Addressing capital project performance issues through highly focused industry consortia & committees.


The Industry Benchmarking Consortium (IBC) is a voluntary association of owner firms in the chemical, petroleum, minerals processing, food and consumer products, pharmaceutical and biotech, and forest products industries that have employed IPA’s quantitative benchmarking approach. The members have agreed to support the continuous improvement of capital processes through measuring and comparing performance metrics to improve the effectiveness of their project systems.

The IBC represents companies in manufacturing and process industries who are committed to driving more responsible capital stewardship and ultimately, sustainable business growth. It’s a unique congregation of companies, many of whom are direct competitors, yet all of whom are committed to improvement and sharing the data that drive better business and more responsible industry development. As an independent third-party, IPA is the research organization that aggregates those confidential data, performs the requested analytics, and supports data-driven implementation of the research recommendations.

IBC membership supports this common goal by providing:

  1. a shared platform for industries to pool funding for research,
  2. access to the annual competitive positioning of all consortium members on the basis of capital effectiveness, and
  3. dedicated time and support for mapping the pathway to improvement.

The IBC provides an independent forum for each participating company to view its performance against other companies' performance on the key metrics of project system performance such as cost control, schedule, Front-End Loading (FEL), and many others. This comparison enables each company to see where it is situated in relation to its peers. The consortium highlights Best Practices used and reinforces their use to improve capital effectiveness. During the consortium meetings, attendees learn ways to improve specific elements of capital project execution through presentations and face-to-face discussions.

IBC, which is sponsored by IPA as an independent third party, is governed by a Code of Conduct, and carefully adheres to its published agenda. The IBC Charter requires adherence to the Code of Conduct, and has been agreed to and strictly followed by all members. Therefore, the IBC easily passes muster on antitrust.

The IBC agenda is developed with the guidance and input of the IBC Steering Committee. The centerpiece of each consortium is the sharing of outcomes and practices of the participating project systems. IBC has two metrics sessions. The first is a plenary session during which industry trends and overall metrics are highlighted. We then break out into smaller groups by industry segment to discuss metrics in more detail. Each group sees the metrics for all IBC companies. Additional metrics for the specific industry sectors are presented in each group to allow for more intense metrics discussions and to present practices that are more specific to a given industry segment.

The annual IBC meeting is held every spring, which includes Plant-Based Projects (turnarounds and small projects). A separate annual meeting for the Upstream Industry Benchmarking Consortium (UIBC) is held each fall. In addition, IPA hosts conferences for subcommittees of the IBC, including the Cost Engineering Committee (CEC) and the Upstream Cost Engineering Committee (UCEC).


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