1. What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a long-proven process of measuring the performance of one enterprise
against a set of similar enterprises. The intent is to improve your performance
by modeling the best in class approaches of the comparison group. Traditionally
benchmarking exercises used small numbers of comparison companies and were snapshots
in time, leading to incomplete and obsolete data in short order. Club Benchmarking
(CB) applies the benchmarking model to the private club segment in a more effective
manner by aggregating a large number of clubs and an always current database of
2. What is Club Benchmarking?
CB is a network of clubs who all anonymously share financial and operational information. Each club can then benchmark their own performance against the performance of all or some of the member clubs. As a result CB helps you understand, manage, and improve the financial and operational performance of your own club. Many think the goal of benchmarking is to ensure you are within the norms. Our view is the goal is to understand the norms so you can leap beyond to a new level.
3. How does Club Benchmarking work?
CB allows your club to benchmark financial and operational performance against
other clubs. CB has developed a large set of measurable performance metrics.
These metrics indicate the overall performance of your club and the performance
of the departments within the club (eg. membership & dues, club operations, course
maintenance, food & beverage, pro shop, outside functions). When your club joins
CB, data is entered for some or all of the metrics. You can then compare your performance
metrics against all, or a subset, of the database of clubs. Benchmarking results
are presented in rich graphical Executive Dashboard reports. You instantly see where
your club sits on the performance curve. You can compare your club against the full
database or filter the data to compare against clubs similar to yours based on geography,
dues and fees, membership size and other key factors.
4. Can other clubs see my club data?
No, you are the only one who can see your specific club data. CB members can only
see aggregated club data and cannot match data to any specific club. When using
the benchmarking filters, a minimum of ten clubs of aggregated data is presented
to protect the information of any single club.
5. Why would I want to benchmark my club against other clubs?
Most clubs are making the best decisions they can with the information they have.
However given the right information clubs could improve their management performance.
Benchmarking leads you down the desirable path of Understanding, Managing, and finally
Improving your operational and financial performance. Boards and managers face a
number of difficult circumstances served well by effective benchmarking:
5.1 Boards and managers tend to look inward in their decision-making.
Planning and managing in a vacuum is probably leaving opportunity for better decisions
5.2 Decision making in member run clubs is difficult due to a
lack of objective data, resulting in decisions based on "feeling" over "fact."
5.3 The macroeconomic and demographic factors over the next several
years will increase the pressure on clubs to make informed financial decisions.
Demographics are causing a reduced pool of potential members and the economy will put pressure on prospective members. Clubs must know how they rate in critical areas such as membership
and dues and fees relative to their peers.
5.4 It is often difficult to communicate to the membership at
large regarding challenging decisions. Precise data can overcome this difficulty.
6. What benefits can I expect as a CB member?
Joining CB delivers the following benefits:
6.1 Better and more objective decisions.
6.2 A common language for board members to discuss club management.
6.3 An objective foundation to communicate with membership.
6.4 Better understanding of your own club's management and performance.
6.5 Improved organizational behavior and "politics" by applying
6.6 Strike the right financial balances between membership, maintenance,
food & beverage, etc.
6.7 Spend more wisely and identify areas for increased revenue and reduced expenses.
6.8 Compete more effectively for new members.
6.9 Access to the network of other CB members for ad-hoc knowledge
7. How is the comparison data displayed?
CB includes a rich set of graphical reports on the overall club performance and
on each department. CB has a powerful built-in automated report generator. Reports
are just a click away. Being able to deliver reports to the right people in the
right format is critical. Reports can be viewed online, saved as PDFs, printed emailed,
8. Can I select what clubs to compare to?
Yes. You can filter the database in two ways. You can select specific club attributes(geography, club size, common
facilities, etc.) for comparison. For instance, You may want to look at clubs in
your state with similar fees and dues. Filtering gives you the ultimate benchmarking
tool where you decide the most important comparison factors. Based on requests from our members, you can also select from the list of member clubs and pick specific clubs (minimum of five) for benchmarking. We call these groupings - Peer Clusters. Creating Peer Clusters gives you complete control and maximizes the value of benchmarking woth CB.
9. What if I need information not covered by a CB metric?
We view the CB membership as having "ownership" of the metric set. After all, who
can better define the specific benchmarking needs than our members. As a CB member
you will have the ability to influence the product direction including features
and new metrics. We will have planned updates for new/revised metrics and for new
reports. Also, CB has a unique inter-club discussion tool called ClubConnect used
for sharing and communicating within the CB member network. See ClubConnect
FAQ for details.
10. How often does the data change?
The CB database is always current and growing. As new clubs join, more data is
entered and the power of your benchmarking grows. Yearly data is retained allowing
you to look at multi-year trends. Some of the metrics are measured quarterly where
greater precision is needed.
11. What data do I need to supply?
The CB metrics are comprised of both financial an operational data. Generally the
information is readily available from income statements, balance sheets, and department results. On average a controller requires 4 hours to gather the annual metric data and about 25 minutes to enter the data in CB.
12. How do I enter and manage my club information?
Ease of use is one of our main drivers and we are confident that anyone who can
use email and the internet will be able to fully utilize all the aspects of CB.
You can enter and manage your data online, or you can print and fax metric worksheets
and we will enter your data for you.
13. What happens when a new year arrives?
When you complete a new fiscal year your old data remains in place. For instance
when 2009 is complete you simply select "2009" on your club metrics page and enter
the data. The earlier data stays in place allowing for multi-year benchmarking.
14. Can more than one person from our club use the system?
Yes, you can have multiple login permissions to CB. Users can be granted access
to all areas of CB or to selective areas based on their role in the club.
15. Is my club information safe?
Yes, protecting data is paramount to us. The CB database is protected by the latest
firewalls and encryption algorithms.
16. How do I join?
CB is purchased on an annual membership basis. Contact Us to learn more.