Procuring, Managing, and Evaluating the Performance of Contracted TMC Services
While performance measurement can and has been applied to many areas of transportation, the focus on outsourced operations is the critical focus for this discussion. As time has progressed, the use of outsourcing has increased as a method for accomplishing many of the traditional tasks within a TMC. Outsourcing has also been utilized as a means of maintaining quality while reducing costs. The question or concern has always been how to maintain or even increase the quality of the service while accomplishing management and/or reduction in costs. The development and use of a stringent performance monitoring program can help in both objectives, by providing for measurable goals, objective analysis of the supporting data, and a continuous evaluation process for improving the service in question.
As discussed in Chapter 1, typical outsourcing functions could include
daily TMC operations,
hardware and software support/upgrades,
roadside component/ device maintenance and repairs,
communications installation/upgrade and maintenance,
traveler information / 511 systems,
preventative maintenance, and
The use of outsourcing, by definition, means that an evaluation process of contractor work efforts should take place. Basing this process on performance measurement allows an evaluation to take place on a consistent and rigorous manner, regardless of the TMC employee conducting the evaluation. It allows for consistency over time, improvements over time, trend analysis, and also forces the TMC to analyze the goals of their services and develop specific, measureable, objectives.
Types of Services to Monitor
This chapter will not detail which specific services or activities a TMC should monitor. With each TMC having some element of uniqueness in terms of the area it serves, the type of travel, and the methods it employs to accomplish its daily activities, specifying exactly what services should be monitored is simply not feasible. Those are decisions best left for each individual TMC in the implementation of their program.
What is possible, however, is to provide general guidance for the TMC in terms of how to implement performance monitoring to support outsourcing.
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