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MUNICH, May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Private equity firms that have greater experience investing in software companies capture higher returns than those that invest in such companies opportunistically, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. What sets the more experienced investors apart is their superior understanding of how to create value in the software industry. The report, titled Cracking the Code in Private Equity Software Deals, is being released today. Like other investors, PE firms have been attracted to software companies by the potential for profitable growth and high valuation multiples. As a share of their total investments, PE firms’ investments in software companies increased from 4% in 2007 to 8% in 2016. The number of annual acquisitions more than doubled, from 228 in 2007 to 481 in 2016. Returns from software acquisitions have generally outperformed the market. Software deals exited by PE firms from 1998 through 2012 outperformed the median internal rate of return of other industries (excluding high tech) by 9 percentage points and the median IRR of high-tech deals by 11 percentage points. However, the study found that expertise in software deals makes a tremendous difference. Among the PE firms doing software deals: In deals with available performance data, serial investors outperformed the median IRR of other industries (excluding high tech) by 15 percentage points; experienced investors outperformed by 20 percentage points. In contrast, opportunistic investors, outperformed by only 2 percentage points. “Serial and experienced investors typically apply a rigorous proprietary playbook to create value at software companies, addressing a distinct set of industry-agnostic and software-specific levers,” says Nicolas Hunke, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report. “Four software-specific value creation levers typically applied are sales and pricing initiatives, changing to a cloud-based software-as-a-service offering, productization, and state-of-the-art software engineering.” The importance of knowing which levers to apply is especially relevant given that a new wave of software companies, funded by venture capital investors, is expected to reach the market during the next five years. The study estimates that VC firms will exit their late-stage investments in more than 900 software companies, with PE firms acquiring approximately 200 of them. Given the median holding period for software investments of 4.2 years, there will also be an increase in software deal exits by PE firms during the next five years, bringing additional software companies to the buyout market. “Although investments in software companies have the potential to generate high returns, success is far from assured,” says Tawfik Hammoud, a BCG senior partner and a coauthor of the report. “PE firms just getting into the game must rapidly crack the code of software deals by understanding how to both target the best opportunities and create value at a company once it is part of the portfolio.” A copy of the report can be downloaded here. To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com. About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. About HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management Founded in 1898, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management was the first business school in Germany. Currently, HHL is one of the country’s leading graduate schools, offering a variety of academic executive programs for different graduate degrees, including MSc, MBA, and PhD. The Center for Corporate Transactions, headed by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schwetzler, is HHL’s major research unit in the field of mergers and acquisitions and private equity. It is designed to bring together scientists of HHL and its research partners working in the areas of corporate finance, accounting, law, and game theory to analyze and discuss problems in corporate transactions. For more information, please visit www.hhl.de/finance. About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


MUNICH, May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Private equity firms that have greater experience investing in software companies capture higher returns than those that invest in such companies opportunistically, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. What sets the more experienced investors apart is their superior understanding of how to create value in the software industry. The report, titled Cracking the Code in Private Equity Software Deals, is being released today. Like other investors, PE firms have been attracted to software companies by the potential for profitable growth and high valuation multiples. As a share of their total investments, PE firms’ investments in software companies increased from 4% in 2007 to 8% in 2016. The number of annual acquisitions more than doubled, from 228 in 2007 to 481 in 2016. Returns from software acquisitions have generally outperformed the market. Software deals exited by PE firms from 1998 through 2012 outperformed the median internal rate of return of other industries (excluding high tech) by 9 percentage points and the median IRR of high-tech deals by 11 percentage points. However, the study found that expertise in software deals makes a tremendous difference. Among the PE firms doing software deals: In deals with available performance data, serial investors outperformed the median IRR of other industries (excluding high tech) by 15 percentage points; experienced investors outperformed by 20 percentage points. In contrast, opportunistic investors, outperformed by only 2 percentage points. “Serial and experienced investors typically apply a rigorous proprietary playbook to create value at software companies, addressing a distinct set of industry-agnostic and software-specific levers,” says Nicolas Hunke, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report. “Four software-specific value creation levers typically applied are sales and pricing initiatives, changing to a cloud-based software-as-a-service offering, productization, and state-of-the-art software engineering.” The importance of knowing which levers to apply is especially relevant given that a new wave of software companies, funded by venture capital investors, is expected to reach the market during the next five years. The study estimates that VC firms will exit their late-stage investments in more than 900 software companies, with PE firms acquiring approximately 200 of them. Given the median holding period for software investments of 4.2 years, there will also be an increase in software deal exits by PE firms during the next five years, bringing additional software companies to the buyout market. “Although investments in software companies have the potential to generate high returns, success is far from assured,” says Tawfik Hammoud, a BCG senior partner and a coauthor of the report. “PE firms just getting into the game must rapidly crack the code of software deals by understanding how to both target the best opportunities and create value at a company once it is part of the portfolio.” A copy of the report can be downloaded here. To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com. About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. About HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management Founded in 1898, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management was the first business school in Germany. Currently, HHL is one of the country’s leading graduate schools, offering a variety of academic executive programs for different graduate degrees, including MSc, MBA, and PhD. The Center for Corporate Transactions, headed by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schwetzler, is HHL’s major research unit in the field of mergers and acquisitions and private equity. It is designed to bring together scientists of HHL and its research partners working in the areas of corporate finance, accounting, law, and game theory to analyze and discuss problems in corporate transactions. For more information, please visit www.hhl.de/finance. About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


MUNICH, May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Private equity firms that have greater experience investing in software companies capture higher returns than those that invest in such companies opportunistically, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. What sets the more experienced investors apart is their superior understanding of how to create value in the software industry. The report, titled Cracking the Code in Private Equity Software Deals, is being released today. Like other investors, PE firms have been attracted to software companies by the potential for profitable growth and high valuation multiples. As a share of their total investments, PE firms’ investments in software companies increased from 4% in 2007 to 8% in 2016. The number of annual acquisitions more than doubled, from 228 in 2007 to 481 in 2016. Returns from software acquisitions have generally outperformed the market. Software deals exited by PE firms from 1998 through 2012 outperformed the median internal rate of return of other industries (excluding high tech) by 9 percentage points and the median IRR of high-tech deals by 11 percentage points. However, the study found that expertise in software deals makes a tremendous difference. Among the PE firms doing software deals: In deals with available performance data, serial investors outperformed the median IRR of other industries (excluding high tech) by 15 percentage points; experienced investors outperformed by 20 percentage points. In contrast, opportunistic investors, outperformed by only 2 percentage points. “Serial and experienced investors typically apply a rigorous proprietary playbook to create value at software companies, addressing a distinct set of industry-agnostic and software-specific levers,” says Nicolas Hunke, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report. “Four software-specific value creation levers typically applied are sales and pricing initiatives, changing to a cloud-based software-as-a-service offering, productization, and state-of-the-art software engineering.” The importance of knowing which levers to apply is especially relevant given that a new wave of software companies, funded by venture capital investors, is expected to reach the market during the next five years. The study estimates that VC firms will exit their late-stage investments in more than 900 software companies, with PE firms acquiring approximately 200 of them. Given the median holding period for software investments of 4.2 years, there will also be an increase in software deal exits by PE firms during the next five years, bringing additional software companies to the buyout market. “Although investments in software companies have the potential to generate high returns, success is far from assured,” says Tawfik Hammoud, a BCG senior partner and a coauthor of the report. “PE firms just getting into the game must rapidly crack the code of software deals by understanding how to both target the best opportunities and create value at a company once it is part of the portfolio.” A copy of the report can be downloaded here. To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com. About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. About HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management Founded in 1898, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management was the first business school in Germany. Currently, HHL is one of the country’s leading graduate schools, offering a variety of academic executive programs for different graduate degrees, including MSc, MBA, and PhD. The Center for Corporate Transactions, headed by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schwetzler, is HHL’s major research unit in the field of mergers and acquisitions and private equity. It is designed to bring together scientists of HHL and its research partners working in the areas of corporate finance, accounting, law, and game theory to analyze and discuss problems in corporate transactions. For more information, please visit www.hhl.de/finance. About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


MUNICH, May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Private equity firms that have greater experience investing in software companies capture higher returns than those that invest in such companies opportunistically, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. What sets the more experienced investors apart is their superior understanding of how to create value in the software industry. The report, titled Cracking the Code in Private Equity Software Deals, is being released today. Like other investors, PE firms have been attracted to software companies by the potential for profitable growth and high valuation multiples. As a share of their total investments, PE firms’ investments in software companies increased from 4% in 2007 to 8% in 2016. The number of annual acquisitions more than doubled, from 228 in 2007 to 481 in 2016. Returns from software acquisitions have generally outperformed the market. Software deals exited by PE firms from 1998 through 2012 outperformed the median internal rate of return of other industries (excluding high tech) by 9 percentage points and the median IRR of high-tech deals by 11 percentage points. However, the study found that expertise in software deals makes a tremendous difference. Among the PE firms doing software deals: In deals with available performance data, serial investors outperformed the median IRR of other industries (excluding high tech) by 15 percentage points; experienced investors outperformed by 20 percentage points. In contrast, opportunistic investors, outperformed by only 2 percentage points. “Serial and experienced investors typically apply a rigorous proprietary playbook to create value at software companies, addressing a distinct set of industry-agnostic and software-specific levers,” says Nicolas Hunke, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report. “Four software-specific value creation levers typically applied are sales and pricing initiatives, changing to a cloud-based software-as-a-service offering, productization, and state-of-the-art software engineering.” The importance of knowing which levers to apply is especially relevant given that a new wave of software companies, funded by venture capital investors, is expected to reach the market during the next five years. The study estimates that VC firms will exit their late-stage investments in more than 900 software companies, with PE firms acquiring approximately 200 of them. Given the median holding period for software investments of 4.2 years, there will also be an increase in software deal exits by PE firms during the next five years, bringing additional software companies to the buyout market. “Although investments in software companies have the potential to generate high returns, success is far from assured,” says Tawfik Hammoud, a BCG senior partner and a coauthor of the report. “PE firms just getting into the game must rapidly crack the code of software deals by understanding how to both target the best opportunities and create value at a company once it is part of the portfolio.” A copy of the report can be downloaded here. To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com. About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. About HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management Founded in 1898, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management was the first business school in Germany. Currently, HHL is one of the country’s leading graduate schools, offering a variety of academic executive programs for different graduate degrees, including MSc, MBA, and PhD. The Center for Corporate Transactions, headed by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schwetzler, is HHL’s major research unit in the field of mergers and acquisitions and private equity. It is designed to bring together scientists of HHL and its research partners working in the areas of corporate finance, accounting, law, and game theory to analyze and discuss problems in corporate transactions. For more information, please visit www.hhl.de/finance. About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


MUNICH, May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Private equity firms that have greater experience investing in software companies capture higher returns than those that invest in such companies opportunistically, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. What sets the more experienced investors apart is their superior understanding of how to create value in the software industry. The report, titled Cracking the Code in Private Equity Software Deals, is being released today. Like other investors, PE firms have been attracted to software companies by the potential for profitable growth and high valuation multiples. As a share of their total investments, PE firms’ investments in software companies increased from 4% in 2007 to 8% in 2016. The number of annual acquisitions more than doubled, from 228 in 2007 to 481 in 2016. Returns from software acquisitions have generally outperformed the market. Software deals exited by PE firms from 1998 through 2012 outperformed the median internal rate of return of other industries (excluding high tech) by 9 percentage points and the median IRR of high-tech deals by 11 percentage points. However, the study found that expertise in software deals makes a tremendous difference. Among the PE firms doing software deals: In deals with available performance data, serial investors outperformed the median IRR of other industries (excluding high tech) by 15 percentage points; experienced investors outperformed by 20 percentage points. In contrast, opportunistic investors, outperformed by only 2 percentage points. “Serial and experienced investors typically apply a rigorous proprietary playbook to create value at software companies, addressing a distinct set of industry-agnostic and software-specific levers,” says Nicolas Hunke, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report. “Four software-specific value creation levers typically applied are sales and pricing initiatives, changing to a cloud-based software-as-a-service offering, productization, and state-of-the-art software engineering.” The importance of knowing which levers to apply is especially relevant given that a new wave of software companies, funded by venture capital investors, is expected to reach the market during the next five years. The study estimates that VC firms will exit their late-stage investments in more than 900 software companies, with PE firms acquiring approximately 200 of them. Given the median holding period for software investments of 4.2 years, there will also be an increase in software deal exits by PE firms during the next five years, bringing additional software companies to the buyout market. “Although investments in software companies have the potential to generate high returns, success is far from assured,” says Tawfik Hammoud, a BCG senior partner and a coauthor of the report. “PE firms just getting into the game must rapidly crack the code of software deals by understanding how to both target the best opportunities and create value at a company once it is part of the portfolio.” A copy of the report can be downloaded here. To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com. About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. About HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management Founded in 1898, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management was the first business school in Germany. Currently, HHL is one of the country’s leading graduate schools, offering a variety of academic executive programs for different graduate degrees, including MSc, MBA, and PhD. The Center for Corporate Transactions, headed by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schwetzler, is HHL’s major research unit in the field of mergers and acquisitions and private equity. It is designed to bring together scientists of HHL and its research partners working in the areas of corporate finance, accounting, law, and game theory to analyze and discuss problems in corporate transactions. For more information, please visit www.hhl.de/finance. About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management’s agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG’s extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm’s founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content—including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports—can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Stach J.,Leipzig Graduate School of Management
Journal of Brand Management | Year: 2015

Companies wishing to engage in multisensory marketing by adding previously unused sensory modalities to their brands need to ask how their brand identity translates into these unoccupied modalities. Identifying brand identity congruent sensory modalities in a unisensory fashion is not helpful as multisensory interaction effects change their meaning. Furthermore, existing sensory evaluation techniques do not meet the requirements of marketing managers to serve this purpose. This article addresses this gap by first analysing a multisensory marketing strategy of adding previously unused sensory modalities to an existing brand. Theory supports this strategy, because it enhances the recognition, evaluation and memory of the brand and lets the brand profit from multisensory enhancement. Paramount for this strategy to work is to guarantee the congruency between the newly added sensory modalities with the existing ones of the brand and the brand personality. Therefore, as a second goal, this article proposes a conceptual framework to assess the congruency of sensory modalities in a multisensory semantic context. A three-step process is presented that draws on evaluation techniques used to assess congruency in psychology and the sensory evaluation of food. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.


Schweinitz A.,Leipzig Graduate School of Management
International Conference on the European Energy Market, EEM | Year: 2015

This article focuses on how to ensure resource adequacy in Germany during the transition period away from a conventional towards a renewable based electricity supply system. Sufficient thermal capacity is currently in place, as the market has not seen a full investment cycle since the liberalization in the late 1990s. Renewable production is subsidized with a feed-in tariff reducing running hours of thermal plants significantly. Power plant owners are not responsible for resource adequacy and only keep profitable capacity available. Thermal plants are still required to balance demand and the fluctuating renewable supply. The author formulates a self-selective quantity based capacity market as safety net, which supports the ambitious climate protection targets and ensures resource adequacy. This is achieved by preferring thermal capacity with low carbon dioxide emissions and high load gradients, while assigning accruing costs on a costs-by-cause principle to the non-steerable renewables. © 2015 IEEE.


La Mura P.,Leipzig Graduate School of Management
Topics in Cognitive Science | Year: 2014

We discuss the possible nature and role of non-physical entanglement, and the classical vs. non-classical interface, in models of human decision-making. We also introduce an experimental setting designed after the double-slit experiment in physics, and discuss how it could be used to discriminate between classical and non-classical interference effects in human decisions. © 2013 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.


Brandenburger A.,New York University | Mura P.L.,Leipzig Graduate School of Management
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2016

We study team decision problems where communication is not possible, but coordination among team members can be realized via signals in a shared environment. We consider a variety of decision problems that differ in what team members know about one another's actions and knowledge. For each type of decision problem, we investigate how different assumptions on the available signals affect team performance. Specifically, we consider the cases of perfectly correlated, i.i.d., and exchangeable classical signals, as well as the case of quantum signals. We find that, whereas in perfect-recall trees (Kuhn 1950 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 36, 570-576; Kuhn 1953 In Contributions to the theory of games, vol. II (eds H Kuhn, A Tucker), pp. 193-216) no type of signal improves performance, in imperfect-recall trees quantum signals may bring an improvement. Isbell (Isbell 1957 In Contributions to the theory of games, vol. III (edsMDrescher, A Tucker, PWolfe), pp. 79-96) proved that, in non-Kuhn trees, classical i.i.d. signals may improve performance. We show that further improvement may be possible by use of classical exchangeable or quantum signals. We include an example of the effect of quantum signals in the context of high-frequency trading. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Von Eiff W.,Leipzig Graduate School of Management
Advances in Health Care Management | Year: 2015

Purpose-Hospitals worldwide are facing the same opportunities and threats: the demographics of an aging population; steady increases in chronic diseases and severe illnesses; and a steadily increasing demand for medical services with more intensive treatment for multi-morbid patients. Additionally, patients are becoming more demanding. They expect high quality medicine within a dignity-driven and painless healing environment. The severe financial pressures thatthese developments entail oblige care providers to more and more cost-containment and to apply process reengineering, as well as continuous performance improvement measures, so as to achieve future financial sustainability. At the same time, regulators are calling for improved patient outcomes. Benchmarking and best practice management are successfully proven performance improvement tools for enabling hospitals to achieve a higher level of clinical output quality, enhanced patient satisfaction, and care delivery capability, while simultaneously containing and reducing costs. Approach-This chapter aims to clarify what benchmarking is and what it is not. Furthermore, it is stated that benchmarking is a powerful managerial tool for improving decision-making processes that can contribute to the above-mentioned improvement measures in health care delivery. The benchmarking approach described in this chapter is oriented toward the philosophy of an input-output model and is explained based on practical international examples from different industries in various countries. Findings-Benchmarking is not a project with a defined start and end point, but a continuous initiative of comparing key performance indicators, process structures, and best practices from best-in-class companies inside and outside industry. Benchmarking is an ongoing process of measuring and searching for best-in-class performance: • Measure yourself with yourself over time against key performance indicators • Measure yourself against others • Identify best practices • Equal or exceed this best practice in your institution • Focus on simple and effective ways to implement solutions Comparing only figures, such as average length of stay, costs of procedures, infection rates, or out-of-stock rates, can lead easily to wrong conclusions and decision making with often-disastrous consequences. Just looking at figures and ratios is not the basis for detecting potential excellence. It is necessary to look beyond the numbers to understand how processes work and contribute to best-in-class results. Best practices from even quite different industries can enable hospitals to leapfrog results in patient orientation, clinical excellence, and cost-effectiveness. Originality/value-Despite common benchmarking approaches, it is pointed out that a comparison without "looking behind the figures" (what it means to be familiar with the process structure, process dynamic and drivers, process institutions/rules and process-related incentive components) will be extremely limited referring to reliability and quality of findings. In order to demonstrate transferability of benchmarking results between different industries practical examples from health care, automotive, and hotel service have been selected. Additionally, it is depicted that international comparisons between hospitals providing medical services in different health care systems do have a great potential for achieving leapfrog results in medical quality, organization of service provision, effective work structures, purchasing and logistics processes, or management, etc. © 2015 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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