Incorporate contractual provisions to conduct on-site traffic signal hardware and software demonstration testing and provide sufficient project oversight to ensure vendors meet agency requirements.
Experience implementing an ATMS in Fort Collins, Colorado.
When working with hardware and software vendors, the City of Fort Collins offers the following lessons learned:
- Conduct all product testing and demonstrations in the location where the product has to work. Having vendors show their product at their facility means little when the equipment will not work on-site. In contractual agreements, it is important to make sure vendors prove their products will do what they say by testing their products on-site. It is also important for the implementing agency to learn, as much as possible, about vendors' products in order to test them appropriately. The electronics environment within transportation infrastructure is becoming very high-tech, very detailed, and very complicated, making it very difficult to be knowledgeable of all facets of the equipment available for meeting customers' needs unless the product demonstration tests are conducted on-site with due diligence.
- Be aware that vendors may over-promise and under-deliver. Almost all the vendors offering products or services employed on the project promoted the impressive capabilities of their products and services. Yet vendors could not actually meet their commitments. Frequently, products and services fell short of their touted capabilities. Some vendors' contracts had to be terminated because their products or services failed to perform as contracted, or even, in one case, failed to perform at all.
It is particularly important that a good client-vendor relationship be built where project goals are understood and effective communication is established. This relationship should begin when defining system requirements and should continue through implementation and system acceptance.
For successful deployment of an advanced traffic signal system, the agencies should be aware of the tendency for some vendors to over-promise and under-deliver. Therefore, the contractual agreements between an agency and a vendor must include provisions requiring the vendor to ensure the system meets the agency’s requirement by performing system demonstration tests on-site before the system is deployed. Well-written contracts and prudent vendor oversight are essential in order to ensure productivity and customer satisfaction in an ATMS project implementation.
Published By: RITA ITS JPO
Source Date: 24 June 2008
EDL Number: 14452URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/30000/30500/30591/14452.pdf
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