Best Fit or Best Practice? - Ascendis Solutions

Best Fit or Best Practice?

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Best Fit or Best Practice?

This is a topic I've covered more extensively in HR but applies in many business areas. How do you choose the processes and policies for your business... the best fit for your business or the best industry practice?

What's the difference?

Best practice is a general approach, a business format for operating. It may be a set of methods, tools and the application of these that are recommended as the best practice to be taken. For instance, it might be the way you handle stock management, the ordering, way it's turned over, how much you hold and the software you use to do it all. The idea is that certain practices will ultimately result in better performance regardless of the business, and should be applied in almost all cases.

Best fit is more flexible, taking into account your business, your team, your products, services and point of difference. It may look at others and consider the way processes and policies are formed elsewhere but decides to adapt and customise any of these in a way that fits your business rather than having your business adapt to best practices. This can be more involved, more costly to establish but may also contribute to your competitive advantage.

Did Henry Ford apply best fit or best practice?

It's safe to say he would never had made the leaps and bounds in industry if he'd followed what others showed as best practice. He looked at his own operation, the market and how he could best deliver a better product to a greater market whilst looking after his employees. He tackled it in a way that best fit his own strategy. They were intrinsically linked, his strategy and his processes.

So should you look at the best fit?

Not necessarily. You should identify where competitive advantages can be gained, where your strengths and opportunities lie. If there's not a great advantage for you, nothing forming a part of your strategy it may be best to go with the best practice for that business aspect. Focus on your differences and how to make the most to gain that advantage over your competitors.

If you're not sure where to start, what to look for or consider, we'd suggest a simple SWOT and PESTLE analysis else drop us a line for a hand.

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