One definition of Benchmarking is the process of comparing one's business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and/or best practices from other industries.
Dimensions typically measured are quality, time and cost. In the process of benchmarking, management identifies the best firms in their industry, or in another industry where similar processes exist, and compare the results and processes of those studied (the "targets") to one's own results and processes. In this way, they learn how well the targets perform and, more importantly, the business processes that explain why these firms are successful.
We continue to witness change in China since we first established Treasury Today in China in 2005. We focus for excellence and providing unbiased insight and analysis of treasury trends and best practices. We introduced benchmarking to the China corporate treasury universe in 2009 thus providing further insight into the community we serve.
Since the first study in 2009 we have attracted responses from almost 500 companies spanning a broad universe in terms of industry sector and size. The seniority of respondent is also impressive with the majority being Group Treasurer, CFO or Finance Director level. The treasurers' role is certainly expanding to include additional responsibilities such as T&E, purchasing cards, insurance, pensions and enterprise risk management for example.
We have addressed a wide range of areas from internal reporting and benchmarking, cash and liquidity management, risk and supply chain to technology and bank relationships with some interesting findings which have been published as hard copy reports.
Responding to the challenge
As Ivo Distelbrink, Head of Global Treasury Solutions, Asia Pacific and Japan (pictured) stated in our 2011 Study: “We are delighted to again be associated with the China Benchmarking Study. The findings are extremely interesting and we can all learn from them. Here at Bank of America Merrill Lynch we value the honesty of the responses and have listened loud and clear - these findings will help us to serve our clients better as they shape our strategic priorities for 2012."