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The current state of benchmarking use and networks in facilities management

Justin R. Dodd (Department of Applied Engineering and Technology, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, USA)
Jake Smithwick (Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Steven Call (School of Design and Construction, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)
Dipin Kasana (Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 17 June 2022

Issue publication date: 24 August 2023

422

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the knowledge gap on the use of benchmarking techniques as utilized by facilities management (FM) professionals for the purpose of identifying means to improve industry benchmarking practices and guide the direction of future FM benchmarking research.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through surveying 585 FM practitioners representing various countries, organization sizes, types, industries. The data were summarized and analyzed through creating frequency tables, charts, and cross-tabulations. The survey results were compared to a previously published study on benchmarking use to identify the similarities and differences between benchmarking for FM functions vs core business functions.

Findings

The findings indicate that while FM-oriented benchmarking has been adopted at similar levels as other industries, FM-oriented benchmarking tends to be simplistic, lacks a strategic position in the company, often relies upon self-report survey data, is often performed by an individual with no formal benchmarking team and does not utilize process benchmarking or benchmarking networks. These findings emphasize the need for benchmarking education, advocacy for FM as a strategic business partner, the development of verified data sources and networks specifically for the unique greater facilities management field functions.

Practical implications

These findings provide needed data on the state of FM practitioner use of benchmarking specifically for FM functions in North America. The results can be used as an assessment for the industry, to improve practitioner use and knowledge, and to identify further avenues for academic study.

Originality/value

The value of this study lies in filling in identified knowledge gaps on how FM practitioners are using benchmarking in practice. These data are absent from the research literature and offer the potential to help bridge the academic-practitioner divide to ensure that future research will focus on addressing practitioner needs for the industry.

Keywords

Citation

Dodd, J.R., Smithwick, J., Call, S. and Kasana, D. (2023), "The current state of benchmarking use and networks in facilities management", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 30 No. 7, pp. 2377-2407. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-10-2021-0609

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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