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Success story

Competitive Analysis Benchmarking – Automotive OEM

ICG designed the current Competitive Analysis Benchmarking (CAB) process for Ford Motor Company. This process delivers realistic competitive vehicle information to engineering teams challenged by ever-increasing cost, weight, and functional targets. Ford’s CAB has repeatedly delivered substantial returns for car, truck, and SUV platforms.

View Automotive Benchmarking Pictures.


Benchmarking is the practice of being humble enough to admit that someone else is better at something and being wise enough to succeed in matching and even surpassing the competition.

ICG follows Richard D’Aveni’s “New 7S Framework,” an extension of the McKinsey 7S model, when delivering both our benchmarking and corporate consulting work. D'Aveni's fundamental model states that strategic competition is war. And, while combat tactics may include embracing strategic alliances -- even Co-opetition, it leaves little room for complacence. ICG helps clients contend with today's more competitive environments and render the environment more competitive in order to catch their opponents “flat-footed” by concentrating on specific attributes:

  • Stakeholder Satisfaction
  • Strategic Soothsaying (good sense of where the world is going)
  • Speed
  • Capability to Surprise rivals
  • Ability to Shift the Rules of competition
  • Capable Signaling
  • Simultaneous and Sequential Strategic Thrusts (creating momentum and follow-on)
This approach excels in fast moving markets where organizations need speed, agility and capacity for coping with uncertainty.

Within this framework, benchmarking involves ten steps: identify what’s to be compared; identify comparative companies; determine data collection method and collect data; determine performance “gaps;” define future performance levels; communicate benchmark findings to the organization; establish goals to be attained; develop plan; implement and monitor progress; and recalibrate benchmarks.

When clients attempt quantum performance changes that “break the mold” of their products, we coach the client’s internal culture through the transformation with education encouraging adoption of the change effort rather than rejection of both the change and the change agents.

Automotive benchmarking

ICG designs benchmarking processes for automotive systems and components to address cost, weight, function, quality, manufacturability, packaging, serviceability, commonality, warranty, durability, and customer satisfaction.

Individual design teams examine their specific subsystems, such as headliners or instrument panels across competing badges that possess applicable technology or packaging. Cross-functional teams examine entire sections of competing vehicles, such as door systems, fold-flat seat systems or A-pillar forward, using a systems approach to scrutinize multiple characteristics.

View Automotive Benchmarking Pictures.