Benchmarking On-line

It seems that everyone has the word "internet" on their lips these days. Bank on-line, shop on-line, get your news on-line, even order pizza on-line. In response to a professorial challenge, the eight of us in the UHA AMSPA class of 1996 (regular folks all) set out to determine just how helpful on-line methods would be for gathering information that might prove beneficial to a small or medium sized firm looking to streamline its business practices. Our goal was to determine just how useful the 'net (and specifically the World Wide Web) are for gathering information on benchmarking and best business practices. What we found was a mixed bag of sites, some of which proved to be quite useful, and others which were less than worthwhile. Presented below are some highlights:

Accounting and General Consulting Firms -- These sites represent the front ends of the major players in the American process consulting industry. All of these sites are very slick, and several are even useful. Currently, Arthur Andersen provides the best set of benchmarking resources (see descriptions below), but all of these sites are rapidly expanding and improving, so check them again in a few weeks if they don't have what you're looking for now.

Benchmarking Specialty Consultants/Clubs

Research Sites -- These sites offer direct searches with a benchmarking twist. While some require membership or sign-on for certain services (which we therefore haven't tried), we've found that all offer the freeloader something worthwhile.

Government Sites -- Various Federal sites have been established to aid firms searching for best practices. While not the slickest, these sites do provide access to large archives (when they work).

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