An AHP approach in
performance of the
Felix T.S. Chan and H.K. Chan
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering,
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
Henry C.W. Lau
Department of Industrial Systems Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic
University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, and
Ralph W.L. Ip
Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management,
City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong,
People’s Republic of China
Purpose – To develop a new benchmarking process for continuous improvement against the market
leader, and report a case study in the postal industry by employing the proposed benchmarking
Design/methodology/approach – A double AHP methodology is developed in this paper to divide
benchmarking process into two main parts: performance evaluation and continuous improvement.
Both qualitative and quantitative factors have been taken into consideration. The ﬁrst phase aims at
evaluation of the performance of the benchmarked company and its competitors. The second phase
aims at ﬁnding the best practice from a list of improvement alternatives based on the ﬁrst phase.
Findings – The proposed framework can evaluate the performance of the case company against its
competitors. It can also help the company to select the best improvement alternative for
implementation in order to enhance its performance on the weakest measures.
Originality/value – The proposed benchmarking process in this paper can help the case company to
identify its weaknesses and then select the best improvement alternative in order to improve its
performance against the market leader. Although the postal industry is used to demonstrate the
proposed framework, it can be applied to other industries with a little modiﬁcation.
Keywords Benchmarking, Analytical hierarchy process, Postal services
Paper type Research paper
Postal service plays a signiﬁcant role in the development as a leading commercial and
ﬁnancial region, providing communications between individuals, business and
government. In the past, the postal industry used to involve physical transportation of
physical communication, like package and mail delivery (Gru
nert and Sebastian, 2000).
However, the industry has evolved to include traditional post, courier services, freight
services and e-services in recent years. Emerging technology based on the convergence
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Benchmarking: An International
Vol. 13 No. 6, 2006
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