Benchmark vs. KPI: How Do You Differentiate?

Benchmark vs. KPI—you use them both, but can you really tell the difference between them? You are not alone; leaders across the world have the same confusion. A KPI measures internal performance based on the company objectives. Benchmarks are industry parameters that help understand your organizational performance compared to competitors. Want more details? Bernard Marr shares how you can differentiate the two popular indicators—benchmark vs. KPI in his blog article.

Benchmark vs. KPI—Tell Them Apart

There are distinct markers between the two parameters—benchmark vs. KPI. Learn how to figure out the differences here:


You mainly use benchmarks for customer experience, company costs, product and service quality, and task completion time. You are compared to your rivals so that you can come up to speed when possible. It also enables you to understand where you must focus while moving up the ranks of becoming a market leader. There are four types of benchmarks:

  • Internal: With this, you can compare different warehouses that have the same processes.
  • Competitive: This defines where you stand as compared to your competitors’ performance.
  • Functional: The functional comparison can occur between two different organizations or companies with the same function in other industries.
  • Generic: You can compare your practices and processes with companies across industries.

You can either buy benchmarks or create them in-house. If you are doing it individually, collect industry data and compare it with yours to properly analyze.


Key performance indicators (KPIs) focus on how an ‘individual, business unit, project and company performs against their strategic goals,’ says Marr. These help managers and leaders gauge their progress toward achieving their goals.

To make a direct distinction—benchmark vs. KPI, KPIs rely on benchmarks to set targets and milestones. For instance, your goal is to improve your customer experience, so you use the net promoter score KPI to measure your performance in the customer satisfaction space. To set the right milestone, you collect the benchmarked NPS scores of your competitors.

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