Over the last couple of decades (before the pandemic) lots of middle income countries and middle-performing companies were integrated into global supply chains. Advanced nations and advanced companies had no choice as they needed new sources of materials, parts and skills.

These new supply chain partners soon learned what was expected of them and with a fair bit of prompting and a fair bit of help and support, they upped their game and moved from the middle ranks to the top ranks. 

This is how countries like China and Mexico rose up the ranks of manufacturing industry countries.

It helped that the companies involved could see the ‘art of the possible’ from their new partners.

(It also helped that a number of countries abandoned manufacturing ingthe pursuit of a services-based economy.)

It also led to internal competitors of these companies seeing  the gains being made and striving to emulate this enhanced performance – raising the levels of performance of whole industrial sectors in these previously middle income countries.

This was, in effect, a very unstructured form of benchmarking. 

Look what they are doing.
Wow, it looks good!
It seems to her working.
Couldn’t we try try it as well?

It is always easier to emulate something you can see working, rather than some theoretical model or vision.

This is why sector-based benchmarking can work for any country.

Measure the performance of a range of organisations in a sector across a range of factors.

Identify the ‘good’ and the ‘best’ performers on each factor.

Share the lessons of good performance.

Set in train programmes to help the ’tail’ of companies to emulate the performance of the few at the head.

Re-measure performance and identify gains.

Simple – in theory.  And remember, you are showing companies what their peers are doing and achieving. , not holding ups some ideal model.