Benchmarking is in important tool for firms looking to continuously improve their own processes. The obvious advantage of benchmarking is that a firm is able to copy and imitate the characteristics of another firm's successful process, so that those acceptable results may be acheived. One of the disadvantages is that a similiar process may deviate even slightly from firm to firm, so to merely copy another firms's best practice may not be wise.
Benchmarking is a widely accepeted method of process improvement, yet a firm may encounter resistance when enquiring about benchmarking another business entity. Many companys consider their successfull processes as assets, and would be relectant to share details in order to protect such assets.