BOSCH, a benchmark in home appliances
Manufacturing companies need to constantly determine which areas need improvement in order to remain competitive on the market. Hence, organizations often benchmark their performance against other organizations’ performance and determine performance gaps. Moreover, there are top performance companies that have not only improved their competitiveness due to benchmarking studies, but have also gained a top place and became a benchmark for the entire industry they belong to.
One of these organizations is Bosch, a company whose products and services are designated to improve customers’ quality of life by providing innovative solutions and offering a performant technology.
The Bosch Group was founded in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch and it is comprised out of Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in 50 countries. The company is expanded in around 150 countries, if its sales and service partners are included.
The Bosch Group invested 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents in 2013, which means an average of 20 patents per day.
How can a company improve its performance through benchmarking?
Benchmarking means learning from the best. To find out how good one’s performance is, information on comparable companies is evaluated. Comparisons are made against certain areas or processes, not the whole company.
An operational definition of benchmarking as developed by specialists is “finding and implementing best practices.” Moreover, benchmarking can be divided into two main categories: informal and formal benchmarking. Both methods can be used internally (learning inside the organization), externally (learning from other organizations) or competitively (learning from competitors). Moreover, best practice benchmarking describes the comparison of performance data obtained from studying similar processes or activities and identifying, adapting and implementing the practices that produced the best performance results.
Product benchmarking represents the type of benchmarking mainly used by manufacturing companies. Hence, product benchmarking is a vital instrument for a company like Bosch. This type of benchmarking supports the company’s leadership position on the market and ensures its competitive advantage.
Shortcomings can be eliminated when a company looks at its products’ performance and benchmarks it against the best industry competitors.
How does Bosch do benchmarking?
Bosch Group takes into consideration several parameters when doing benchmarking, namely: quality, time and cost. These parameters help them assess the products’ performance and conduct a complex analysis. The company uses this field of expertize in order to be able to assess consumers’ needs and all the necessary technical and marketing aspects for gaining a high market share.
Bosch has recently introduced a redesigned kitchen at the Design and Construction Week 2014, with More Than 100 New Appliances. The new kitchen is comprised of redesigned cooking, ventilation and refrigeration products. Through all these, Bosch has set a new benchmark in kitchen design.
As Michael Traub, CEO of BSH Home Appliances, was saying, at Bosch the products “are invented for life”. The new kitchen line proposed by Bosch delivers “precision technology in appliances that make life easier, bringing new features once found solely in the Luxury category to the Mass Premium market”.
Bosch became a benchmark for the entire industry thanks to the “modern design with perfection in every detail that ultimately provides the perfect balance of form and function.”
The main innovative appliances that became benchmarks are the wall ovens, steam convection oven and cooktops.
By using benchmarking, Bosch reduces manufacturing and development costs and gives customers the opportunity to buy a product that satisfies their needs in a shorter period of time.
A benchmarking study provides several benefits, including a set of measures for assessing the performance of the project system and a baseline from which to measure improvements. It also offers the opportunity to compare an organization’s performance against industry competitors, noting strengths, weaknesses and different ways of executing projects.
Moreover, through benchmarking, companies can elaborate proposals for improving the project system, monitor their organizational performance and see which of their competitors perform at the highest and lowest levels.
- Bosch Group (2014), Bosch worldwide, About us
- Bosch India (2014), Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions
- Bosch Home (2014), Home Appliances, Bosch debuts redesigned kitchen line at Design and Construction Week 2014