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World class standards help us compete

World class standards help us compete

Benchmarking is an important issue for economic development because it is about understanding both what it takes to be the best in your field, and what it means to be a world class performer, Jim Anderton said at the 'Benchmarking for Best Practice' conference in Auckland today.

"It is my job as economic development minister to lift the performance of the New Zealand economy. We can't expect to do that by selling more of the things that the rest of the world sells, and doing things the same way as them. We have to aim to sell something better, and to have better processes.

"If we want to compete, we have to be able to demonstrate to potential business partners that our standards measure up to the best in the world, and in crucial respects, exceed them.

"For example, the New Zealand wood processing industry was able to attract global business partners by showing how New Zealand pine exceeded the quality of alternative options such as Nordic pine. Now, Danish furniture makers, Zenia House have formed a joint venture with Fletchers in New Zealand to use our pine. We can compete on quality, not only in film as shown by Lord of the Rings, but in everything we do," said Jim Anderton.

The Ministry of Economic Development has developed a simple benchmarking tool, available on the Ministry's website. Firms can use it to compare their own practices and operational outcomes against the average practices for firms of a similar size in their industry.

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