Increases in productive efficiency enable cost cutting without compromising the quality and the volume of the output that is produced. SLab develops and applies tools to measure performance (including online tools) and carries out comparative efficiency studies between similar production/service units (e.g. retail outlets, bank branches, schools, hospitals, etc.). These studies make it possible to achieve efficiency gains and to identify the most efficient units (benchmarks) that may be used as references or best practices sites.
Examples of questions that can be addressed through projects in this area:
- Which business units present the best practices and the biggest problems?
- What is the ideal size of each production unit?
- Which targets should be set for each production unit?
- Which indicators should be systematically computed to monitor the performance of production units?
- How to integrate various indicators in one aggregate performance indicatorfor a firm or a sector of activity?
- Which is the best system to manage the units’ performance?
- How to streamline internal learning based on the results obtained from monitoring indicators?
- How to ensure that the operational indicators of each unit are in line with the strategic goals of the organisation?
Examples of projects that were conducted or are being conducted by SLab:
- Development of an online platform for Hospital benchmarking – HOBE – to support hospital management (project funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology);
- Development of a web platform for the benchmarking of Portuguese schools – available here. (project funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology);
- Development of hospital performance measures in the treatment of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) – in cooperation with Aston University, United Kingdom;
- Comparative assessment of the performance of the business units of several firms (e.g. a Portuguese bank, a water utility in the UK, a retailer in Portugal, etc.);
- Comparative analysis of the existing and potential suppliers of a national distribution firm, to support supplier selection;
- Analysis of the implementation of an integrated performance management system in a service provider firm in the automotive sector;
- Implementation of Internal Control mechanisms in the National Health System Central Administration.