The benchmark system provides a tool to benchmark the organisation against international best practices. 

It describes the steps towards improvement through 5 levels in each Key, with the use of practical, easy to use checksheets and picture based maps.

Over the period of its existence ODI has successfully implemented continuous business improvement principles in a wide variety of industries.  We have developed a systematic improvement framework for a number of clients, to guide their improvement drive globally, using examples relevant to their industry and company, and also using the clients’ look and feel.


  • De Beers Consolidated Mining

  • Cadbury Schweppes plc

  • Foskor Mining

  • SARS (South African Revenue Service)

  • Sasol

  • Morupule Coal Mine, Botswana


  • Implement best practices to achieve world class, operational excellence.
  • Achieve the strategic goals of the business.
  • Improve the speed of learning and innovation of the business.
  • Identify and eliminate all forms of waste (non value-adding activities) to improve customer satisfaction and market share by making products and services better, faster and cheaper.
  • Energise and motivate all employees to work towards the achievement of goals.
  • Improve productivity, profitability and the long-term sustainable competitiveness of the business.


  • Comprises of 20 very practical and synergistically integrated key methods required to strengthen the organisation's delivery system, focusing on making products and services better, faster and cheaper.
  • 20 Keys is the roadmap towards a World Class company.
  • Creates a common vision of the where we are (AS-IS) and where we want to be (TO-BE) as well as establish common language for improvement.
  • A well-proven methodology for sustainable business improvement.
  • A comprehensive benchmarking system, used in-house to monitor improvement progress that utilises visual descriptions (maps) and detailed checksheets to depict the levels of improvement towards world-class performance.
  • Involves everyone in the organisation on all levels and functions.
  • Builds upon and strengthens current initiatives (ISO, HACCP, 6 Sigma, Lean, CRM, etc.).


20 Keys involves all employees in the accomplishment of the overall company goals - improved quality, reduced costs, improved delivery (throughput time) and service, high morale and a safe work environment. Many companies report significant improvements in terms of,

  • productivity increases (up to 200%),
  • reduction of defects / errors (up to 80%),
  • reduction of inventory / WIP (up to 50%),
  • significant cost reductions (up to 20% overall),
  • strengthening the skills of all employees,
  • improved morale,
  • better communication and an understanding of the business goals and issues influencing those goals, with an overall benchmark score improvement of 20 – 40 points over a three year period.