HOW TO USE MARKET RESEARCH AND QUALITY TECHNIQUES TO MANAGE MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) has had a maintenance management system for a number of years. In the 1980s, we were collecting data on labor, equipment and materials to determine what our various activities cost us. As time went by, our list of activities grew. In an attempt to help us better determine our costs, we complicated the process for our highway maintenance workers by giving them too many activities to choose from. As the list of choices grew, the quality of the data decreased. We found ourselves generating a lot of reports but using very little as a management tool. In the early 1990s, we formed a steering committee to address the problem. Rather than just look at data integrity, we asked ourselves "why are we collecting the data at all". We decided to start over. We would attempt to look at the process from our customers' (the driving public) viewpoint and focus on the outcomes of what we do as opposed to the internal focus we had been taking by only looking at inputs. We began by developing a mission statement and defining the products and services which we provide. We then developed internal indicators which would tell us how well we are delivering our products and services. We did both qualitative and quantitative market research. The qualitative research was to verify our list of products and services. The quantitative market research told us what is important to our customers and how well we are doing in delivery. We made changes in our operations to better meet our customers' expectations. We developed an Operations Management System to track our direct costs and determine productivity rates. Finally, we are using these data to benchmark and to look at best practices and to ultimately measure "value added" to the customer.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 8p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00763122
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MQI-007
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Apr 22 1999 12:00AM