comparison metrics and/or processes to either similar or identical ones from another industry. A car rental service may compare its KPIs with those of a hotel, or the collection process used by the IRS could be compared to the process implemented by American Express. It offers the benefit of examining trends in various industries which you might not have thought to check otherwise, and the complementary knowledge received as a result.

There are a few hurdles that must be jumped in order for functional benchmarking to work. Different corporate cultures and the need for specificity can make it hard to find the right entity to compare with. There is also the possibility of encountering the ‘Not Invented Here’ mentality. It is the tendency to avoid using data, products, or research from external entities. You also must be able to conceptualize how best practices will be adapted to your own corporate culture, work environment, and general operations.


Generic benchmarking is extremely broad as it looks at metrics and/or practices that are performed in similar ways regardless of the industry. In this context, generic simply means there is no brand. The intent is not to learn about the business performance of a specific industry or related entity, but rather best practices in the workplace. 

Being so broad, there is great potential for innovation and new perspectives. Entities outside your industry may be more inclined to share their information with you, as you are not a competitor, but it can be difficult to identify what constitutes ‘best practice’ in an unfamiliar industry. Further, there are many more opportunities as there are more entities to work with, as the possibilities are on a global scale, but this can make it hard to narrow down which one to approach.

How to Benchmark

Benchmarking can be broken down into many different steps depending on your industry and the type of benchmarking you are using. These eight steps can be applied to any type in any industry:

  1. Choose the subject to benchmark
  2. Choose the entities or organizations you want to benchmark
  3. Record current processes
  4. Collect and analyze the data
  5. Measure your performance against the data
  6. Create a plan
  7. Implement changes
  8. Repeat

Why Use Software to Benchmark

Reliable, accurate data is necessary for effective benchmarking. The majority of metrics used in facility and maintenance management are quantitative, which can easily be stored and accessed in a cloud. The software can also generate KPIs on the data which has been gathered, saving you a great deal of time and effort.

Trillium’s facility maintenance software and experienced team help organizations manage, monitor, and control maintenance including: equipment, resources, and regulatory compliance. Let us handle your facility and job management needs and help your organization save time and money. Interested to see how easy facilities can be? Sign up for a Demo or email us at sales@trilliumfacility.com.

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