week 9 discussion Question 1

Post  a response to each discussion

Taylor 

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The text states benchmarking is a continuous process by which an organization can measure and compare its own processes with those of organizations that are leaders in an area Baker & Baker (2014). Benchmarking is usually considered to be a process of seeking out and implementing best practices at best cost. This pursuit of performance is based on collaboration among several organizations. The basic principle of benchmarking consists of identifying a point of comparison, called the benchmark, against which everything else can be compared. To be able to benchmark an organization would need reliable and up-to-date information. This process of information management is called surveillance, the first foundation of benchmarking, facilitates and allows for a quick benchmarking process. A second foundation consists of learning, sharing information and adopting best practices to modify performance which will help contribute to understanding the finances of an organization.

clearpointstrategy.com stated that a balanced scorecard allows you to get your whole team on the same page with organizational goals in a clear and understandable way. Although it started out being used primarily in the private sector, you’ll now see the Balanced Scorecard in healthcare, non-profit, government organizations, and several other types of associations. There are four steps in the balance score card (BSC) that play a key role in the success of the process which are to Set vision and mission, to establish strategic goals, to Set measures for each goal, and to Set and measure targets which will also help contribute to understanding the finances of an organization.

Mazanec

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At our organization, our balanced scorecard reporting measures include: Net Days in Accounts Receivable, Discharged Not Final Billed Days, Days Cash on Hand, Operating Profit Margin, and Long Term Debt to Capitalization.  Our metrics are calculated on a 12 -month rolling average. Other scorecard measures that have been calculated in the past are Average Age of Plant; Supplies as a Percentage of Total Operating Expense, and Rolling Non-Operating Revenue Ratio.

One of the more important benchmarks for the organization right now is the Days Cash on Hand metric.  With the completion of our $40-million-dollar renovation project funded by a USDA Loan, there is a covenant that requires us to maintain 90-days cash on hand for the life of the loan.    

Benchmarking is important to an organization to be able to assess its risk by identifying and quantifying data in comparison to industry standards (Cimasi, 2004).  Cimasi (2004) explains this can include financial ratio analysis or operational performance tools and can be measured in the following:  liquidity, leverage, activity, and profitability.  Benchmarking is one of the more effective means to pull data out a healthcare system that will help to provide information about future performance and financial condition (Cimasi, 2004). 

Randolph 

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How does benchmarking or a balanced scorecard contribute to understanding the finances of an organization?

Having a balanced scorecard can be very beneficial in understanding the finances of an organization. Benchmarking is the continuous process of measuring products, services, ad activities against the best levels of performance as stated by Baker and Baker. These benchmarks are used to help measure performance gaps. Benchmarking can help an organization by making sure employers are staying on task and paying attention to detail when working through their daily routine, which obviously aids in productivity. Having a quality measure of services and products helps organizations budget and make financial moves. There are four different types of bench marks discussed in our book; internal, functional, competitive, and generic. All four of these play a different role but can all be very beneficial to an organization. Being able to measure internal and external factors helps an organization reach its max potential.

Reference

Heard 

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Our reading states that benchmarking is the continuous process of measuring products, services, and activities against the best levels of performance (Baker, 2014). They are used to measure performance gaps. Effective benchmarking is more than comparative analysis of quantitative measures from one company to another. I believe that benchmarking is a widely-spread management tool that is extremely effective.

 Our reading states that there are three types of benchmarks (Baker, 2014)

1. A financial variable reported in an accounting system

2. A financial variable not reported in an accounting system.

3. A non-financial variable.

The balanced scorecard provides a framework for managers to use in linking different types of measurements together. This approach measures what the customers receive, which includes time, quality, performance and service, and cost (Baker, 2014).

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