Benchmarking Surveys - Are They Worth Your Time?

By Nick Schmoyer, Vice President and Technical Director at Inspectioneering. August 25, 2017

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” -Sherlock Holmes

How do you make decisions in regards to your mechanical integrity program? Do you refer to relevant codes and standards? Do you attend industry meetings, trade shows, or similar events? Do you refer to trade publications such as this one? Do you pick up the phone and contact your site SME? Or, do you shoot an email to a few of your friends at nearby sites?

There is plenty of value in advice. Word of mouth has historically been one of the best channels to disseminate information. But, have you ever considered using benchmarking data – the cold, hard facts?

Inspectioneering is in a unique position in that we have an active, engaged mechanical integrity audience with the vast majority of oil & gas and chemical facilities across the world. Furthermore, our audience is thirsty for knowledge; after all, we work in an incredibly knowledge-intensive field. We owe many thanks to our authors – those who volunteer their limited free time to translating their expertise into Inspectioneering Journal articles. That said, there are other ways we can leverage our community to provide information to our audience.

This is what we’re trying to achieve with Inspectioneering's Benchmarking Surveys and Reports. We want to gather cold, hard facts from owner/users and package them in meaningful, actionable reports. We want to find out the issues, challenges, and problems that keep our audience awake at night, find out what practices are being used to address these challenges, and provide insights on said challenges.

Put another way, what is (or is not) the industry doing to solve a given problem?

For example, in our most recent benchmarking survey covering the subject of Risk-Based Inspection program implementation and management, we discovered that while the vast majority of RBI practitioners are generally happy with their programs post-implementation, many found the initial implementation phase to be time-consuming and challenging; many others described the difficulty in getting buy-in from the various interested and semi-interested stakeholders. These “discoveries” may or may not be obvious to anyone who has worked with RBI in any way, but now we have proof.

Are you interested in participating in upcoming surveys and seeing what others are doing? Sign up for our weekly email newsletter ( and we’ll let you know as soon as the next survey is available. Are you interested in working with Inspectioneering to solve a challenge or find answers to a nagging issue? Get in touch with me ( and I’ll happily work with you to develop a future benchmarking survey.

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