Benchmarking for Walmart

Weekly Readings and Videos

Key Retail Benchmarks. (n.d.).

2017 Retail, Wholesale, and Distribution Industry Outlook. (2017) Deloitte Center for Industry Insights

How to Perform Gap Analysis and Create Gap Documents. (n.d.).

Gap Analysis Template: The 3 Key Elements of Effective Gap Analysis. (2020, Feb).

The Complete Guide to Gap Analysis. Weller, J. (2018, Oct 17).

Comprehensive Guide to Retail Store Operations: Today and in the Future. Eby, K. (2021, Jul 19).

How To Set Long-Term Goals In Business. Tracy, B. (n.d.).

Thriving on Change: Creating a Gap Analysis. (3:02). Key Step Media. (2015, May 28).



Performance analysis is used to help managers mitigate business risks and take advantage of business opportunities. Developing information by using tools such as benchmarking and gap analysis enables managers to engage in goal setting so business success can be achieved. However, it is difficult to set achievable goals without a clear understanding of the performance standards that apply to your specific industry.


Find an article about a company that has used industry benchmarking to make strategic changes in their own planning. Look for a different retailer (not your own which is Walmart) or other business success story of best practices that has used benchmarking to develop their competitive advantage.

  1. Describe how the use of industry standards impacts the goal setting process.
  2. Are there other types of information that would be helpful when setting performance goals?
  3. What is the importance of industry benchmarking?

Include a reference and link to your article in your post.



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Benchmarking is one of the most utilized strategies for improving organizational efficiency through comparison. Erdil and Erbiyik (2019) define benchmarking as the act of comparing an organization’s practices against those of a considered industry leader, and using the information from the industry leader’s success to improve efficiency. Thus, benchmarking is a comparison with an established successful organization and adoption of the relevant practices to improve self. Large organizations such as Walmart, Amazon and Rakuten use benchmarking to consistently improve their effectiveness.

Industry standards, established through benchmarking in the most successful organizations, are critical for the goal-setting process. Executives model their objectives to align with those of the successful players. Thus, industry standards are used as the skeleton upon which success strategies are modelled. According to Erez (2015), people are likely to have a better sense of direction, higher energy and increased enthusiasm when they work towards highly-set goals. The high goals are set according to the industry standards and serve as motivation for success.

There are other types of information useful in setting performance goals. Perhaps the most critical information to consider is employee performance. According to Akinlabi, Dogo and Asikhia (2021), employee performance directly affects the organization’s success. Thus, any goals must factor in the employees’ ability to achieve them considering their documented performance levels. The authors further aver that employee performance can be enhanced through measures such as ranking and using a results-based system, but such methods also depend on the employees’ position, task and target.

Industry benchmarking is a tool for continuous improvement. Erdil and Erbiyik (2019) contend that the purpose of benchmarking is to compare against the best in the industry, identify and fill gaps to ensure improvement. Balamurugan and Poongodi (2016) suggest that industry benchmarking enables an organization to identify best practices by industry leaders, adopt and implement the practices to develop a competitive edge.

Link to sample benchmarking article:




Akinlabi, B. H., Dogo, E. B., & Asikhia, O. (2021). Goal setting and employee performance: A study of Southwest Universities’ registry workers in Nigeria. GSJ9(2).

Balamurugan, K., & Poongodi, P. (2016). A Study on Benchmarking: Importance of Benchmarking Process in Service Marketing. Journal of Business and Management (IOSR-JBM) e-ISSN, 01-03.

Erdil, A., & Erbıyık, H. (2019). The importance of benchmarking for the management of the firm: Evaluating the relation between total quality management and benchmarking. Procedia Computer Science158, 705-714.

Erez, M. (2012). Make management practice fit national cultures and the global culture. Handbook of principles of organizational behavior: indispensable knowledge for evidence‐based management, 615-632.


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