Xerox Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a systematic management style that measures a company's processes, structures, products, and services against a performance giants such as Toyota. Benchmarking allow organizations to determine their strengths and weaknesses through comparisons and implemention of enabling changes. Xerox has employed benchmarking strategies against many companies; however, the company is yet to enjoy the Toyota’s Production System (TPS) and lean enterprise solutions. In its fight against competition and its continuous improvement,  Xerox need to borrow Toyota’s lean enterprise initiatives and best practices and integrate in its processes. Additionally, Xerox hopes to expand its market through improved services and customer satisfaction in the digital world.  By implementation Toyota’s lean production approach, Xerox stand to gain in its production and management processes.

Xerox and Toyota Production Background

Toyota Motors is known as the king of Total Quality Management and lean management approaches. Based on the Fortune Global 500, Toyota stands at number ten as the most important company owing to its lean production system. Toyota has received numerous prestigious awards due to its performances such as the Japan Quality Control Award of 1970 and the Deming Application Price in 1965 (Chiarini, 2012). Toyota’s TQM was founded on the concept of kaizen (continuous improvement, customers’ first, and total participation) (Chiarini, 2012). The company as well uses such tools as Creative Idea Suggestion System and Statistical Quality Control (Moore, Nancy, Cox, & Grammich, 2012). The concepts are at the core of Toyota Production System (TPS). They have resulted to higher quality production and continuous growth in Toyota. Toyota production strategies has won admiration among many companies, some of which have borrowed the Toyota Way and implemented them in their system.

Xerox invented its first photocopier in 1959 and maintained the copiers’ virtual monopoly for several years. The brand, “Xerox” developed into a generic for all photocopiers. However, around 1981, Xerox market shrunk to 35% when IBM and Kodak entered the marked with new better products (Ellis, 2006). At the same time, Savin, Canon, and Richo was sweeping the lower market segment (Ellis, 2006). The company was in danger of losing its market share.

It was during the 1980s when Xerox first implement quality improvement plan, which not only ensured survival of the company, but also led to tremendous progress in production progress. It was the first time the copier giant adopted Benchmarking Program. Through benchmarking, Xerox focused on critical processes and not the finished products (Ellis, 2006). The company gained conscious on the importance of process improvement than focusing on the finished products.

Both Xerox and Toyota share the goals of quality production and the need for continuous growth. While Toyota demonstrates high level of quality management and improvement, Xenox still relies on benchmarking to succeed in the industry. From its experiences, Xerox’s benchmarking strategies have illustrated that organization processes are not unique to any particular company and can be adopted with ease to meet various needs. Xerox believes that the strategy offers a breakthrough to production challenges that it still faces.

Xerox benchmarked many companies both internally and externally. One of the companies it benchmarked was L.L.Bean, a company that was selling catalogs. The benchmarks improved Xerox quality by two-thirds, resulted in a fall in manufacturing cost by half, task development by two-thirds, direct labor dropped by 50%, while corporate staff was reduced by 35%, but volume steadily increased (Ellis, 2006). Based on its past benchmarking experience, Xerox stands to gain from Toyota Motors’ lean enterprise system.

The lean enterprise has gained popularity in many organizations including those in the construction industry. By adopting the lean enterprise system, Xerox will gain from the management practice and knowledge of continuous learning and improvement. Additionally, Xerox will embrace the culture of lean management, which is its core value is waste reduction while maximizing quality output. Since the company has rolled out several benchmarking, it will not suffer many change implementation challenges.

Adopting Toyota’s Production System (TPS) and lean enterprise solutions will lead to a lot of production improvement in Toyota. TPS will result to cultural change, a culture of quality focus and lean management. The culture will result to efficient management of Xerox structure, processes, and output (Moore, Nancy, Cox, & Grammich, 2012). TPS will enhance Xerox organizational performance. The organization will be able to determine performance gaps and fill them with the best improvement strategies. The gaps will work as avenues for action plans and improvement at every organization management and production level. The result will be improved individual and group participation. Benchmarking from Toyota will provide Xerox will the best human resource management options. It will improve training since employees will be able to not gaps and identify avenues of filling them. To close such gaps, organization will need to train its people to meet the required standards. Xerox through benchmarking will be able to inculcate organization values which promote quality improvement. Once the values are developed, the organization will be able to promote its quality production along the structures, process, and outcome.


Chiarini, A. (2012). Lean Metric, Lean Accounting and Value Stream Accounting. Lean Organization: from the Tools of the Toyota Production System to Lean Office Perspectives in Business Culture, 117-140. doi:10.1007/978-88-470-2510-3_7.

Ellis, C. D. (2006). Joe Wilson and the creation of Xerox. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Moore, Y., Nancy, G., Cox, A., & Grammich, J. (2012).  Supplier Relationship Management at     Army Life Cycle Management Commands: Gap Analysis of Best Practices. Retrieved: