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I would like to acknowledge the help and support of the people who helped me with my work on this book.

I would like to thank Edward Selig, senior program director for the American Management Association, who helped me to develop the design of the benchmarking course, which ultimately led to the writing of this book. Ed has a knack for getting people excited about a good idea, and his techniques of persuasion worked wonders for me. I would also like to thank Myles Thompson, my AMACOM acquisitions editor, who supported my writing efforts and left many motivational messages on my answering machine during the course of production. Ed and Myles were not only helpful as managers and editors of my work, they were also helpful as friends. I would also like to thank Kate Pferdner, who managed the editing process, for her patience and persistence.

I would like to thank Brien Lowenthal and Neil Thompson of The Benchmark Partners in Oak Brook, Illinois, for their ideas and support during the production of the book. Both Brien and Neil have been working with me to help organizations implement the benchmarking process, and our emphasis has been on the need to “do it right the first time.” Our hope is that this book will help organizations to do just that.

Finally, I owe a great deal to the dedicated quality specialists, benchmarking experts, managers, and employees of the following organizations, who gave of their time, their interest, and their insights to make this book possible:

  Allied Signal
  Bell Atlantic
  Digital Equipment Corporation
  Eastman Kodak
  E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc.
  Florida Power & Light
  Hughes Aircraft
  John Deere
  Johnson & Johnson
  L. L. Bean
  Procter & Gamble
  Square D

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