Benchmarks Inc. (BMI) is the corporate vehicle through which Thomas J. Scanlon, its founder and president, has met the needs of an impressive list of clients for over 50 years. He has done so with highly professional consultants and a modest staff.
Benchmarks serves a select number of clients at any one time. It develops effective, long term relationships. Presently, the company’s clients include four who have retained its services for 30 years, and two who have been with BMI for 20 years.
When Benchmarks Inc. was incorporated in 1970, the term “benchmark” was not widely used. It was a technical engineering term used by surveyors in measuring altitude on buildings or pillars. Since then it has become a very common and popular term for describing “something that serves as a standard by which others may be measured or judged.” (Merriam-Webster)
Benchmarks Inc.’s name originated from its experience in evaluating social development programs in the early 1970s. Borrowing the term from the surveyors and engineers, it pioneered "benchmark studies" that measured the success of social programs with a journalistic, common sense approach. These benchmark studies made creative programmatic suggestions as well as evaluative judgments useful to both the operating agency and the funding institution. As a result of successes with this innovative approach to evaluation, clients sought out Benchmarks not only for studies, but also for creative ideas and the ability to implement them.
Benchmarks is committed to providing high-quality, personalized services to each client. It does not offer a particular “expertise” or consulting specialty. It has achieved a variety of goals for its clients depending on their specific needs, though many of its accomplishments have been based on the ability to get things done in Washington.
Looking over the past 50 years, however, BMI’s capabilities fall in to four categories: international trade, networking, non-profit management and advocacy. A brief summary of the highlights of BMI's performance in these areas is detailed below. For further information, please see “Benchmarks, 50 years of Accomplishments."
Listen to President John F. Kennedy’s speech about Mr. Scanlon WAV
Read reviews of Mr. Scanlon’s book, “Waiting for the Snow” PDF
Download the Benchmarks Corporate History PDF