With nearly 1,000 companies vying for business in North American traffic management, the ability to respond quickly in the face of urgency is a key differentiator amongst the competition. It is so essential that DOTs and owners typically establish on-going, long-term relationships with providers that demonstrate their ability to own and control traffic in urgent situations.
Rapid response means that you have the right information to make quick decisions. Accurate and timely information about project priorities, resource allocation, and safety risks are critical to success. There is a wide array of events that could initiate the need for rapid response, each requiring a unique approach:
|UNPLANNED CUSTOMER REQUESTS||EMERGENCIES|
|Delays Delays||Electrical, Gas, Water|
|Unscheduled Deliveries||Natural Disasters|
|Paving Issues||Wildfires, Landslides, Avalanches|
|Coordination Failures||Road hazards|
|Accidents, Spills, Debris|
There are several steps you can take to improve your company’s ability to cater to rapid response situations and ultimately increase your competitiveness.
1. Understand your resource availability at any given moment
Ask yourself: how many message boards are available for use right now? How about attenuator trucks? How many people are available to respond if something happened this moment? How do I document what I did so I can get paid as quickly as possible. If you are unable to think of that information in an instant or pull it up in another, it is possible that your current inventory or scheduling system is falling short.
Your equipment and workforce sit at the core of your operations and your ability to take on any work. By understanding your equipment and manpower availability, you can quickly shape your approach to a spontaneous request.
2. Implement a clear plan or workflow
Your team should know what to expect when something urgent arises and understand the chain of command. If you already have a plan in place, make sure the information is easily accessible.
3. Establish a means for reliable, efficient communication
How can you quickly communicate to the crews where they are supposed to be? How many times have you called a crew member with critical information only to reach their voicemail? While phone calls can work as a means for communication, they can also waste valuable time and limit your ability to coordinate. With evolving situations, quickly and reliably transferring information directly impact your success.
4. Anticipate changes and challenges
The key to proper rapid response traffic control is not just responding quickly; it requires adapting to changing circumstances and communicating accordingly. Your teams will need to anticipate and communicate changes and potential problems, and you can help get them in the practice by asking them precautionary questions.
Reflection and reiteration will have a considerable effect on improving your rapid response process. While each situation is different, you should work to set measurable goals based on previous performance. For example, your team might aim to get crews and equipment out to a site within 15 minutes of a vehicle accident.
6. It’s okay to say no
While you may want to jump on every rapid response opportunity, strive to accept requests you know you can manage. Set service level expectations with your customers up front. Your business may experience negative effects if you attempt to stretch beyond your current capabilities, like damage to your reputation or increasing risks to people’s safety.
Managing moving parts
These may seem like a monster to manage on top of all other operations, but there are tools that can do the heavy lifting for you. As you look for solutions, keep in mind that tools are an investment in your business: the right ones will bring noticeable returns in productivity and efficiency.
Assignar’s platform is an all-in-one tool that can help traffic services providers manage their operations, improve rapid response, and scale. Count on robust features, like comprehensive scheduling & look ahead, digital forms, workforce and equipment management.
In a rapid response situation, Assignar helps you to send your most qualified teams and reliably share information across your team in an instant so you can:
- Control and avoid escalation
- Maintain safety
- Work quickly
Our traffic service providers know they can count on Assignar. Explore the features that make Assignar a core part of their business. Request a demo today.