Objectives In the laboratory medicine segment, benchmarking is the process in which institutions seek to compare with the macro environment (performance comparison and best practices with different laboratories) and improve their results based on quality indicators. The literature has highlighted the vulnerability of the pre-analytical phase in terms of risks and failures and the use of interlaboratory comparison as an opportunity to define a strategic performance benchmark aligned with the laboratory medicine sector, which has been a promising strategy to ensure continuous improvement, identifying within the pre-analytical process the critical activities to guarantee patient safety. In this context, this paper aims to present the three-year experience (2016–2018) of the Benchmarking Program and Laboratory Indicators – in Portuguese, Programa de Benchmarking e Indicadores Laboratoriais (PBIL) – with emphasis on pre-analytical indicators and their comparison against literature references and other programs of benchmarking in the area of laboratory medicine. PBIL is organized by the Brazilian Society of Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine (SBPC/ML) in conjunction with Controllab and coordinated by a Brazilian group with representatives from different countries. Methods The data presented in this paper involving the performance results of 180 laboratories with active participation. Results are presented in percentage (%, boxplot graphical in quartiles) and Sigma metric, recognized as the metric that best indicates the magnitude of failures in a process. The Pareto Chart was used to facilitate ordering and to identify the main errors in the pre-analytical phase. The Radar Chart was made available in this work for the purpose of comparing the results obtained in Sigma by the PBIL and IFCC Working Group Laboratory Errors and Patient Safety (WG LEPS). Results In the study period, just over 80% of the pre-analytical failures are related to Blood culture contamination (hospital-based and non-hospital-based laboratories), Recollect and Non-registered exams, with failure rates of 2.70, 1.05 and 0.63%, respectively. The performance of the PBIL program participants was in line with the literature references, and allowed to identify benchmarks in the laboratory medicine market, target of PBIL, with best practices were observed for some indicators. Conclusions The results of the program demonstrate the importance of an ongoing program comparative performance-monitoring program for setting more robust goals and consequently reducing laboratory process failures. Even with these promising premises and results, the contextualized analysis of the program indicators, point to a still significant number of failures in our market, with possibilities for improvement in order aiming to ensure more robust and effective processes.