Benchmarking for Success

Benchmarking for Success

In terms of member participation and trend identification, the PRSM 2017 Benchmarking Report was a success. Approximately 29 percent of PRSM’s retail companies and 20 percent of supplier companies responded. When the 2019 PRSM Retail Facilities Maintenance Industry Overview Benchmarking survey opens for participation in March and runs through June, PRSM hopes to take this success a step further.  

One-stop shop

Continuing the partnership with Dynamic Benchmarking, the 2019 PRSM Benchmarking Report is set to evolve. The biggest change PRSM Benchmarking participants will see in 2019 is the ability to quickly access the PRSM Benchmarking Tool. “One of the most important updates to the Benchmarking Tool for 2019 is that users will be able to log into PRSM’s benchmarking platform directly from PRSM’s website,” said Linda Xavier, Benchmarking Project Manager at Dynamic Benchmarking. “This streamlines the user experience by eliminating the need for separate username and passwords.” 

And not only will it be quicker, it will also be easier for FMs to access this data, too. “Our platform provides a one-stop solution for data collection, interactive peer comparisons and personalized reporting,” Xavier explained. “Immediately following data entry, users can compare their answers to the aggregated database of participants or to a subset of businesses they define using an intuitive filtering mechanism.” 

Unlike traditional written or digital surveys, these results can be available right away, complete with personalized reports. Users can decide what to compare and how to filter to get the results they want or need. “This interactive experience combined with the ability to have a continuously growing dataset as more users participate delivers a fundamentally different benchmarking process,” she said.

Accuracy and application

Once your company’s information is recorded, the next step begins: reading, understanding and using the data. Joe Bates, President of the Institute for Association and Nonprofit Research, explained the accuracy, actionability and dependability of the data collected by the survey. “What you’re doing here is taking aggregated data and using it to create a snapshot of what the industry is doing. From there, you can compare your organization with other responders,” Bates explained. 

Bates said there are three things to consider to ensure accuracy. “First, you must maximize your response rate. The more businesses who answer the survey, the more data you have, and the easier it is to identify trends. Second, you must make sure questions are asked properly. People answering the surveys can interpret poorly worded questions in vastly different ways, which skews the data. And thirdly, data integrity. Make sure data is verifiable after the responses are recorded. A bit of research into the companies helps purge inaccurate or misleading information.”

Bates and Xavier both brought up the importance of anonymity and aggregation of data collected. “To prevent the identification of a specific retailer or supplier, results are always aggregated and comparisons must meet minimum data requirements,” Xavier explained. Keeping your business’ tactics out of the hands of competitors is key. “You really don’t want to identify yourself to your competitors,” Bates explained, “That would give them quite the leg up when attempting to outmaneuver you in the business landscape.” All data collected from the survey is confidential and secure.

For facility managers, it’s important to figure out a way to adapt the data to meet individual needs, Bates said. “Create your own dashboard, with your own set of metrics,” he said. “Whether it’s to reduce costs, improve productivity, etc., your company’s needs may be vastly different from others in the industry. Once you’ve identified the metrics you wish to use, then you can properly form strategies based on comparisons to other companies.”

Suppliers have seen the benefits of benchmarking as well. “PRSM’s Benchmarking Report is a must-have for all PRSM supplier members. The data contained in the report has positively impacted our strategic planning efforts. We look forward to leveraging the historical benchmarking data as a long-term resource as we continue to enhance the services we provide to our retail partners,” says George Theofilos, Vice President of National Accounts, Powerhouse Retail Services .

Xavier went a bit deeper into specific trends an FM may wish to identify and compare. “One of the most important direct benefits of this research is access to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs),” Xavier said. KPIs are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively key business objectives are being achieved. These include ways to identify performance gaps, future trends, best practices and qualities of top-performing organizations, along with ways to improve processes and methodologies. “PRSM’s Benchmarking Tool provides KPIs in the ‘Results Summary’ sections. These KPIs are automatically calculated as users enter data. Not only can users immediately see these calculations, they can also compare their KPIs to peers,” Xavier explained. 

As benchmarking continues to move forward in the retail management field, PRSM is dedicated to ensuring FMs have the tools necessary to improve performance. The 2019 PRSM Benchmarking survey is vital to this mission.  

To access the PRSM Benchmarking Tool, visit 

Benefits of Participating

Participating in the PRSM Benchmarking Survey provides many benefits, including:

  • Compare to Peers and Personalized Results reports, which are downloadable and accessible any time through the PRSM Benchmarking Tool.
  • Aggregate information for retailer and supplier surveys after data collection closes.
  • A complimentary copy of the 2019 Retail Facilities Maintenance Industry Overview, which would cost $750 as a PRSM member or $1,500 for a non-member.

Remember, respondents must answer all required questions to be recognized as a participant.

Report Card

Retailers have found great success participating in and using the PRSM Benchmarking Report. “The benchmarking report has become a valuable tool in highlighting the nuances of our specific retail business and in developing a story to share with staff and executives. Further, with the ability to create reports that benchmark our specific data against the industry it has become a reference to check and balance our short- and long-term planning. We look forward to participating in the next report and having access to robust information and also the ability to use the tools to internally benchmark our historic data,” said Michael Bowman, Director, Facilities, Environmental and Safety, LCBO. 

Published: March 06, 2019