Procuring, Managing, and Evaluating the Performance of Contracted TMC Services
of TMC services and functions. These tools, collectively described as “work analysis” in Transportation Management Center Staffing and Scheduling for Day-to-Day Operations (), are critical in looking at how TMC services are performed and include:
Job analysis to define work elements and staff attributes needed to successfully fulfill job duties; these may change depending on conditions at a specified time (peak hours versus middle of the night);
Workload analysis to determine and optimize employee performance requirements; considers how human factors are impacted by workload and attention requirements within the TMC environment;
Task allocation for specific work assignments; considers whether a particular employee can successfully perform assigned tasks; and
Demand analysis to determine scheduling requirements based on anticipated work patterns and historical patterns.
When considering outsourcing, there is usually a sensitivity to cost. However, evaluations of cost-effectiveness of outsourced to in-house activities can be difficult to quantify accurately. Should the agency compare direct costs for labor, equipment, and overhead between the private and public sectors? How should life-cycle costs (which include current and long-term costs) be considered? The private sector allows for staffing flexibility, but public sector positions and their associated costs are generally permanent. Time for project delivery may also be a factor since the private sector can add and remove resources to meet deadlines where the public sector does not usually have this flexibility. Cost is certainly a factor, but there may be no other way to deliver the project services: the benefit of outsourcing is the ability to meet workload and schedule requirements as well as the access to special skills and equipment more readily available in the private sector.
The key to effective and successful outsourcing relies on how clearly the project goals and objectives match up with the procurement type to be used and which contractor is selected. Another important factor is the ability of agency personnel to manage the contracted staff.
There is no set formula for how many employees or resources are needed in a TMC; the number is determined based on judgment of how to most effectively run the TMC facility and provide the desired services. The various functions supported by the TMC and their associated workload have a great influence on staff and resource levels. Factors that can influence TMC staffing and resource requirements include budget, hours of operation, coverage areas, reliability and complexity of field devices, and facility standardization for control equipment (e.g., TMC software) as well as amount and complexity of technologies used, type and stability of communications systems, integrated versus nonintegrated systems, information sharing requirements and other institutional arrangements with other agencies, operational strategies
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