benchmark noun: a standard by which something can be measured or judged.
The term benchmark originally entered the English lexicon as a description of the reference point surveyors would use as a level surface—“bench”—from which they’d insert an angle iron that would subsequently support a leveling rod. From this accepted standard, subsequent measurements could be made with greater confidence.
Benchmarks and benchmarking have of course taken on significance beyond surveying, with frequent adoption in manufacturing. Last year, Plastics Technology bid to create its own “level bench”, or reference point, for plastics processors with the launch of the World-Class Processor survey (learn more here).
After a tremendously successful inaugural survey, with participation from across the technology, end market and geographic spectrum, Plastics Technology is once again undertaking the World-Class Processor survey, and you can participate here. Completely anonymous, the survey can provide your shop that benchmark against which you can measure your own operations.
All shops track their internal performance; successful operations consider that performance within the context of the broader industry. Take the survey today and see how you stack up.