Create performance standards for operational effectiveness of a pricing program, define business rules for back-office operations, and refine operations practices based on needs.
Experience from road pricing programs in Europe and Asia
- Create performance standards for operational effectiveness. Performance standards ensure operational effectiveness through requirements in system design and procurement, as well as in service-level agreements for operations. Performance standards cover a wide range of operating interests. For roadside operations, they often address system and roadway availability, traffic data capture requirements, and image reject rates of video equipment. For back office operations, typical performance standards include the error rate in invoicing, call center customer wait times, unprocessable image rates, and uncollectable transactions. The best practice in pricing programs is to establish service-level agreements with both external contractors and internal agency service providers to maintain operating performance with financial incentives. Careful selection of performance standards is critical to ultimate outcomes. Systems that have emphasized accuracy and availability over financial performance have experienced high-cost operations with redundant systems and processes.
- Define business rules for back-office operations. Best practice for back office operations depends on translating operating concepts into clear business rules and refining practices based on operating experience. Business rules are the foundation of successful back office operations. Agencies involved in their development and refinement tend to gain advantages in managing operating performance and costs. For instance, Stockholm’s move to a complete video-based system has resulted in 47 business rules governing the optical character recognition aspects of image processing, driving performance in accuracy and collections. Germany’s decision to outsource the entire toll operation to Toll Collect has resulted in good system and operating performance, but relatively high operating costs.
- Refine operation practices based on experience and need. Many programs have found the need to refine operating practices after implementation to manage costs more effectively. Over time, this has resulted in contractor changes in several pricing programs to best meet the operational and technical requirements at a competitive cost. London and Stockholm have both recently changed operators, while Germany and the Czech Republic face long-term contracts that provide less flexibility for managing operating costs more effectively. Stockholm has also adopted a policy of insourcing that seeks to identify elements of the operation that may be managed with effective performance and lower costs by in-house resources rather than by outside services.
Author: Robert Arnold, Vance C. Smith, John Q. Doan, Rodney N. Barry, Jayme L. Blakesley, Patrick T. DeCorla-Souza, Mark F. Muriello, Gummada N. Murthy, Patty K. Rubstello, Nick A. Thompson
Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT
Source Date: 12/01/2010URL: http://international.fhwa.dot.gov/pubs/pl10030/pl10030.pdf
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