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Benchmarking is the process of comparing performance against the practices of other leading companies for the purpose of improving performance, identifying differences, recognizing opportunities for growth or assessing one's position within the current market. Companies also benchmark internally by tracking and comparing current performance with past performance. Benchmarking seeks to avoid or overcome complacency, and to improve any given business process by exploiting best practices rather than merely measuring the best performance. Best practices are the cause of best performance. The four typical phases in a benchmarking process are planning, analysis, integration and action.