Depiction of Performance, Productivity and Efficiency

Performance, Productivity and Efficiency

Benchmarking and assessing your operations

Operating efficiently is critical to the success and survival of any organisation. As such, monitoring and benchmarking performance is critical to an organisation seeking to operate effectively.

In regulated sectors, it’s the role of companies, regulators, and courts to identify and quantify potential improvements through performance benchmarking and productivity analysis. In competitive sectors, market forces should compel firms to operate at the highest level and improve productivity—but even in markets where there is competitive pressure, benchmarking can be used to help organisations to create or maintain a competitive edge.

Importantly, benchmarking is not just about assessing the scope for efficiency and productivity improvements—it’s about arriving at the fundamentals of operations underpinning performance at the firm and sector level, which can be used to guide them to improved productivity and aid business transformation.

For regulated firms, benchmarking and productivity analysis can provide a powerful tool to mimic the role of competition. Even in markets that are theoretically competitive, benchmarking and productivity analysis can also play a central role in business transformation, assessment of competitive tendering and efficiency, development or scrutiny of an efficiency defence in competition inquiries, due diligence exercises, and building a business case for mergers and acquisitions and other structural reorganisations, etc.

Setting the benchmark for decades

Oxera’s performance, productivity, and efficiency experts have been at the forefront of theoretical and applied developments in benchmarking, efficiency modelling, and productivity analysis for over 30 years.

We’ve worked extensively on developing and applying robust approaches to identifying and promoting efficient operations, and can use these to help you identify gaps in your working practices and reach optimal performance. The identification of best practice, and the assessment of how best practice will improve, can be used to directly set targets either for internal use or for submissions to the regulator.

We deliver compelling economic reports to competition authorities, regulators, and courts across Europe and beyond, and across sectors—including water, energy, communications, transport, and health.

We also have significant experience of providing expert evidence on performance issues across jurisdictions. We work at every level of the regulatory process, from the design and implementation of best-practice regulatory frameworks to engagement with regulators and regulated companies during price reviews and regulatory disputes.

In non-regulatory contexts, we advise companies and authorities on market power assessment, contract evaluation, review of business operations, and development and review of the efficiency defence argument, and help to identify internal, national, and international best practice for operational improvement.

We bring together academic and technical rigour from internationally renowned experts and practitioners in the field. Our team has published several influential books and over 300 peer-reviewed articles, having helped to develop many of the frameworks, economic models, and specialist software used in this area.

Experience counts

Our experience of helping companies through cost and performance assessments spans decades, and includes:

  • every major price control process since the privatisation of UK utilities in the 1980s and 1990s, including the majority of regulatory appeals and inquiries by the UK Competition Commission and the Competition and Markets Authority
  • several international benchmarking studies in multiple sectors, including the recent pan-European Transmission Cost Benchmarking Project (TCB18) undertaken on behalf of participating European companies
  • comparison studies in various sectors (e.g. distribution, water, transmission, transport), covering the majority of EU member states

Meanwhile, we help regulators to evaluate the efficiency of sectors and the management of operational and capital programmes, including developing incentives for efficiency improvements in regulatory contexts. Our experience in shaping regulatory frameworks across Europe and beyond gives us a unique understanding of the wider regulatory framework in a diverse range of jurisdictions.

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