The concept of benchmarking typically brings to mind the idea of measuring and comparing yourself against your peers. While that has value, internal benchmarking – or benchmarking against yourself – can offer invaluable insight.
Benchmarking against yourself is different from benchmarking against peers in three ways:
- It places you in the driver’s seat.
- It reveals if you are making progress or not.
- It exposes the impact of a change in your operation.
It places you in the driver’s seat.
You own all of the data to generate these comparisons. Instead of searching for data from others, you can easily find what you need and are in control of being able to provide this valuable perspective for yourself.
It reveals if you are making progress or not.
Runners and weightlifters dutifully track their PR (personal record) or PB (personal best) as they train. By doing this, they can see the effectiveness and magnitude of the changes without being distracted by the performance of others. They may have a goal of being the best in the world, but day-by-day they know if they are making progress against their own previous performance. Dairy producers can achieve the same benefits on many dimensions of their operation.
It exposes the impact of a change in your operation.
Whether modifying rations, cow handling methods, or sanitation practices, you can see if those changes are affecting your operation and, if so, the magnitude of the effect. This is extremely valuable as a feedback loop for planned changes. As a bonus, if you consistently review benchmark perspectives, you will also be able to quickly see the impact of unintended changes. For example, when employee turnover happens, there is a real risk that the new employee may perform some operation less effectively than the previous employee. When this happens, you will be able to identify the problem much faster.
Dairy.com believes in the power of internal benchmarking to improve dairy farm operations, and the Essentials module of the My Dairy Dashboard platform includes a set of cards for this purpose. These cards visualize year-over-year comparisons of metrics for milk production, reproduction, milk quality, and feed efficiency. All of this is fully automated, up-to-date, and easily accessible by you and your team.
These capabilities can also be included in branded dashboard solutions for farm supplier companies to prove the efficacy of their products or services.