The term “benchmarking” has a long history and is well recognized, however, unfortunately, this has had little application in pest management practices in a direct fashion  according to the basic principles of benchmarking.  There has been a long history of application of good practices to pest “control” or now more commonly referred to as Pest Management in terms of good practices. An example of this is the publication of Best Practices of Bed Bug Management by the National Pest Management Association.  There also have been excellent publications about best practices in professional texts on pest management such as Ebeling, Mallis, Trueman’s (with links and full titles) as well as a variety of smaller guides.  Although these are of great value, they do not address many issues of key importance in good pest management service delivery. There has been a long history of budgetary pressures on both clients and service providers which have resulted in very low standards of service delivery as an outcome of a low price failed promise kind of services that are too common. This has also resulted  in poor practices with higher use of pesticides especially in low income housing.  The goal of reducing use of pesticides in schools by leading scientists in Pest Management has addressed some of these issues in an environment in which it is much less difficult to control pests than in housing, but has also shown the difficulties involved in change. Benchmarking in pest management is therefore an important function so that successes in implementing best practices which will cost more than low budget substandard pest control, can be shown, and the benefits such as significant reduction in use of pesticides are realized. Comparison studies have demonstrated this by showing dramatic reduction of pesticides in a particular school district, but benchmarking enables a comparison of an organization’s pest control program to those of others, and is therefore both a means of evaluating good performance and showing deficiencies for improvement.  Following is the basic definition of Benchmarking by Wikipedia.

One of the goals of IPM Consultancy is to enable benchmarking of pest management practices in a variety of establishments such as schools, housing including senior housing and nursing homes, hospitality industry and health care including hospitals and other care facilities.

Our goal is to enable organizations to benefit from input of data into benchmarking studies on a confidential basis and gain the benefit of basic benchmarking results as well as the option of contracting consultative services to improve their pest management programs.

?As defined in Wikipedia

“Benchmarking is the process of comparing one's business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practices from other industries. Dimensions typically measured are quality, time and cost. In the process of benchmarking, management identifies the best firms in their industry, or in another industry where similar processes exist, and compare the results and processes of those studied (the "targets") to one's own results and processes. In this way, they learn how well the targets perform and, more importantly, the business processes that explain why these firms are successful.

The term benchmarking was first used by cobblers to measure people's feet for shoes. They would place someone's foot on a "bench" and mark it out to make the pattern for the shoes. Benchmarking is used to measure performance using a specific indicator (cost per unit of measure, productivity per unit of measure, cycle time of x per unit of measure or defects per unit of measure) resulting in a metric of performance that is then compared to others.

Also referred to as "best practice benchmarking" or "process benchmarking", this process is used in management and particularly strategic management, in which organizations evaluate various aspects of their processes in relation to best practice companies' processes, usually within a peer group defined for the purposes of comparison. This then allows organizations to develop plans on how to make improvements or adapt specific best practices, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance. Benchmarking may be a one-off event, but is often treated as a continuous process in which organizations continually seek to improve their practices.”

Unfortunately,  benchmarking  of pest management is not often used by most organizations.  An example of the use of a benchmarking process which highlighted some serious deficiencies in hospital infection control was a comparison of rates of infection between hospitals that used a checklist process system to ensure infection control measures were being implemented and those in which there was no process of checklists. The results showed a dramatic difference in favour of the checklist process and has resulted in this process being considered a mandatory practice in most hospitals.  As will be explained in section on the importance of data collection of services and conditions, the analysis of specific elements of service provision as well as conditions can make the difference between success and failure of a pest control program, and these are essential elements of Integrated Pest Management.