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EBC's Benchmarking approach

In order to support water- and waste water utilities in their continious effort to improve their services, EBC offers several benchmarking programmes. Benchmarking is a continuous, cyclical process supported by structured data collection and data analysis. 

EBC’s benchmarking- and improvement programme offers participants a comprehensive analysis of the performance its utility in comparison with colleague utilities from across Europe. This “fitness check” helps participants finding improvement areas and -priorities in a structured and objective way. 

Furthermore, the programme offers - based on the analysis - an opportunity to improve by learning from best practices and innovations from EBC’s extensive European utility network.

EBC's benchmarking programmes are fully aligned with the IWA/AWWA-benchmarking framework, which distinguishes between performance assessment and performance improvement. 

Performance assessment 

The basis of proper performance assessment lies with good data quality and availability. Within the benchmarking programmes several checks and balances are incorporated to increase the data quality.

The assessment is focused on operationalizing the internal utility processes into performance indicators (PI’s). This is done by collecting an extensive set of input variables (V’s) and context information (CI’s).

These PI’s comply with IWA's Performance Indicator System as much as possible. Moreover, as EBC has more than 10 years of benchmarking experience this set PI’s is extended to accommodate demands of participating utilities. By clear definition of every PI, EBC enables standardization throughout all participants and the different programmes.

The PI’s of all participating utilities within a programme are compared. The resulting graphs and figures offer insight in own performances and an overview of the performance of fellow peer utilities.

Performance improvement 

Key for improvement is the access to the big network of utilities operating in the same sector facing similar challenges and opportunities.

The assessment offers insight in which areas utilities excel and where possible performance gaps exist. Improvement results from interaction and exchange of experiences and best practices between the utilities in the network. Utilities identified as best performers in specific areas can serve as best practice for the other utilities.

To improve, it is important to set targets and track the development over time. Targets can be linked to group averages or results of best performers.