Evaluating Total Cost of Ownership for E-Citations

by The Source on August 18, 2011 · 0 comments

in Government,ScanSource POS & Barcode,Vertical Markets

Guest Contributor: Dan Bodnar, Director of Product Management, Intermec

Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO, is often considered for e-citation applications in large part due to the mission-critical nature of law enforcement.

Here are some key takeaways around TCO:

  • First, a critical aspect of any successful TCO analysis needs to include the business elements of TCO. These include anticipated length of deployment and planned replacement cycles, failure rates and causes of failure, the opportunity cost of lost productivity—to name a few.Of equal importance to TCO is an analysis of the end user’s needs based on their work flow and work environment.
  • Second, to determine “true” TCO, it is imperative to consult both hard (or direct) and soft (or indirect) costs.Downtime costs, including any productivity loss and lost revenue streams, factor in here. VDC’s research shows that over 70 percent of the cost of owning a mobility solution can come after the initial purchase.
  • Third, understanding soft costs and being able to marry the best possible mobile system with the target user and application is ultimately what will set apart mobility innovators.

It is imperative to balance the user, application, deployment environment and—perhaps most importantly—the mission criticality of the applications.

Intermec recently received a bit of feedback from two police stations we’ve been working with to deploy e-Citation applications.

“Based on the increase in tickets… compared to hand writing, it’s equivalent to at least one extra deputy on the road….”– Snohomish County Sheriff Deputy

“The San Jose Police Department can now spend more time on education and enforcement as opposed to citation entry and correction”San Jose Police Chief

The total cost of ownership (TCO) experienced by these two aren’t cases of extreme luck or unusual success.

The facts are simple: On average, 10 percent of handwritten citations are dismissed due to errors, and they take on average of 10 minutes each to issue.

e-Citation applications help to reduce these errors and maximize accuracy, while reducing the officer’s time standing roadside.

In fact, the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety e-Citations release from 2008 found that e-Citation can reduce the time it takes to issue a citation vs. manual process by 50 percent – the TCO found in this is undeniable.

However TCO can be maximized even further depending on what kind of hardware the e-Citation software is deployed on. As you can imagine, officers and citation workers are outdoors, and require rugged devices. While Smart Phones, Netbooks or even traditional laptops maybe be cheaper in the short term, rugged mobile devices, such as Intermec mobile printers, mobile computers or mobile scanners deliver several foot drop specs, as well as the ability to perform in any wet/rainy weather condition.

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